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Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Septic System?
Buried beneath your back yard, it is out there—constantly working. When you’re at work, it is working. When you’re eating dinner, it continues working. And when you’re sleeping, it’s still out there in the dark—working. What is it? Your septic system. It may be the most overlooked and undervalued utility in your home; but with proper care and maintenance, your septic system can continue to work for you for at least 25 to 30 years.
If you are like most homeowners, you probably never give much thought to what happens when waste goes down your drain. But if you rely on a septic system to treat and dispose of your household wastewater, what you don’t know can hurt you. Proper operation and maintenance of your septic system can have a significant impact on how well it works and how long it lasts, and in most communities, septic system maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowner.
There are two main parts to the basic septic system: the septic tank and the leachfield/drainfield. Household wastewater first flows into the septic tank where it should stay for at least a day.
In the tank, heavy solids in the wastewater settle to the bottom forming a layer of sludge, and grease and light solids float to the top forming a layer of scum.
The Leach Field
The separated wastewater in the middle layer of the tank is pushed out into the leachfield as more wastewater enters the septic tank from the house.