How Does Septic Tank Work Without Lateral? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • At the tank‘s end opposite the house, the drain line leads to the leach field. 6) strong sewage or septic odors emitting from the outside of the. Without lateral lines, the sewage system would not be able to dispose the waste.

Do all septic systems have lateral lines?

The lateral lines form an important part of any septic system. They are used for both domestic septic systems and commercial septic systems. Properly functioning lateral lines are an essential element of any septic system.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

What are the 3 types of septic systems?

Types of Septic Systems

  • Septic Tank.
  • Conventional System.
  • Chamber System.
  • Drip Distribution System.
  • Aerobic Treatment Unit.
  • Mound Systems.
  • Recirculating Sand Filter System.
  • Evapotranspiration System.

How does a closed septic system work?

Septic tanks work by allowing waste to separate into three layers: solids, effluent and scum (see illustration above). The solids settle to the bottom, where microorganisms decompose them. The middle layer of effluent exits the tank and travels through underground perforated pipes into the drainage field.

How do I find my septic lateral lines?

Call your local electric utility provider or gas company to locate buried gas or utility lines before digging. A septic tank probe can also help you find the location. Stick the long, thin metal probe into the ground until you feel it hit the tank and feel the edges of the tank.

How far apart are leach lines?

The minimum separation between the bottom of any leaching device and seasonally high groundwater shall be: 5 feet where the leaching device is between 50 and 100 feet from a stream, spring, or other waterbody.

Are septic tanks still legal?

Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

Is it OK to drive over drain field?

Can You Drive on a Septic Drain Field? No, driving over your septic drain field is similarly never ever recommended. As much as you are able to help it, prevent cars or heavy equipment (such as oil delivery trucks, swimming pool water trucks, cement mixers, and also the like) to drive straight over the field.

How do you tell if your septic tank is full?

How to tell your septic tank is full and needs emptying

  1. Pooling water.
  2. Slow drains.
  3. Odours.
  4. An overly healthy lawn.
  5. Sewer backup.
  6. Gurgling Pipes.
  7. Trouble Flushing.

What is a Class 5 septic system?

Class 5. A sewage system using a holding tank for the retention of on-site sewage and must be emptied by a licensed sewage hauler. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

Do all septic tanks have filters?

First, not all septic tanks have a filter, especially the older septic tanks. Now many government agencies require or recommend a filter when a septic tank is installed. Cleaning a septic tank filter is different than pumping out a septic tank and cleaning it.

Does shower water go into septic tank?

From your house to the tank: Most, but not all, septic systems operate via gravity to the septic tank. Each time a toilet is flushed, water is turned on or you take a shower, the water and waste flows via gravity through the plumbing system in your house and ends up in the septic tank.

Types of Septic Systems

Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.

  • Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.

Septic Tank

This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.

Conventional System

Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.

Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.

Chamber System

Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.

The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.

This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.

Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes. The wastewater comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.

Drip Distribution System

An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.

Aerobic Treatment Unit

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.

ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.

Mound Systems

Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.

Recirculating Sand Filter System

Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.

However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.

Evapotranspiration System

Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.

Constructed Wetland System

Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.

As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.

Cluster / Community System

In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.

How Your Septic System Works

Underground wastewater treatment facilities, known as septic systems, are often employed in rural regions where there are no centralized sewage lines. They clean wastewater from residential plumbing, such as that produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry, by combining natural processes with well-established technology. A conventional septic system is comprised of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield, often known as a soil absorption field. It is the septic tank’s job to decompose organic matter and to remove floatable stuff (such as oils and grease) and solids from wastewater.

Alternate treatment systems rely on pumps or gravity to assist septic tank effluent in trickling through a variety of media such as sand, organic matter (e.g., peat and sawdust), constructed wetlands, or other media to remove or neutralize pollutants such as pathogens that cause disease, nitrogen, phosphorus, and other contaminants.

Prior to discharging wastewater into the environment, several alternative systems are designed to evaporate or disinfect the effluent.

