The wastewater that drains from your home is called effluent and consists of blackwater, which is toilet waste, and greywater, which is sink, shower and laundry waste. The effluent flows from your house into an undeground tank called a septic tank. The septic tank is watertight and contains two separate compartments.
Solid waste settles into a sludge layer on the bottom and fats float to the top of the first compartment. Between these two scum layers is a zone of clarified liquid effluent which is internally piped to the second
compartment of the septic tank for additional settling. As incoming sewage from the house fills the first compartment, clarified liquids are forced to leave the second chamber of the septic tank and flow out to the leach field or leach pit. The typical leach field is a series of shallow rock filled trenches where effluent is further treated as it slowly percolates through the soil.
Septic tanks are generally made of concrete and the size varies depending on the size of the home or building they are servicing.
As a rule of thumb, the following guidelines can be used.
Most jurisdictions have requirements on the size and type of septic tanks in a particular area.
A properly maintained septic system can last for decades, or even a lifetime.
For more information on septic systems and tips on keeping your system healthy and trouble free, read this free publication from the Environmental Protection Agency entitled A Homeowner's Guide to Septic Systems.
This handy guide explains how septic systems work and some dos and don'ts for maintaining your system.
If you suspect problems with your system, or just need routine maintenance, pumping, inspection or any other system service just contact Westwood Sanitation.
The professionals at Westwood Sanitation have the experience and expertise to solve your septic system problems with fast dependable solutions.