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What Is A Septic Tank

By Coody3 | September 26, 2019
Septic tank

What is a Septic Tank?

A septic system often runs underground with wastewater to a treatment system.

Septic systems are self-contained, highly efficient, and are meant to treat and dispose of wastewater on-site.

What Is A Septic Tank Made Of?

However, a septic tank is part of the septic system and runs underground to channel household water away from your home for basic treatment. It is often made of concrete, plastic or fibreglass.

Through anaerobic processes and settling, the system is can reduce organics and solids, although with moderate treatment efficiency. A septic tank is the simplest form of onsite sewerage facility. It can either be simple or multi-chamber depending on the function for which it is designed to perform.

septic tank

Since septic systems can treat and dispose of domestic wastewater virtually on-site, they are regarded as more economical compared with centralised sewer systems, particularly in rural areas where water and sewerage systems are not as sophisticated as those in urban areas.

Septic Tanks Are Inexpensive

In addition, lot sizes in rural areas are large and households tend to be spaced widely apart. The simple design of septic tanks and systems make them a good choice and they are inexpensive to install and maintain.

By applying simple and organic processes to treat and dispose of the wastewater onsite, it saves the homeowner the cost of having to stall miles of sewer lines to help get rid of wastewater from the household, thereby making them much less disruptive to the surrounding environment.

How a Septic Tank Works

A septic tank is of a larger septic system, which also comprises a drain field.

The watertight box is made of tough material, usually fibreglass or concrete, with an inlet to allow water to get inside and an outlet to discharge water. Wastewater from your home flows via the sewer pipe and into the septic tank.

septic tanks

The wastewater is then treated naturally in the septic tank by being held long enough to separate solids from liquids. The wastewater inside the septic tank forms three separate layers, with less dense solids, such as oils and grease, taking up the top layer and floating in the form of scum whereas denser solids settling at the bottom of the septic tank and forming sludge. The middle layer is left holding partially clarified wastewater.

The bottom layer (sludge) and the top layer (scum) remain in the tank and comprise of naturally occurring bacteria living in wastewater and break down the solids.


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The top and bottom layers that are not broken down remain in the tank until pumping is done. The middle layer (clarified liquid) is passed from the tank to a distribution device, usually a drain field with trenches and perforated pipes to help distribute the wastewater. The wastewater is treated in the drain field as it slowly trickles out into the gravel and down via fine soil, which are biological filters.

Therefore, septic tanks play a crucial role in the septic system and help to treat and dispose of wastewater from homes. The tanks separate wastewater into three layers before it is broken down by bacteria and passed to the drain field for further treatment.

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