Specifically, this is how a typical conventional septic system works:

  1. All of the water that leaves your home drains down a single main drainage pipe and into a septic tank. An underground, water-tight container, often composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene, serves as a septic system’s holding tank. Its function is to retain wastewater for a long enough period of time to allow particles to sink to the bottom and form sludge, while oil and grease float to the surface and produce scum. Sludge and scum are prevented from exiting the tank and moving into the drainfield region by compartments and a T-shaped outlet. After that, the liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank and flows into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered hole dug in unsaturated soil that serves as a drainage system. Porous surfaces are used to release pretreated wastewater because they allow the wastewater to pass through the soil and into the groundwater. In the process of percolating through the soil, wastewater is accepted, treated, and dispersed by the soil, finally discharging into groundwater. Finally, if the drainfield becomes overburdened with too much liquid, it can flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or resulting in toilet backups and sink backups. Finally, wastewater percolates into the soil, where it is naturally removed of harmful coliform bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a kind of bacteria that may be found in the intestines of humans and other warm-blooded animals, with humans being the most common host. As a result of human fecal contamination, it is a sign of this.

The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority has built an animated, interactive model of how a residential septic system works, which you can view here.

Do you have a septic system?

It’s possible that you’re already aware that you have a septic system. If you are not sure, here are some tell-tale symptoms that you most likely are:

  • You make use of well water. In your home, the water pipe that brings water into the house does not have a meter. In the case of a water bill or a property tax bill, you will see “$0.00 Sewer Amount Charged.” It is possible that your neighbors have a septic system

How to find your septic system

You can locate your septic system once you have confirmed that you have one by following these steps:

  • Taking a look at the “as constructed” drawing of your house
  • Making a visual inspection of your yard for lids and manhole covers
  • Getting in touch with a septic system service provider for assistance in locating it

Failure symptoms: Mind the signs!

A bad odor is not necessarily the first indicator of a septic system that is failing to work properly. Any of the following signs should prompt you to seek expert assistance:

  • Water backing up into the drains of homes and businesses
  • It is especially noticeable in dry weather that the drainfield grass is bright green and spongy. The presence of standing water or muddy soil near your septic system or in your basement
  • A strong stench emanating from the area surrounding the septic tank and drainfield

What Are Septic Tank Lateral Lines and Percolation Areas

Septic tank lateral lines are also referred to as percolation pipelines in some circles. Perforated pipes that extend below ground from the septic tank’s outflow and into the soil are referred to as leach lines. The goal of these lateral lines is to create a network of pipes via which the effluent from the septic tank may be sent and collected. After passing through these pipes, the effluent seeps out of the perforations in the pipes and infiltrates into the soil. The effluent eventually infiltrates into the ground through the lateral lines or percolation pipes of the septic tank.

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An Essential Part of a Standard Septic System

The lateral lines of a septic system are critical components of the system. They can be found in both home and commercial septic systems, depending on the application. The proper operation of lateral lines is critical to the proper operation of any septic system. Septic tank effluent has nowhere to go when they are obstructed or not functioning correctly, resulting in a backup of sewage and the failure of the system.

UK 2020 Septic Tank Guidelines

Beginning in 2020, every basic septic tank system in the United Kingdom will be required to have septic tank lateral lines or a percolation area constructed. Stream and watercourse discharges will not be authorized directly into the environment. In order to comply with the regulations between now and 2020, everyone who has a septic tank that discharges directly into a stream or watercourse is required to create a soakaway or percolation area. A percolation area or soakaway following a septic tank installation in an existing landscape is not usually straightforward.

Installing a household sewage treatment system might be a viable alternative approach.

Compared to the installation of a huge percolation area, it is significantly more cost-effective to replace a septic tank with a sewage treatment plant instead.

When purchasing a sewage treatment plant, it is important to search for exceptional value in conjunction with a system that is certified to EN12566-3 specifications.

How to Install Lateral Lines Correctly

It is recommended that you get professional assistance when constructing your percolation area or lateral line configuration. The effluent ponding on the ground surface might be caused by a poorly built percolation region that is not functioning properly.

Consequently, before you begin any work, consult with a professional, arrange for a site study, and then make certain that the septic tank installation you hire is skilled and adequately insured. The number of lateral lines placed is a function of the amount of space available.

  • The number of people living in the house or structure
  • The kind of soil in the region
  • And the quantity of groundwater are all factors to consider.

