How Septic Tank Systems Work

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These are forms of underground wastewater treatment systems common in rural areas with no central sewer systems.

The typical septic system uses technology and nature to treat wastewater from residential homes.

This wastewater is part of the home plumbing system and comes from kitchen drains, bathrooms, and even laundry.

A septic tank works in conjunction with a drainfield to form the larger septic system. The work of the septic tank is to digest organic matter and separate floatable matter like grease and oils from solids in the wastewater. The system also depends on soil-based systems to discharge the liquid into various perforated pipes in a leach field or chamber. These units slowly release the liquid (effluent) in the soil for further action.

Alternative systems may rely on gravity or pumps to help the effluent to trickle slowly through the sand. The sand removes pollutants, including disease-causing pathogens, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other contaminants. Other systems focus on evaporating or disinfecting wastewater before discharging it to the soil.

All the water running out of the home converge into the main drainage pipe before entering the septic tank, which is an airtight concrete container buried underground.

The septic tank can also be made of fibreglass or polythene and holds the wastewater for a long time so that solids can settle down. The solids at the bottom of the tank form sludge while grease and oil remain floating at the top of the wastewater as scum. The sludge and scum are prevented from leaving the tank and getting into the drainfield, thanks to the compartments and an outlet shaped like a T. Only the liquid part of the wastewater (effluent) leaves the tank and enters the drainfield.

Unlike the septic tank, the drainfield is a shallow evacuation comprising unsaturated soil. The soil filters the pre-treated wastewater discharged through the piping system onto porous surfaces. The soil receives and treats the wastewater before dispersing it to percolate through the soil and discharge to groundwater.

Overloading the drainfield with too much liquid can result in flooding and cause sewage to overflow and reach the ground surface or backup in sinks and toilets.

Ultimately, the wastewater percolates deep into the soil to remove harmful coliform bacteria and viruses using natural methods. Coliform bacteria are bacteria that predominantly inhabit humansâ intestines. Effluent and sewage can contain a wide variety of disease-causing parasites and microorganisms that inhabit human intestines. Any direct or indirect contact with human waste material can lead to contamination of water or food. This is why sewage should be disposed of safely to protect the health of humans living in the community.

Therefore, the septic tank system plays a critical role in the safe disposal of human waste in a way that does not harm the environment or pose a health hazard to humans and other animals. If your drainfield overflows and poses a health hazard, you can contact a septic tank professional drainage expert in London, Essex, Heathrow, or Kent to resolve the issue as soon as possible.