With all due respect, we’ve learned that “the customer is always right” doesn’t always apply in our line of business. People may argue that it’s perfectly fine to flush the occasional diaper, or they may mistakenly point out the kids’ goldfish graveyard instead of the septic field. And that’s OK—but our clients also have the right to be well informed, too. That starts by understanding the different parts of a septic system.
Some people have learned to identify a messed-up septic system the hard way, but how is it supposed to work? It takes waste out and away from your home and eventually into the soil, where it can be decontaminated naturally. But every point needs to be maintained so that the whole system doesn’t break down.
All the plumbing in your home is connected to one main pipe. The sinks, drains, tubs, toilets—they all combine on the way to your sewage disposal system, with a pit stop at the septic tank. That explains why you shouldn’t be flushing those diapers, makeup wipes, or toy boats; one blockage can affect your entire home.
This underground tank is usually made of polyethylene, fiberglass, or concrete to prevent leakage. It may hold 750 gallons or even up to 12,500. The wastewater settles here long enough for the solids to sink to the bottom and for oil and grease to float to the top. The liquid waste—or effluent, if you want to sound elegant—flows through a filter and out through another pipe. The sludge and scum—no great word for that—is contained until your septic contractor safely removes it.
The effluent travels to the distribution box, a kind of hub that dispenses the wastewater evenly across the drain field through a network of multiple pipes. That way, every area of the field gets its fair share. When the distribution box isn’t working properly, the waste can overwhelm the drain field’s soil, and that’s never good.
The effluent is carried through a series of trenches anchored with rock or gravel and covered with mesh and dirt. Perforated pipes use these to deliver liquid evenly so that it can percolate into the soil. This natural method removes harmful bacteria, pathogens, and even viruses. Some of the liquid is absorbed, and some evaporates. The partially treated effluent is pushed farther out each time new wastewater enters the tank.
If the drain field gets too much wastewater at once, it can back up all the way into the home. When the system is working properly, the soil microbes cleanse the waste and filters what’s left down to the groundwater.
All the different parts of a septic system are out of sight and out of mind, and our job at Brandon Septic is to keep it that way. We’re a small family company committed to installing, pumping, and maintaining your system so that you never need to think about it. If you’re in the Brandon, Florida, area, call us at (813) 643-4642, because we want your stinkin’ business.