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How Does A Septic System Work?


Until we buy our first home, most of us don’t stop to consider what a septic system really is, and how it works. But septic is an integral part of keeping your home and property safe — everyone should have an idea of how they work!

You don’t have to be a septic expert to understand the basics of your residential septic system. Here’s a quick guide, in layman’s terms, for new homeowners. 

The Septic Tank

When you flush a toilet in your home, that wastewater flows through pipes into your septic tank. 

The septic tank is buried underground on your property. That’s where waste is stored and separated. Believe it or not, this process (in a conventional septic system) takes no power or electricity!

Heavy waste naturally settles to the bottom of the septic tank and is slowly broken down by bacteria. As it breaks down, liquid effluent (light waste) rises to the top of the tank. From there, it flows out of the septic tank and into the leach field. 

The Leach Field

A leach field is a large, underground plot of land where light wastewater is dispersed and slowly filtered. Again, this takes no power — it’s all gravity! 

Layers of sands and gravel filter the effluent until it is totally clear of pollutants. Then the clean water seeps into the ground around your property and naturally rejoins the water cycle.

As long as everything is working, this tank and leach field system is efficient, safe, and harmless to the environment. Pretty cool, right?

Septic Maintenance And Repair

Septic systems are built to last for generations. But that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible — you have to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs if you want your system to last. 

Get in touch with a local septic repair contractor to learn more. You should have your septic tank pumped and cleaned every few years, and keep an eye out for signs of damage. On top of that, be careful not to flush anything but waste and toilet paper to protect your septic system!

A well-maintained septic system will last for as long as you own your home. Now that you know how it works, you’re ready to maintain the system in your home!