What are Septic Systems?
Today, almost 25% of US homes dispose of domestic wastewater through onsite septic systems. These systems account for the most common type of wastewater treatment found in rural areas. Unlike public sewer systems, septic systems require routine maintenance for proper functioning. A well designed, installed, and maintained septic system can provide years of reliable low-cost service. When these systems fail to operate effectively, property damage, groundwater and surface water pollution, and disease outbreaks can occur.
Onsite septic systems (OSS) have evolved from the pits that have been widely used throughout history to installations capable of producing a disinfected effluent that is fit for human consumption. Although this is rarely necessary, the ability of onsite systems to remove solids, grease and scum from wastewater defines their significance in protecting human health and environmental resources. In the modern era, the typical onsite system has consisted primarily of a septic tank and a soil absorption field, also known as a drain field or leach field.
How Does a Septic System Work?
The purpose of the septic system is to treat household waste. You could say that the tank acts as a “solids trap.” Inside the tank, solids are separated from the liquid and held to allow bacteria to break them down. Once broken down to liquid form, they pass into the drain field where they are filtered into the soil.