The short video above demonstrates how a septic tank works. The effluent from the home enters the septic tank. The solids fall to the bottom, and oil and paper create a sludge on the top. When the liquid, called “effluent”, rises high enough, it flows into the second compartmnet, leaving most of the solids and sludge behind. When that compartment fills sufficiently, the effluent then flows to the drainage field, where it is dispersed over a large area and filtered by the soil.
This system is safe, efficient and cost-effective.
How Trouble Arises
Eventually, the solids at the bottom and the sludge at the top fill up the tank sufficiently to compromise the system. The sludge may begin leaking out the top. The solids may fill the tank sufficiently to pass into the second compartment, and then on into the drainage system. At this point, the entire system may become clogged. Toilets, tubs and sinks may become slow or clogged. Foul smelling black liquids may form in pools on the surface of the grass. The drainage system may permanently fail, requiring an expensive replacement.
Protect Your System
Understanding your system, managing your water use, regular inspections, and pumping your tank before it begins to fail will keep your system working properly indefinitely. It’s like taking care of your house or your car. Treat them right, and they’ll treat you right for a long, long time.