How Does a Septic Tank Work?

Published: 23rd August 2010
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How Are Septic Tanks Made?

What happens each time you flush the toilet, throw water in the sink or vacate the tub of the water in it? Well, the water disappears. But, where does this water go? If you are a resident of a big city, you might say that it does to the sewage water treatment centre or the sewer. However, in places like Canada, where people live in small communities and in rural areas, they don't have access to any sort of sewage water treatment facilities or sewers. Hence, these citizens of Canada, besides many other people all over the world, a septic system is set up. This septic system processes and gets rid of the waste water. A septic tank is one thing which first treats the waste water and then releases the part which can be reused back into the ground. Septic tanks are also called onsite waste water systems.

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

Firstly, a septic tank gets the used waste water from a regular household use and it then proceeds to treat it until the waste water reaches a safe level. After that the tank returns the reusable part of the waste water to the ground water system. This reusable water is called effluent.

An Outline of the Septic System

The basic components of a septic system are:

- Sewer line

- Septic tank

- Leaching system or 'drain field'

How is the Septic Tank Made?

What are septic tanks? They are basically watertight structures made up of concrete, fiberglass and/or polyethylene. Initially, the septic tanks were made up of wood and steel. However, the disadvantage with steel septic tanks is that it rusts easily. Hence, if you live in an old house and have a steel septic tank, take the necessary precautions and make sure that it does not rust. Coz if your septic tank rusts, then you will have to replace the whole tank. On the other hand, the disadvantage with the wooden tank was that it will rot one day or the other. Hence, it does not have a long life. If you do have a wooden septic tank, it will have to be replaced as here is no scope of repairing it.

Septic tanks are buried beneath the ground and they come in different sizes. The type of treatment required by the water at your place and the amount of water disposed everyday are the factors which decide the size of the septic tank at your place. These septic tanks have about one or two compartments. This depends on the location and time of its installation. A basic septic tank comprises of a holding tank which is made out of concrete, fiberglass or even polyethylene.

The toilet tank flapper or the holding tank sustains the solid waste present in the waste water which has come from the household. The septic tank is then linked to an absorption system called a leach field. This leach field will then get rid of all the effluent water or the reusable water into the soil.

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