A septic tank is a watertight chamber made of concrete, fibreglass, PVC or plastic, through which domestic sewage flows for primary treatment. This process primarily breaks down solid waste. Septic systems are one kind of onsite sewage facility or OSSF, and are often used in areas that are not connected to a city or town sewer system like many areas of Citrus County.
Most tanks are between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons. One pipe is connected to a wastewater pipe that comes from your home or facility while the other to a septic drain field. Everything is connected with a special type of pipe that allows liquid to enter and exit without disturbing anything on the surface.
The design of newer septic tanks usually includes two separate chambers, each equipped with a manhole cover, and separated by a dividing wall with an opening in the middle.
Septic Drain Field
The term “septic” refers to the type of environment that develops in the tank as the waste decomposes. Once the waste is treated by the septic tank, the remaining liquid is often disposed of in what is called a septic drain field which provides further treatment. (Pictured to the left)
How does a septic tank system work?
Wastewater enters the first chamber of the tank, allowing solids to settle and liquid to float. The settled solids naturally break down which reduces the volume of solid waste over time. The liquid component moves to the second chamber, where further settlement takes place. The excess liquid, now in a relatively clear condition, then drains into the septic drain field.
The remaining sewage is trapped and eliminated in the soil, through evaporation, and/or by uptake through the root system of plants. This is why the grass is often greener over a septic system and drain field.
Maintaining & Emptying Your Septic Tank
Although most of the waste naturally disposes. The waste that does not decompose must eventually be removed from the septic tank. This is where we come in!
Otherwise the septic tank fills up and undecomposed sewage leaks directly to the drainage field. Not only is this detrimental for the environment but it may clog the leach field piping, requiring expensive repairs.
A septic tank is emptied by a pump on a vacuum truck with a tank (pictured right). The frequency that the septic tank must be emptied depends on the volume of the tank, the temperature, and the amount the septic system is used.
For example, an older system with an undersize tank that is being used by a large family will require much more frequent pumping than a new system used by only a few people. One other benefit of getting your septic tank pumped frequently is that your tank will rapidly become more efficient when it is pumped.
About Brooks Septic
This is probably more than you cared to know about what happens after you flush. 🙂 If you are having trouble with your septic tank or think you might need a pump or repair, give us a call at (352) 644-3341. We’d be happy to check it out for you.
Brooks Septic is locally owned and operated by Citrus County natives. Although located in Inverness, FL, we service all of Citrus County and offer emergency 24 hour service as needed. We are licensed and insured, certified by Florida Department of Health, authorization number SA0061348.