How Exactly Does a Home Septic System Work?

When it comes to a home septic system, there are several things you need to understand. Luckily, our guide here has you covered.

If your home is equipped with a porcelain throne, then chances are good that your house has a way to deal with all the waste you generate. Whatever system you have system relocates all of your waste to a more suitable location outside of your house.

Some buildings are hooked up to their city’s sewage system, which means less work on your end. Others must rely on their own septic tank installed on their property. 

Here’s how a home septic system works and how you can keep it working smoothly. 

Septic System Basics

Your home may not be connected to a city’s pipes that lead to their sewage treatment plant. In that case, the wastewater you flush away flows out of your house and empties into your underground septic tank.

Once inside the septic tank, the solids and liquids separate. Naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria break down the solids and turn them into water, carbon dioxide, and other excess waste. 

Water from inside the septic tank drains into the ground, otherwise known as the drain field. This is where the soil absorbs any leftover bacteria or particulate. 

Not all properties can accommodate a drain field, such as those with high silt or clay content in their soil. They may utilize a mound or chamber system in those cases. 

Types of Home Septic System

The best septic system for your home will depend on your property’s location and your needs. Two of the most common types include the conventional system and a chamber system.

A conventional gravity system lets wastewater flow out of your home into a septic tank. From there, it goes into your property’s drain field. 

Meanwhile, a chamber system uses a series of connected pipes and chambers buried underground. The wastewater moves from the home to your septic tank and then into the chambers. The chambers slowly drain the wastewater into your soil. 

Septic System Maintenance 

As it turns out, your septic system doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance on your part. It’s not like you’re expected to dig up the septic tank and pipes to clean them out yourself. 

A homeowner should care for their system by only flushing toilet paper and human waste. Pouring toxins down the drain or non-degradable objects can cause a variety of issues that’ll back up your system. 

Depending on the number of people living in your home, you should have your tank emptied out about every two years. You can call a septic company such as to dig up the tank and pump out your solid waste. They’ll also do septic tank repairs if necessary.

Be Careful What You Flush

Anyone not connected to a city sewer line should learn to appreciate and care for their home septic system. Neglected it and your pipes will spit back up everything you flushed down. Clean your tank out routinely and you can avoid that smelly mess. 

Interested in learning more about the intricacies of household maintenance? Check out our other articles and related topics. 

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