How Does A Septic System Work?

So, you just bought your new home. You’ve moved in your furniture, set up your utilities, and repainted the walls. But there is so much else to do. Much like owning a car, you have maintenance to keep up with to avoid any costly repairs. One thing you need to keep up with is your septic system. Do you know how to maintain the septic system?

A lot of homeowners are pretty clueless when it comes to their septic. And that’s okay — you don’t need to be an expert, but it is important to have a basic understanding of how a septic system works, so you know what can go wrong.

To help you out, here’s a quick overview of a standard residential septic system, so you know when you need septic maintenance and repairs.

 

The Septic Tank

When you flush your toilet, wastewater travels through a network of pipes to your septic tank. From there, it slowly gets broken down.

 

Solid waste settles to the bottom of the tank, where it naturally decomposes. Light wastewater rises to the top of the tank as it breaks down and eventually moves on through the pipes. This process is all self-contained and doesn’t use any power.

That said, some alternative septic tanks use an air pump to speed up the decomposition process, which allows for a smaller tank. If you need to install a new septic tank, an alternative is a great option.

 

The Leach Field

When wastewater leaves the septic tank, it gets spread out into an open underground area known as a leach field.

There, the water is naturally filtered through the soil on your property. By the time it reaches groundwater, it is completely clean and safe — ready to re-enter the water cycle.

 

Maintenance and Repair

As long as you’re taking care of your septic system and investing in regular upkeep, it will function for as long as you own your home. Try to use water in your home efficiently, and never flush trash down your toilets.

Call septic system experts to schedule an inspection yearly to make sure your system is working correctly. This is also a good way to catch any problems before they start to get worse.

If you ever notice signs of septic damage, such as weak flushing, a funny odor, or water pooling in your yard, call a California septic contractor right away. The faster you have that damage fixed, the less you’ll have to worry about.