How Septic Systems Work – If your house has a septic system, it immediately goes to work anytime a toilet is flushed, a shower is turned on, or a washing machine or dishwasher finishes up a load. The waste from your drains collects together in one pipe (called an inlet pipe) and enters the septic system through the top of the septic tank.
As the amount of waste builds up, it is allowed to flow back out of the tank through an exit pipe, which is also located on the other side of the top of the tank. While it sits in the septic tank, solid waste is prevented from flowing into the drain field by an outlet tee and a filter until it is and broken down by naturally occurring bacteria and becomes small enough to flow through the outlet pipe and into the drain field (also called a leach field), along with the liquid waste. If you have a mound system (one where the drain field is up higher than the septic tank), the liquid first flows into a pump chamber and then into the drain field. From the drain field, the water is distributed through a set of pipes with holes in them into your yard, becoming fertilizer for your grass and plants.
Some items are much harder (or even impossible) for the septic tank to break down, and that’s why you should keep them out of your drains, including fat & grease, hazardous chemicals, feminine hygiene products, cigarettes, paper towels, baby wipes (even if they say they’re flushable), chopped up or stringy food, kitty litter, coffee grounds, medications, and paint. If these items make their way into your septic tank and cause a clog, it could cause the need for septic tank pumping or even replacement.
At Lee Kirk & Sons Septic in Lakeland, Florida, we are fully licensed for septic tank installation, septic tank cleaning, septic tank pumping, drain field repair, and more.