Septic systems consist of three main parts:
- The septic tank provides temporary storage for wastewater that allows bacteria to start the filtering process.
- Wastewater then enters the drain field that consists of gravel-lined trenches and perforated pipes or trenches with other types of products that allow wastewater to soak into the soil.
- Once the wastewater is in the soil, natural processes purify it before it is released back into the groundwater.
Your individual system may have other parts depending on the topography or system type.
Septic tanks should be pumped every 5 years. Limiting the amount of solids, fats, oils and greases that are added to your tank can help prevent clogging and reduce system failure. Pesticides, paints, solvents, disinfectants, and other household chemicals may kill the bacteria that helps purify the wastewater and should not be disposed of into a septic system. Remember that your toilets are not trash cans!