How to Install a System Without Septic Tank Lateral Lines

Due to the fact that septic tank effluent is not treated to a high level of quality, lateral lines for septic tanks are typically necessary. A standard septic tank has a treatment level of roughly 30%, which is not very effective. A contemporary sewage treatment plant or aerobic sewage system, according to the contract, has a treatment efficiency of 95 percent or more. Systems such as the Biocell QuickOne achieve an even higher treatment level of 98 percent, resulting in effluent that is clean and transparent.

In other words, while an advanced sewage treatment system is more expensive than a standard septic tank, you save a significant amount of money by not having to add lateral connections.

Home Performance Group LLC

Do you require services for septic system installation or repair? When it comes to garbage disposal, having a well-maintained system is critical! Septic tanks and drain fields are cleaned, repaired, and installed on a regular basis by our professionals. Call (816) 744-8033 to speak with a member of our skilled and professional staff who will get the work done perfectly the first time. The following are some of the services we provide for septic systems:

  • Lagoon installation and repair as well as Septic System design and repair, Septic tank installation, Aeration Treatment Unit installation, Lateral installation and repair as well as Lagoon installation and repair Installation of low-pressure pipes
  • Repair of low-pressure pipes
  • Installation of high-pressure drip lines
  • Repair of high-pressure drip lines

Providing an essential service by collecting, treating, and disposing of wastewater is the septic system’s primary role in the home. It is critical to provide proper care and maintenance on a regular basis. For the most part, septic systems are comprised of two parts: an inlet septic tank for solid wastes and a disposal field for liquid wastes. Lateral lines or pipes carry the effluent to the drain field, where it is discharged into the environment. Tanks should be properly examined at least once every two years, and they should be cleaned every three to five years, according to the manufacturer.

Professional Septic System Services

Home Performance Group LLC provides the services required to keep septic systems in the greater Kansas City region operating safely and reliably over the long haul. Contact us now. In order to detect tanks and laterals, diagnose failures, pump out tanks, safeguard the environment from water contamination, and manage difficulties with outdated septic systems that weren’t built to handle current demand, our trained workers combine expertise, experience, and tools. We adhere to all applicable codes, make every attempt to cause the least amount of inconvenience to your property, and provide unsurpassed quality of workmanship.

For septic tank and lateral line maintenance or repair, call Home Performance Group LLC!

Home Performance Group LLC provides timely service to help you extend the life of your septic system and laterals, prevent issues from occurring, and fix any sort of malfunction. We may be reached at (816) 744-8033 to arrange a time that is suitable for you. We have deals and financing available to make everyday living more reasonable for you. You can count on us to take care of all of your plumbing requirements in Kearney and the surrounding areas, including Liberty and Excelsior Springs. Smithville and Pleasant Valley.

  • Weatherby Lake and Gladstone, MO.
  • Each of these statements is theoretically valid, however there are more than eight different types and configurations of OWTS to choose from.
  • A soils morphology test is required in order to correctly design an OWTS system and submit a system permit application for the system.
  • When designing an OWTS system, soil conditions are critical since the soil serves as a filter, exchanger, and absorber in addition to other functions.
  • A septic tank offers initial treatment by separating particles from wastewater, ensuring that effluent entering the soil is purified before it is released into the environment.
  • In soils that are unable of supporting a simple OWTS system, a septic tank and surface lagoon can be used as an alternate solution.
  • Lagoons are a more cost-effective alternative to more complicated systems because of their size.
  • The system is comprised of a septic tank, a pumping chamber for pressure dosing, and a soil distribution piping system with a small diameter pipe diameter.
  • a few quick facts According to the Environmental Protection Agency, private on-site waste treatment systems are used by 20 percent of all houses in the United States to handle their garbage.

Septic or decentralized treatment systems are used to service about one-third of all new developments and single-family dwellings. Septic systems provide service to more than 60 million people in the United States.

LEARN MORE about Septic System Installation:

  • Septic System Installation | Why Do I Need a Soil Morphology Test
  • Do I Need an Alternative Septic System
  • What is the Purpose of a Septic Tank
  • Why Should I Get a Septic Inspection
  • Septic System Installation | Why Do I Need a Soil Morphology Test
  • Septic System Installation | Why Should I Get a Septic Inspection

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.

How does a septic tank work?

