A septic tank system is a sub-arena of a sewage treatment plant (STP) where domestic wastewater is processed to provide safe drinking water. An artificial drain line, connected to the sewer lines, transports the wastewater to the drainage fields. The solid wastes settle and adsorb into the solid residue in the pipes while the biological matter floats and decomposes in the water. Separate from the solids, the anaerobic bacteria to degrade the organic matter to form an aerobic environment in which aerobic bacteria perform aerobic digestion of the waste.
Septic tanks are designed to manage and maintain the sewage treatment process and are normally located beneath the ground surface in a shallow and dry environment. A typical septic system consists of a number of chambers with drain field outlets. Normally, all chambers are above the ground level and connected via gravity to a main drain field. However, some systems include a specially designed subsurface chamber with a connection to the main drain field.
Septic tanks usually have a baffle and flow control valve installed at the discharge end. These control valves keep the discharge of treated sewage under control and ensure that no excessive flow of liquid reaches the drainage fields. If these valves are not properly maintained, there can be sudden and unplanned pressure drop and accumulation of solids in the pipe walls. This leads to blockage and subsequent failure of the pipe. Hence, it is advisable to check the condition of the baffle and flow control valve on a regular basis.
In case of minor leakage and blockage, homeowners can perform self-pumping of the septic tank. For doing this, a plastic hose is attached to the suction tank and when it comes in contact with the waste, it pumps the waste out. It is important to note that this should only be performed if the septic system is not full. Self-pumping can help you save a lot of money since the septic tank pump is one of the biggest drains on your monthly budget. However, it should be noted that the normal life span of the pump is not more than twenty years. Hence, you should always check with your local governing bodies or get professional help to extend the life of the pump.
Septic tanks are typically connected to a drainfield. Drainfield pipes carry all the waste from the house and channel it into a sewer system. While the septic system functions to pump the waste away from your home, the drainfield channels all human waste and liquid waste into the sewer system. It is the job of the drainfield to remove the waste from your property, through an underground sewer network. If the waste cannot move through the drainfield, it will settle at the bottom of the septic system, which can cause blockages.
The most common type of septic tank structure is the permeable layer under the soil absorption field. It is the only septic system type that allows liquids and gasses to go through the soil easily. In fact, the only liquid that can move freely through the septic system is water, since all other solids cannot penetrate the soil. The permeable septic system allows liquid and gasses to move freely into the soil and also absorbs all organic matter that moves through the septic system, including soil matter.