The Ins and Outs of a Septic Tank

In Florida, it is common for a house to have a septic tank instead of being connected to the municipal sewage lines.  In this article, we will delve into the ins and outs of a septic tank.

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic tank is an underground tank that collects waste from homes. Septic tanks are most common in rural areas where it is not feasible and/or possible to connect a home to a municipal sewage line.

Common Parts

Most septic tanks have two components. Firstly is the tank itself.  The tank is what holds the waste.  The second component is a drain field where aspects of the waste are absorbed.

How Does it Work?

A septic tank uses technology and natural elements to treat human waste.  When waste leaves the house, it travels down a special pipe into the septic tank.  As mentioned, the septic tank is buried underground and is designed so it can withstand extreme temperatures.

Microorganisms in the septic tank digest organic material from the waste.  Oil and grease remain in the tank as sludge and every so often will need to be removed from the tank.  The wastewater that remains is sent through special pipes to the drainage field and is released slowly into the soil.

The wastewater is absorbed into the soil but in the process goes through various layers of sand, sediment, rocks, sawdust, etc. Those layers remove harmful pathogens from the waste and purifies the wastewater. The wastewater eventually makes its way into the aquifer where it is recycled as potable water.

How Do I Know if I Have a Septic System

When you purchase a home, it should be disclosed as part of the purchase as to whether your home has a septic system or not.  If you are unsure if you have a septic system, there are some signs telltale signs that you have a septic system

  • If you have a private well, you likely have a septic system.
  • Do your neighbors have a septic system? If they have one, then you likely have one as well.
  • If you live in a rural area, then you likely have a septic system.
  • Houses in areas classified as a wetland often have a septic system.

How Often Do I Have to Replace a Septic System

Most people will live in a home their entire life without ever having to replace a septic system.  If there is a problem with your septic system, you should contact a licensed professional to investigate, repair, and/or replace the septic system. Our licensed professionals at Conyers Plumbing would be more than happy to take up all your issues and solve them!