Pumping the tank on a regular basis eliminates sludge and scum, which helps to keep a septic system in good working order. It is possible for a well-designed and well built septic system to last for decades, or it might collapse in a matter of years. It is entirely up to you as long as you can answer the question of how do septic tanks function. Healthy septic systems are very inexpensive to maintain, but digging up and replacing a septic system that has completely collapsed may easily cost tens of thousands in labor and material costs.

It’s critical to understand how a septic tank works in order to maintain one.

Let’s take a look below ground and observe what happens in a properly operating septic system, shall we?

Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria

Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.

  1. A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
  2. 4.
  3. Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
  4. Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
  5. (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
  6. The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
  7. Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
  8. The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
  9. Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.

Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system

Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank.

However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.

  • Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.

Get your tank pumped…

Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.

…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it

Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge. It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.

Install an effluent filter in your septic system

Garbage from your home accumulates into three distinct strata. The septic filter is responsible for preventing blockage of the drain field pipes.

Septic tank filter close-up

The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.

Solution for a clogged septic system

If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.

  • Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
  • Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
  • Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
  • A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
  • A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
  • Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.

For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.

Get an inspection

Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.

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A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.

Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.

As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.

Alternatives to a new drain field

If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.

  • Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.

Protect your drain septic field from lint

When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.

Don’t overload the septic system

Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.

Meet the Expert

Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.

Septic Systems 101

Whether you’re new to septic systems or have been using them your entire life, there are a few things you should be aware of that can help you operate and treat your septic system more effectively. Due to the fact that each septic system is unique, yours may be a little different based on your specific scenario and requirements. In general, though, having a fundamental grasp of septic systems, plumbing, and everything in between is always beneficial! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most often asked questions concerning septic systems that we receive, as well as some popular themes that people are interested in, in the section below.

Please let us know if there is anything you’d want to see added to this list, or if you require any extra assistance. You can reach us at [email protected]. We are always more than delighted to assist you! Come with me as we go through some of the fundamental fundamentals of your sewage system!


  • Why Do Septic Systems Work? What Is a Septic System, and How Does It Work? Describe the many types of septic systems available.
  • Aerobibic septic system
  • Septic tank and field
  • Septic tank and seepage pit
  • Septic tank and lagoon
  • What is the best way to tell if I am on a septic system? Are there any? If so, what kind? How to Care for Your Septic System in a Safe and Effective Manner
  • The Importance of Pumping Your Septic System
  • What Happens If I Don’t Pump My System
  • What is the best way to treat my septic system? Is it even necessary to treat my system? Is It Possible to Damage My Septic System? In what condition will my septic system be in the future
  • Septic Systems in Close Proximity to a Well
  • Do I Need To Pump My System? The Consequences of Failure to Comply
  • Do I Need To Treat My Septic System? My Pumper / Neighbor has informed me that I am not required to do so. Is it possible to damage my septic system? Is it possible to overuse my septic system? Do I need to use special toilet paper for my home while it is on a septic system? Can I plant a garden on top of my septic field? Taking Care of a Gray Water System

What Is A Septic System?

Essentially, a septic system is a sort of residential wastewater system. Septic systems, in contrast to sewer systems, which feed into a larger wastewater system, are completely self-contained and do not connect to a larger sewer network.

How Does A Septic System Work (Septic Tank + Field)?

A septic system is developed in a straightforward manner. Typically, a septic tank and a lateral line system or leach field are used, although there are a few additional designs available as well. Explore these less common sorts of systems further by touching or clicking on the link provided. The septic tank itself is typically constructed of concrete and has a capacity of around 1,500 gallons on average. Following the flushing of waste down a toilet or the washing of waste down a drain, the septic tank is the first destination for your waste.

  • A separation of trash into scum and sludge takes place throughout the breakdown process.
  • However, the sludge layer, on the other hand, is often found toward the bottom of the tank.
  • Afterwards, when the residual wastewater has been separated from the scum and sludge, it runs out of the septic tank and onto the septic field (or leach field).
  • The lateral lines are lengthy sections of tubing, often constructed of PVC, that have been perforated with tiny holes to allow for ventilation.
  • Water from the septic system seeps out via the tiny gaps in these lateral lines and into the surrounding environment.
  • Aside from bacteria that break down any trash that may be left in the wastewater from your septic tank, Biomat also includes bacteria that help to keep the process going.

What Kinds Of Septic Systems are there?

Septic systems are available in a variety of configurations. Understanding the sort of septic system you have will assist you in keeping things clean and running.

