Standard Septic System – Four Components
(aka Conventional Septic System)
1) Pipe From House
All water used in your home leaves your home through pipe that eventually leads to your septic tank.
2) Septic Tank
The septic tank is a watertight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene and it is buried in the ground. It holds the household wastewater long enough so that solids settle to the bottom of the tank (forming sludge) and grease, and fats float to the top (forming a scum layer). The middle layer is the wastewater or effluent. This is the portion that should travel to the drainfield for additional treatment and dispersal. To prevent solids, grease and fat from traveling into the drainfield, compartments and T-shaped outlet pipe are used inside the tank.
The wastewater or effluent exits the tank and is discharged into the drainfield. This is where the effluent is further treated by the soil. Wastewater enters the drainfield every time “new” wastewater from the home enters the tank. For example, a gallon in equals a gallon out
Once the wastewater is discharged to the drainfield, the wastewater then percolates through the soil which provides final treatment by removing harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients before entering into groundwater.
What You Can Do To Protect Your Septic System
- Regularly inspect and maintain your system. Periodically pump out tank once every 3 to 5 years.
- Use water efficiently.
- Understand how your septic system works and how to properly use and maintain it.
- Do not dispose of any hazardous products in sinks or toilets.
- Read the EPA Homeowner’s Guide to Septic Systems.
Print a copy of our Septic System Pump Out Record Form, and keep an up-to-date report on your septic tank.