Septic systems are individual wastewater treatment systems that use the soil to treat small waste water flows, usually from individual homes. They are typically used in a rural or large lot setting where centralized wastewater treatment is impractical.
There are many types of septic systems in use today. While all septic systems are individually designed for each site, most septic systems are based on the same principles.
The Conventional Septic System:
A septic system consists of a septic tank a distribution box and a drainfield, all connect by pipes called conveyance lines.
Your septic systems treat your household wastewater by temporarily holding it in the septic tank where the heavy solids and the lighter scum are allowed to separate from the wastewater. This separation process is known as primary treatment. The solids stored in the tank are decomposed by the bacteria and later removed, along with lighter scum, by a professional septic tank pumper.
After the partially treated wastewater leaves the tank, it flows into the distribution box, which separates the flow evenly into a network of drainfield trenches. Drainage hole at the bottom of each line allows the wastewater to drain into the gravel trenches for temporary storage. This effluent then slowly seeps into the subsurface soil where it is further treated and purified (secondary treatment)
A properly functioning septic does not pollute the groundwater.
For more information on maintenance of your septic system ask your builder or your local health department.