Septic Tank + Field

In the United States, septic tank + field systems account for the vast bulk of septic system installations. We’ve been talking about this sort of system for the most of the time so far in this essay. As previously stated, this sort of system works by collecting waste in a massive septic tank, where helpful bacteria break down the waste, dividing it into three distinct components: scum, sludge, and any residual wastewater liquid.

Water from the tank collects in the scum and sludge, while wastewater goes out into the septic field, where it is scattered back into the earth as pure water.

Septic Tank + Seepage Pit

This sort of system collects garbage in a big tank, where bacterial activities break down the waste and divide it into three types of waste: scum, sludge, and wastewater. The scum and sludge stay in the tank, while the liquid waste drains into a big seepage hole at the bottom of the tank. This pit is punctured with a series of openings that allow the liquid to drain out and into the surrounding earth. When comparing this system to a typical septic system, the most significant distinction is that a seepage pit allows the liquid to sink deeper into the earth rather than across a vast field as in a traditional septic system.

Septic Tank + Lagoon

Waste from a septic system that discharges into a lagoon is collected in a big septic tank, where microorganisms break down the waste, much as they do in other systems. When the liquid waste departs the tank, it pours out into a lagoon or pond-like body of water, which is a large body of water.

Aerobic System

Aerobic systems provide oxygen into a waste tank in order to stimulate the activity of aerobic microorganisms. Normal septic systems will experience increased activity of anaerobic bacteria in the absence of adequate oxygen supply (aka “bad” bacteria that stink). Anaerobic bacteria are frequently less productive than their aerobic counterparts. It follows that the effluent (or wastewater that comes out of a septic tank) from an aerobic system is substantially “cleaner” than the effluent from a conventional septic system in the larger picture.

Aerobic systems are discussed in further detail here (touch or click here).

How Do I Determine If I Am On A Septic System? And If So, What Type?

In the event that you are unsure whether or not you have a septic system in place, there are a few things to look out for that may suggest that you do in fact have a septic system. Here are a few examples of common indicators:

  • Do you happen to reside in a remote area? Due to the fact that many rural areas are not connected to a sewage system, private septic systems are becoming increasingly popular in rural areas. In your backyard or in the fields around your home, are there any obvious lids or risers to be found? In most cases, they are entry points to your septic tank, but they can also be symptoms that your system is malfunctioning. Do you have a stand pipe in your backyard or field? If so, where? This pipe is also an indication that you have a septic system that is connected to your home’s plumbing system. Are you drinking from a well? Many homes that are connected to a well also rely on a septic system as their primary method of waste disposal.

A septic system can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the following. Note that contacting a septic inspector and scheduling an examination of the property is generally regarded best practice in this situation. This examination will determine whether or not you have a septic system, as well as the sort of system you have.

How To Care For Your Septic System Safely

Your septic system will eventually become overburdened with waste. Manual removal of this garbage from the system will be required. Pumping is the method through which this solid waste is removed from the environment. We advised that you engage a septic system pumping service to remove the waste from your system. A septic system should be pumped out once every three years on average, however utilizing a product like Unique Septic System Digester can help to lengthen the period between pump outs.

Please keep in mind that the pumping schedule may need to be adjusted based on the amount of water used and the number of people living in your home.

What If I Don’t Pump My System?

Failure to pump a septic tank might result in devastating consequences. For example, foul odors escaping from your house’s drains, drain backups, flooding in your home, and standing water in your septic field are all potential consequences of this situation. In order to avoid this, it is important to keep track of how full your tank is by doing a personal or professional examination on a regular basis!

How Do I Treat My Septic System?

To ensure that your septic system is free of backups and continues to function properly, it is recommended that you treat it on a regular basis. Unique Septic System Digester is a product that we suggest. Septic System Digester is available in a number of various dose techniques; simply touch or clickhereto find out which approach is appropriate for your system’s needs. In the long term, using Septic System Digester on a regular basis will save you a significant amount of money.

Is It Necessary To Treat My System?

In a perfect environment, a septic system treatment would not be required; nonetheless, complications might emerge when a treatment technique is not used, which is sad. If you do not treat your septic system on a regular basis, you may have backups, obstructions, and unpleasant odors.

Can I Damage My Septic System?

