Septic System

The Septic System

The septic system is a natural process to treat and dispose of wastewater for homeowners who live outside of the service area of a municipal sewage system. Throughout the United States, there are approximately thirty million homes that utilize this system.

A typical gravity fed system is comprised of four parts – the house sewer, the septic tank, the distribution box and the absorption field which also goes by various other names including drainfield and leachfield.septic system 22 Sunny Hills Dr., Ste 101, Athens, GA 30601

The first part is the house sewer. This is the pipe or pipes that carry the wastewater to the septic tank. The wastewater that the system accepts is comprised of two types of waste. The first is called “blackwater” and is made up of toilet wastes. The second type of wastewater is called “greywater” and includes wastes from sinks, bathtubs, showers, laundry, and dishwashers. The average home with two baths and three residents will produce over 85,000 gallons of wastewater each year. It should be noted that there is some water, often called “clear water” that should not be discharged into the system. Water coming off roof is an example of this category.

The next component of the septic system is the septic tank. It provides the initial stage of treatment and does so by separating the solids and the liquids. This tank is generally made of pre-cast concrete or fiberglass. The size is usually determined by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Periodically to clean out the solids, septic tank pumping will be required.septic tank 22 Sunny Hills Dr., Ste 101, Athens, GA  30601

Wastewater usually stays in the tank at least twenty-four hours. During this time, the wastewater separates into three components with the heavier solids settling to the bottom to form sludge, lighter or floatables moving to the top and relatively clear water in between. Anaerobic bacteria which is able to live in an oxygen-free environment begin the process by breaking down the solids and generating a mixture of gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide which are vented through the vent on the roof of your house.

The distribution box is the next step in the process. Here the outflow from the septic tank is distributed evenly to the absorption or drain field. This ensures no one part of the drain field is overloaded.

The final treatment stage is the drain field. This is constructed of a series of trenches or beds into which a series of perforatd pipes. They are usually placed on a bed of gravel that holds the wastewater until it can be absorbed into the soil lying beneath and beside the trenches. Aerobic bacteria continues to work on the water to help deactivate any disease that may remain. Further filtration occurs as gravity pulls the water down through the various layers of soil. In laying the drain fields, it is important to ensure that the trenches are at least one to one and one-half feet above the gorundwater table to ensure adequate drainage. In some areas, like for example in flood zones, the traditional gravity fed septic system may not work sufficiently, advanced treatment systems would have to be employed. Such alternatives may include wetlands, sewage lagoons, adding oxygen to the water, chlorinating chambers or peat moss-based filtration chambers.Septic System Drain Field 22 Sunny Hills Dr., Ste 101, Athens, GA 30601

Armour Plumbing & Well Service
22 Sunny Hills Dr., Ste 101
Athens, GA  30601