More than 20 million homes across the United States rely on septic tanks for wastewater disposal rather than public sewer systems. These marvels of engineering and ingenuity date back more than 150 years. Despite their time on the market and widespread use, few people actually understand just what they are how they effectively and efficiently serve their purposes.
Septic tanks are basically big boxes made of either concrete or fiberglass, both of which last for decades and are able to withstand the moisture, bacteria and other hazards to be faced when they’re buried underground. Wastewater flows from sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and other water-using fixtures and appliances through pipes, ultimately making its way into the septic tank. There, it sits for a time while solids separate from the water. Heavier solids sink to the bottom of the tank whereas lighter ones rise to the top.
Over time, natural bacteria breaks down those solid materials in the tank and eats away most of them. Those not susceptible to natural processing linger until professional Charlotte NC septic tank cleaning takes place. Without this type of routine maintenance, the system wouldn’t operate efficiently and would eventually stop working altogether. At that point, components of the septic system and even the tank itself may need to be replaced.
After sitting in the holding tank and letting nature take its course, wastewater flows out through another pipe. This pipe is filled with small holes and runs through a specially designed area usually called a drain field or leach field. Drain fields are underground beds made of gravel or sand. Wastewater seeps out of these pipes and is filtered naturally as it runs through the sand or gravel.
Experts generally recommend having the septic tank pumped roughly every five years, but the amount of time between pumping varies by a number of factors. Larger households typically use more water and produce more waste, so systems serving them should probably be cleaned out more often. Amounts of solids flowing into the tank make a difference as well. Contact AAA City Plumbing for more information or to schedule septic tank cleaning.