Yesterday we took a look at water wells. That would be the fresh or clean water entering your home. Today we take a look at the……, well shall we say, “not so clean” water that leaves your home. By the way that water is politely referred to as effluent. No, no! We said effluent not affluent. We are talking about waste not money. J
Some of you build new homes in areas where you have town/city sewer systems. You are lucky and will have far fewer worries and problems. But, for the rest of us we all have to deal with a “Septic System.”
Every septic system starts with a Septic Tank. Basically every one of these tanks works exactly the same. Sure, there a modifications of the tank but none the less they are all virtually the same.
The effluent, also known as sewage, enters the tank as Raw Sewage at it most nasty stage. It is exactly what you think it is. Yup, you got it! That’s exactly what it is! (I’m hoping we do not need to go into a discussion of what makes up Raw Sewage)
Many of you might be asking why this is important. Well, your basic knowledge of how your septic system works will make life a lot easier and less expensive. The Septic is one of those things you should treat nicely and take care of.
As the Raw Sewage enters the tank the “solids” will fall to the bottom of the tank as sludge. The sludge is that part of the system that needs bacteria as it is the bacteria that will “destroy” the sludge. All this is a very natural and excellent way of cleaning up waste.
As you can see from the picture the sludge falls to the bottom and sewer water fills the tank, typically either 1,000 or 1,500 gallons of sewer water are in the tank. Every time you flush a toilet, run the water, take a shower, do laundry, or anything else that exact amount of water enters the tank and obviously that exact same amount of water must exit the tank.
In today’s picture the sewage enters on the left and exits on the right.
The complicated part of septic systems is “….where does the waste water go?” Stay tuned, that’s for another day.