If you live in a city or town you probably take your local municipal sewer system for granted. If you are moving out of said city or town to a more rural setting chances are you will need to have a septic tank system. In simple terms this means that all your waste water and sewage waste is treated right on your property instead of flowing down to the local waste water treatment plant. While this may not sound very sanitary there is nothing to worry about because septic tanks have been in use for many years. In fact nearly 25% of all homes in the U.S. use septic tank systems.
Much like plumbing in the earlier days, a septic tank system is a very simple structure, but for all its simplicity it is very efficient at what it does. The tank itself can be anywhere from one thousand gallons or higher and is usually placed a good distance away from the house. The main sewer pipe from the house is attached to one end of the septic tank while another pipe exits the far side and is buried in what is called the leech field.
The liquid and solid waste enters the first chamber in septic tank through the pipe connected to your house. The solids are trapped in this first chamber and are broken down by anaerobic bacteria. This reduces the amount of solid waste in the septic system allowing the liquid wastes to flow into the second chamber which then flows out the end pipe and into the leech or septic field. In most cases this is all accomplished with the help of gravity as we all know that poop flow downhill. In some cases the septic tank cannot be placed downhill from the house so a pump will need to be used in order for the system to work properly.
The liquid waste that flows into the leech field is relatively benign and will create a nutrient rich growing area. Any plants growing over it will thrive and many septic fields can be located just by finding the patch of land that is greener then the surrounding area.
As efficient as a septic tank system is there will always be solid waste that is not fully decomposed. This will eventually fill up the septic tank and require that you contact a septic tank cleaning service to pump out your system. Worst case would be to have this done every year but most systems can go up to two years before needing to be cleaned out. Properly taken care of a septic tank system will do its job efficiently with few problems to worry about.
Septic tanks are a small scale sewage treatment plant and are common in households in rural or semi urban areas where laying a complete sewage system would be too expensive. These waste tanks are used to collect debris and use the waste water to flow into the drainage system. The construction material used for these sewage tanks varies and it could be nothing more than concrete tank with PVC pipes which uses a passive flow system. Nowadays active septic tanks are also being constructed with different materials and varying shapes and sizes.
Many new materials are being used for construction of sewage tanks and the low profile ones occupy less space and are custom designed for houses with low population thus saving space and cost. Depending upon the number of members in the household different types of tanks can be installed. Many manufacturers and shopkeepers also offer services like free installation and advice for the sewage tanks required for the household. Some even offer maintenance for the tanks installed. Commercial bacteria are also being sold to be used in these tanks to help in breaking down the waste.
The sewage tank needs to be periodically maintained as the sludge builds up and it is therefore good if some steps are taken to ensure the smooth functioning of the system by some simple methods like avoiding kitchen garbage, oil and sludge to be introduced into the sewage system. Also planning and efficiently managing the water usage and regulating laundry, washing, bathing and mopping one can reduce the amount of water treated in the septic tanks thus ensuring longer usage.
Most companies are selling these sewage tanks that can be installed for specific loads and areas and some have both an active and passive pumping system and methods to recharge the bacteria easily thus elongating the serviceability of the septic tanks. Modern septic tank designs include a riser which helps locate the tank easily and also insert the plumbing required to pump the tank to flush out effluents easily. Most companies also provide services for locating and pumping and maintaining the sewage tank and it is advisable to locate and purchase the septic tanks after researching thoroughly the needs of the household as also the area and topography of the land and soil and taking into account the cost involved in periodic maintenance. The bacteria help in breaking down the sludge and treating the sewage naturally and reduce smell and wastage therefore recharging the tank with bacteria which can be purchased from various stores will help the septic tank last longer without major maintenance. It is very easy to introduce the bacteria to the sewage tank, just pour it in the toilet bowl and flush thereby introducing the bacteria directly to the septic tank.