A precise bacterial balance is required for septic systems to function properly and break down waste. Hazardous or caustic chemicals can be used to kill off the bacteria and stop the breakdown process, which might result in backlog and smells in the sewer system. Non-stop use of inappropriate chemicals can cause harm to your septic system, but it’s also possible to cause problems by overusing the chemicals you use. Even though overuse might differ depending on your septic system, it’s better to avoid activities that require you to send large amounts of water through your septic system in a 24-hour period.

Damage to the septic tank itself might be caused by tree roots that have spread out.

How Long Will My Septic System Last?

A well constructed and maintained septic system should endure for at least 40 years, if not longer.

Common Questions

If your system is correctly designed, the fact that it is placed near a well should not pose a problem for you. You should, however, call a septic system inspector and schedule a time for your well water to be checked for cross-contamination concerns, leaks, or other problems.

Do I Have To Pump My System? What Happens If I Don’t?

Yes. You do, in fact, need to prime your system. Over time, the trash in your septic system will accumulate. This waste has to be manually removed from the system in order to function properly. A failure to do so will result in sewage backing up into your home, which will stink and necessitate additional costly problems. Pumping is the method through which this solid waste is removed from the environment. We advised that you engage a septic system pumping service to remove the waste from your system.

By utilizing the Unique Septic System Digester, you will be able to increase the time between pump outs significantly. Please keep in mind that the pumping schedule may need to be adjusted based on the amount of water used and the number of people living in your home.

Do I Have To Treat My Septic System? My Pumper / Neighbor Says I Don’t Have To. What Happens If I Don’t?

The treatment of your system is highly suggested for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, treating your system on a regular basis will increase the time between pump outs, allowing you to save money. Second, treating your system provides you with peace of mind, knowing that you will not be subjected to any unpleasant scents or water that moves slowly through your system.

See also:  How To Divert Washing Machine Discharge From The Septic Tank? (Best solution)
Can I Damage My Septic System?

Septic systems function by utilizing a very delicate balance of bacteria in your tank to break down the waste that is generated by your system. Using harsh or caustic chemicals can kill off the bacteria and prevent the breakdown process from taking place, resulting in blockages and smells in the system. Non-stop use of inappropriate chemicals can cause harm to your septic system, but it’s also possible to cause problems by overusing the chemicals you use. Even though overuse might differ depending on your septic system, it’s better to avoid activities that require you to send large amounts of water through your septic system in a 24-hour period.

Damage to the septic tank itself might be caused by tree roots that have spread out.

Can I Overuse My Septic System?

It is possible to experience problems as a result of excessive usage. It is advisable to avoid activities that require passing large quantities of water through your septic system in a 24-hour period, depending on your septic system’s capabilities.

Do I Need To Use Special Toilet Paper For My Home On A Septic System?

Many people who own septic systems are concerned about the type of toilet paper that should be used in their systems. The answer is straightforward: as long as you are using a Unique Septic System Digester, you may use any toilet paper that you would normally use in a standard sewage system without difficulty. You won’t have to worry about blockages in your septic system because of the bacteria in Septic System Digester, which will break down toilet paper extremely effectively.

Can I Plant A Garden On Top Of My Septic Field?

Many people who have septic systems choose to utilize the water from their sewage system to irrigate their lawn and garden. This may be a highly beneficial use of septic system water, but it is important to exercise caution when selecting the plants to be planted. Anything with a complex or extensive root system should be avoided. Make sure to stay away from anything that needs you to dig deeper than a few inches into the earth, as this might disrupt the delicate balance of your septic system.

According to some sites, it’s safe up to a certain distance, but here at Unique, we recommend that you avoid it entirely, purely for the purpose of being excessively careful.

How Gray Water Systems Work

A grey water system is a collection system for all of the water that is not connected to your septic system. Because this water does not include any typical waste materials, it originates from sources such as bathroom sinks, showers, bathtubs, and laundry lines (NOTE: Kitchen sinks and dish-washing lines are NOT part of the grey water system, as they contain food waste). The water from the grey water pipes is routed through a modest filtering system before being collected in a small holding tank, which is often only large enough to contain a few gallons of water.

The water collected by this grey water system is subsequently utilized to irrigate a garden, a line of trees, or other landscaping project.

