A septic tank system consists of three major components: the septic tank, a distribution device and an absorption field. A septic tank is a large, watertight, corrosion-resistant, buried container that receives raw sewage from the plumbing drains of the home. In it, solids are separated out of the raw sewage and are partially digested by anaerobic (oxygen-lacking) bacteria.
The septic tank must be large enough to allow retention of the raw sewage and some decomposition for at least 48 hours. Solids that are not digested either float to the top to form a scum layer or settle to the bottom of the tank as sludge. Depending on tank size and sewage volume, the sludge and scum must be pumped out at least every 2 to 5 years to allow bacterial digestion to continue in the tank. Otherwise, raw sewage may flow directly through the tank and into the absorption field, causing its failure.
After primary treatment in the septic tank, the liquid effluent flows through the distribution device, which ensures that equal quantities of effluent go to each pipe in the absorption field. The absorption field is a subsurface leaching area within the soil that receives the liquid effluent from the distribution device and distributes it over a specified area where it is allowed to seep into the soil. The filtering action of the soil, combined with further bacterial action, removes disease organisms and treats the harmful material in the effluent, completing the treatment process so that the water is recycled to the surface or groundwater source.
If properly designed, installed and maintained, a septic tank system can effectively treat household wastewater for more than 20 years.
Affordable Pumping Services can design, redesign, repair and if necessary relocate your absorption field.