How Does a Septic System Work?

good morning today we're going to talk

about septic systems and we're going to

do a septic system repair when we set

the tank that I'm standing over the

first a septic system is is a pretty

cool part of your plumbing system it

naturally takes the waste from your

house your sewage and purifies it back

into the groundwater system everything

that you flush down your toilet send

down your sink let out of your bathtub

what goes from your washing machine ends

up in the ground in your back or front

yard you have a septic tank and it does

it naturally the septic system actually

filters bacteria and pathogens out of

the sewage and it naturally goes back

into the groundwater systems that's kind

of cool you think about it no chemicals

no treatment just nature doing its thing

this is a typical septic system here

this pipe comes out of your house into

your septic pipe hit your main sewer

line everything that goes down your

drains and your toilets comes out of

that and the septic tank it is treated

by bacteria we'll explain that in a few

minutes and a liquid sewage cause call

called affluent exits to tank and goes

out into an affluent dispersal or

disposal system which in this case is a

drain field okay the drain field

consists of perforated pipe trenches

that have stone in it and soil on top of

those trenches and what's called a

distribution box so the distribution box

evenly distributes the affluent to the

various legs of the drain field I

personally think the heart of a septic

system is the septic tank that's where

all the magic happens so to speak and

it's pretty interesting because it all

happens naturally the sewage from your

house enters the tank goes through

what's called an inlet offal and then

the liquid that goes to your drain field

exits through an outlet baffle the

outlet baffle as you can see keeps comb

from getting into that outlet and also

as the sludge and the bottom of the tank

comes up or rises in the tank that

sludge could get out into

your drain field and clog it up and then

then you're really in trouble because

you're gonna be spending big bucks to

replace your drain field what happens is

is there's bacteria in the tank that

breaks the sewage down to a sludge and a

liquid sewage the scum is actually

everything that you put into your drain

lines flush down your toilets that you

shouldn't put there it's grease and oils

from cooking it can be dental floss baby

wipes feminine products is just dust as

the bacteria is not going to break down

those things getting into your drain

field yeah they're bad for it too so be

careful what you flush down your toilet

in addition when the guy comes to pump

your tank out he's going to see what you

flushed down your toilet and like the

embarrasses typically we have a an

opening over top of the inlet baffles

one over top of the outlet pakil and on

top of the septic tank itself is a

square lid that's about 24 inches by 24

inches that can be brought up to grade

with a manhole we used to just install a

six-inch clean-out pipe over top of the

inlet novel and that's where the septic

tank get pumped out up right now as you

can see if you're just putting a hose

down through that plate you're going to

select the sludge out here but you're

not going able to get all the sludge

over here so you're not going to get the

tank cleaned out great whereas if you

have a manhole over your tank the honey

dipper can put his hose down and he can

move it around all along the bottom of

the tank and really clean it out you

should get your septic tank cleaned out

about every three to five years don't

want to do it every year because it can

overdo it

that bacteria after you clean your tank

needs time to grow and then do it sting

by breaking your sewage down into liquid

sewage and flood that's basically how

your septic tank works feel free to give

Apple plumbing a call if you have any

questions if you want to make any

repairs or if your drain lines or tanks

gets clogged up

for you