Treating A Gray Water System

Keeping your grey water system clean and clear is a good and required habit in order to keep everything running smoothly. To use Unique Septic System Digester, we recommend that you pour 2 oz into the drain located in either your bathtub or shower once a month. Incorporating Septic System Digester into your grey water system will guarantee that your filtration system will last for a longer period of time and will avoid any sluggish flowing water that may arise as a result of accumulation inside the lateral lines.

How a Septic System Works – and Common Problems

This Article Discusses Septic Tanks are a type of septic tank that is used to dispose of waste. Field Sizing and System MaintenanceProblems with the Leach FieldSystem Performance Questions and comments are welcome. See Also: Septic System Frequently Asked Questions Articles on SEPTIC SYSTEM may be found here. In locations where there are no municipal sewage systems, each residence is responsible for treating its own sewage on its own property, which is known as a “on-site sewage disposal system,” or septic system, more popularly.

One of the most commonly seen types of leach field is composed of a series of perforated distribution pipes, each of which is placed in a gravel-filled absorption trench.


The wastewater is collected in the septic tank once it has been discharged from the residence. Septic tanks are normally between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons in capacity and are composed of concrete, strong plastic, or metal, depending on the model. Highly durable concrete tanks, which should endure for 40 years or more provided they are not damaged, are the most common. Many contemporary tanks are designed with two chambers in order to maximize efficiency. Household wastewater is collected in the septic tank, where it is separated and begins to degrade before being discharged into the leach field.

  1. In the tank, oil and grease float to the top of the tank, where they are known as scum, while solid waste falls to the bottom, where they are known as sludge.
  2. Bacteria and other microorganisms feed on the sediments at the bottom of the tank, causing them to decompose in an anaerobic (without oxygen) process that begins at the bottom of the tank.
  3. Solids and grease must be pushed out of the system on a regular basis in order for it to continue to function effectively.
  4. Each gallon added to the tank results in one gallon being discharged to the leach field, leach pit, or other similar treatment facility.

A large amount of water delivered too rapidly to the tank may discharge untreated effluent, along with oil and particulates, into the leach field, where it may block the field and cause a backup.

Leach Field

When used properly, a leach field (also known as a “drain field”) is a series of perforated pipes that are typically buried in gravel trenches 18 to 36 inches below grade — deep enough to avoid freezing, but close enough to the surface that air can reach the bacteria that further purify the effluent (see illustration below). As little as 6 inches might separate you from the ground surface, depending on your soil type and municipal regulations. It is customary to cover the perforated pipes with approximately two inches of gravel and a layer of topsoil that is 18 to 24 inches in depth.

  1. Grass is often sown above the ground.
  2. The leach field is comprised of rows of perforated pipes in gravel trenches that are used to spread wastewater over a vast area in order to further purify it.
  3. A bacteria-rich slime mat forms where the gravel meets the soil, and it is responsible for the majority of the water purification work.
  4. Despite the fact that wastewater freezes at a far lower temperature than pure water, freezing is still a hazard in cold areas.
  5. The leftover pathogens are converted into essential plant nutrients by these organisms, while sand, gravel, and soil filter out any solids that remain.
  6. If the system is operating effectively, the filtered wastewater will return to the aquifer as naturally clean water that is suitable for human consumption at this stage.
  7. Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.
  8. Special systems may also be necessary in regions where there are flood plains, bodies of water, or other ecologically sensitive areas to protect against flooding.


Using perforated pipes put in gravel-filled trenches, the drain field is sized to accommodate the number of beds in the house. In order for the system to function successfully, the leach field must be appropriately sized for the soil type and amount of wastewater, which is normally determined by the number of bedrooms in the house. In order for the liquid to seep into the soil, it must be permeable enough to do so. As a result, the denser the soil, the larger the leach field that is necessary.

  • Better to have surplus capacity in your system than to have it cut too close to the bone.
  • Septic tank backup into your house, pooling on the surface of the earth, or polluting local groundwater are all possibilities if the ground is incapable of absorbing the liquid.
  • Dense clay soils will not absorb the liquid at a sufficient rate, resulting in a backlog.
  • If the soil is mostly composed of coarse sand and gravel, it might drain at such a rapid rate that untreated sewage can poison the aquifer or damage surrounding bodies of water.
  • Alternative systems may be permitted in situations when traditional leach fields are unable to function properly owing to poor soil conditions or a high water table.

