Septic System Components
A typical household sewage treatment system consists of a house sewer, septic tank, distribution box and absorption field.
House Sewer – The pipeline connecting the house and drain and the septic tank.
Septic Tank – Untreated liquid household wastes (sewage) will quickly clog your absorption field if not properly treated. The septic tank provides this needed treatment. When sewage enters the septic tank, the heavy solids settle to the bottom of the tank; the lighter solids, fats and greases partially decompose and rise to the surface and form a layer of scum. The solids that have settled to the bottom are attacked by bacteria and form sludge. Septic tanks do not remove bacteria and, therefore, what is discharged cannot be considered safe.
Distribution Box – Serves to distribute the flow from the septic tank evenly to the absorption field or seepage pits. It is important that each trench or pit receive an equal amount of flow. This prevents overloading of one part of the system.
Absorption Field – A system of narrow trenches partially filled with a bed of washed gravel or crushed stone into which perforated or open joint pipe is placed. The discharge from the septic tank is distributed through these pipes into the trenches and surrounding soil. The subsurface absorption field must be properly sized and constructed to assure satisfactory operation and a long life
In most rural areas and in many suburban residential areas, individual household sewage treatment systems are relied upon for the disposal of household wastes. Wherever possible, sewage should be collected in community sewers connected to a central treatment plant.
A household sewage treatment system will serve a home satisfactorily only if it is properly located, designed, constructed and maintained.
Operation and Maintenance
For tips and tricks for Septic System Maintenance . For more detailed information concerning special conditions in your area, contact your local health department.