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What are Septic Tanks and Their Purpose A septic system performs a crucial function for any home or establishment and yet most of us do not know exactly how they work. Usually, septic tanks are very low in maintenance, but once something goes wrong, it can be very tricky and expensive. For this reason, it is necessary for us to have a basic background information about septic tanks to avoid facing such concerns in the future. To start with, let us have an idea on what is a septic system. A septic system is described as a small scale sewage treatment system used in places that are not connected with a government or private company with a sewage system operation. Mostly used in homes and farms in rural areas, these septic systems are created since it is too costly in these areas to connect to sewage mains that are too far away. The septic system works by pumping waste water from different facilities like bathrooms, kitchens and laundry, into the effluent tanks, process the waste, and disperse it onto a septic drain field. An important part of the septic system then is the septic tank which essentially can hold water between 4000 to 7500 litres of wastewater. The septic tank is usually buried under the ground and it has a connection to an inlet pipe on one end where sewage will flow in, and a septic drain on the other end where filtered wastewater will flow out. The latest design of septic tanks feature two chambers separated from each other by a dividing wall with openings located in the middle between the bottom and top of the tank.
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The first chamber of the effluent tank receives the wastewater that enters it, then the solids settle to the bottom of the tank while the scum floats to the top. The solids at the bottom usually will just decompose and float into the water. The solids and scums stay in the first chamber while the liquid travels from the first chamber to the second chamber passing through the openings in the dividing wall. Settlement of liquid usually occurs in the second chamber, and through the settlement process, the liquid is almost clear here before being drained from the tank to the septic drain field or seepage field.
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Imagine the septic drain fields as trenches that contain perforated pipes and some porous material like gravel. In order to avoid animals from contacting these wastewater, the field is covered with layers of soil. On the other side, the wastewater is transferred to the gravel through the perforated pipes thus removing the contaminants and impurities. Generally, a septic system is powered via gravity condition, however, if topography is not conducive to this system, you can introduce a pump to the system.