These systems sometimes cost twice or three times as much as a regular system and require significantly more upkeep. Near flood plains, bodies of water, and other ecologically sensitive places, special systems may also be necessary to protect people and property.


If you take good care of your system, you will be rewarded with years of trouble-free operation. Pumping the septic tank on a regular basis is necessary to remove the particles (sludge) and grease layer (scum) that have built up in the tank. The solids will ultimately overflow and spill into the leach field, decreasing its efficacy and diminishing its lifespan if this is not done. The rehabilitation of a clogged leach field is difficult, if not impossible; thus, constant pumping is essential!

  • Cooking fats, grease, and particles may also wash into the leach field if the tank is too small for the amount of water being used or if the tank is overcrowded on a regular basis.
  • Extra water from excessive residential consumption or yard drainage can overwhelm the system, transporting oil and particles into the leach field and causing it to overflow.
  • In addition, don’t try to complete a week’s worth of laundry for a family of five in a single day.
  • To minimize overburdening the system, the following measures should be taken:
  • Distribute your washing loads and other high-water-use activities across the week
  • And In the kitchen and bathroom, use low-flow appliances, faucets, and fixtures. Toilets, in general, are the source of the greatest amount of water use. Water should be diverted away from the leach field from the yard, gutters, and basement sump pumps.

In addition, refrain from flushing sediments, strong chemicals, and just about anything else down the toilet or sink other than biological waste and white toilet paper. Avoid using garbage disposals in the kitchen. If you really must have one, keep it for small non-meat bits only. Avoid flushing chemicals or paints down the toilet since many chemicals can destroy beneficial microorganisms or cause water contamination in the surrounding area. Avoid flushing the following down the toilet:

  • Grease, fats, and animal scraps
  • Paints, thinners, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals
  • And a variety of other materials sanitary napkins, tampons, and other supplies Paper towels and disposable diapers are examples of such products. Egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells are all good options. Antibacterial soaps and antibiotics are available.

It is preferable to put grass over the leach field and to refrain from driving or parking in the vicinity. Excessive weight placed on top of the drain field might compress the earth, diminishing its efficiency as a drain field. Drain pipes can also become clogged by trees and plants with invasive roots. In order to prevent damage to the leach field, the following measures should be taken:

  • Heavy machinery should not be driven, parked, or stored on top of the leach field (or septic tank). Placement of a deck, patio, pool, or any other sort of construction over the leach field is prohibited. Remove any large trees or other plants with deep roots from the leach field. Grass is the most effective groundcover.

Even with careful use and routine maintenance, however, leach fields are not guaranteed to survive indefinitely. It is inevitable that the soil will get saturated with dissolved elements from the wastewater, and that the soil will be unable to absorb any more incoming water. The presence of an odorous wet area over the leach field, as well as plumbing backups in the house, are frequently the first indicators that something is wrong. Many municipalities mandate septic system designs to incorporate a second “reserve drain field” in the case that the first field fails.

A well constructed and maintained system should last for at least 20 to 30 years, if not longer than that. After a few tears, the initial field will naturally heal and may be used once again when the situation calls for it to be. More information on Septic System Maintenance may be found here.


Poor original design, abuse, or physical damage, such as driving heavy trucks over the leach field, are the root causes of the majority of septic system issues. The following are examples of common situations that might cause a septic system to operate poorly: Plumbing in the home. obstructed or insufficient plumbing vents, a blockage between the home and the septic tank, or an insufficient pitch in the sewer line leading from the house are all possible causes. Sewage tank to leach field connection Septic tank and leach field blockage caused by a closed or damaged tank outlet, a plugged line leading to the leach field caused by tree roots, or a blockage caused by sediments that overflowed from the tank Piping in the leach field.

Most of the time, tree roots do not make their way through the gravel bed and into the perforated pipe.

Reduced flows, achieved through the use of flow restrictors and low-flow faucets and fixtures, may be beneficial.

Because of the seasonal high water table, the soil around the trenches might get saturated, reducing the soil’s ability to absorb wastewater.

This may frequently be remedied by adding subsurface drains or curtain drains to intercept the water flow into the leach field region and to lower the water table in the immediate area around the drainage system.

Likewise, see: In order to do a perc test, who should I hire?

Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime?

Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test?

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