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How Does Your Septic System Work?

Individuals who live in the southern parts of the United States tend to be more likely to have septic tanks on their property. A septic system may be used as an alternative to a municipal system, but it is important to afford it the proper septic tank treatment in San Francisco to keep it working properly. The two main components of your septic system are the tank and the drain field, and it helps to understand how they operate. Continue reading to find out how your septic system works.

Your Septic Tank

When wastewater leaves your house via drains in your toilets, bathtubs, and sinks, it finds its way to the septic tank buried in your yard. Bacteria that naturally occur in these environments help to break down the contents of your septic tank. Solid waste will settle out of the mixture to the bottom of the tank, while lighter substances and materials float to the top. This forms a sludge layer at the bottom of your septic tank and a scum layer that floats at the top. Treated wastewater from your septic tank then flows into your drain field, in some cases passing through a distribution box first.

Septic Drainfield

The middle of your septic tank is where the cleanest wastewater lies, which is between the sludge and scum layers. This water flows from the septic tank and into the drain field to be naturally filtered by soil. As more wastewater flows from your house into the septic tank, more of the cleanest water in the tank flows to the drain field. Your drain field may contain both soil and rock, and it will typically receive the treated wastewater from perforated pipes. Never build a patio, driveway, or other hardscaping structure over your septic drain field.

System Maintenance

In order for your septic system to continue to function efficiently, you must have your tank pumped by a professional septic tank inspection service. This will remove the sludge and scum layers that do not move from the septic tank into the drain field. Failing to have your system pumped at appropriate intervals can lead to sewage backups.

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