Understanding Septic Tank Services – What Homeowners Need To Know

septic tank

Septic systems are a common feature of homes, especially those in rural areas without access to public sewer systems. These self-contained wastewater treatment systems are designed to protect the environment.

They work by allowing waste to separate into layers. Solids sink to the bottom where bacteria break them down. Fats and other lightweight waste float to the top to form scum. Call us today to learn more about Septic Tank Pump Out Perth.

A septic system is a great alternative to sewer systems for homes that aren’t close enough to city lines. However, septic tanks and their surrounding drain fields must be kept in good condition to avoid sewage contamination. Prospective homeowners should work with a septic tank inspector to make sure the home’s septic system is safe and working properly before closing on a sale.

A home’s septic tank is an underground container that holds wastewater waste from the plumbing throughout the house. All of the plumbing from a home with a septic tank converges into one drain line that feeds into the septic tank. Inside the septic tank, heavy solids sink to the bottom of the tank while liquid waste pumps into the drain field. The septic tank also contains bacteria that break down the solid waste in the sludge layer. The liquid waste, called effluent, then flows into the drain field or leach field, where it filters through soil and watercourses.

The septic tank is usually made of either plastic or concrete material and can hold between 1,000 to 1,500 gallons. A homeowner needs to keep the tank empty so it doesn’t overflow. Overfilling a septic tank can cause wastewater to back up into the house, clogging pipes and contaminating the environment. A septic tank should be emptied every 3 to 5 years.

When a septic tank is full, the liquid waste is pumped out into the drain field or leach field through a perforated pipe called a riser. The septic tank may have a mushroom-shaped vent that looks like a plumbing vent but is designed to prevent odors and gases from escaping.

Bacteria inside the septic tank create gases, the most common being hydrogen sulfide which smells like rotten eggs. These gases must be vented to prevent the buildup of pressure that could halt or reverse the flow of wastewater. Typically, these gases are released through a pipe that has a slatted surface or a mushroom shape and is placed in the lid of the tank. The septic tank is linked to the home’s plumbing by a series of pipes that are usually buried in the ground. The drain field or leach field is a series of trenches where the liquid waste from the septic tank is filtered by the soil before it seeps into nearby watercourses or groundwater.

Drain Fields

A drain field, or leach field, is a shallow area of uncovered land that filters untreated wastewater into underground aquifers. It consists of perforated pipes surrounded by a gravel layer. Solid waste sinks in the tank and floats to the top, while liquid effluent rises and exits through an outlet baffle. When the wastewater reaches the drain field, it seeps through the soil, passing through a filter of rocks and dirt to remove any remaining impurities. It also helps to keep water from backing up into the house and protects the environment.

Homeowners should regularly inspect the septic system to spot problems early on. If sinks and toilets drain slower than usual or stop working, it could mean the septic tank is nearing capacity. It may also be a sign that the drain field has failed or needs to be restored.

Other signs of a failing drain field include sewage backup into the house, wet, soggy areas in or around the leach field and bright green grass over the area. If you notice any of these symptoms, call in a professional right away.

While the septic system is designed to handle wastewater, nothing is impervious to damage. What you put down your drains affects how well your septic system works, so take care not to flush harmful chemicals or medications, pour oil and grease, or use chemical drain openers. Reduce the amount of waste by limiting how much you use your garbage disposal, and make sure to equip hot tubs, whirlpool baths, and other household appliances with drain-limiting valves.

Don’t park vehicles on the leach field or in other parts of the yard, and only landscape with septic and drain field-safe plants. Large shrubs and trees with thick roots can break or puncture pipes, clog the surrounding soil, and disrupt the natural flow of wastewater. Ideally, a leach field should be relatively flat to prevent standing water or marshy areas. A septic technician can help you find the best location for your leach field.

Sewer Lines

Whether you live in a house with a septic system or a home with city sewer lines, your plumbing runs through the same main line. If this line becomes clogged or damaged, you’ll have a major problem on your hands that you should deal with quickly. A professional plumber will be able to assess the issue and set things right. However, before calling a professional, it’s important to understand the basics of your plumbing system and how it works.

Wastewater from your toilets, shower, bathtub, sinks, and washing machine (called blackwater) flows into the main drainage pipe that leads to the septic tank. Solids sink to the bottom of the tank and form sludge. Fats, oils, and grease float to the top of the tank, where anaerobic bacteria decompose them. The resulting liquid (called effluent) passes through a drain field reserve, which is a large area with perforated pipes and gravel that treat the wastewater.

Most house sewer lines are buried underground and are not easily visible. These pipes are typically four to six inches in diameter and are sloped downward to promote drainage. When they become clogged, it can be difficult to know what caused the blockage. A video line inspection is one way that plumbers can check for issues and find the cause of a clog in a sewer line.

Maintaining your septic system is an important part of keeping your family safe and healthy, and it requires regular care to keep it working properly. You can help by not flushing non-biodegradable items down the drains, and by avoiding using additives in your septic system. You should also avoid parking your car over the drain field since this can damage or clog the lines.

As with any type of plumbing, the best way to prevent sewer line problems is to have your drains and septic system inspected regularly. A professional will be able to identify potential problems before they cause serious trouble and recommend solutions such as a drain line cleaning or replacement. They will also help you develop a maintenance schedule to ensure your septic system is working correctly for years to come.


In homes that don’t connect to a public sewer system, there must be some way to dispose of waste. This is where septic systems come in. They’re underground chambers that receive wastewater from a home’s toilets, sinks, showers, and appliances. The water is pre-treated through a septic tank where solids and lighter waste are separated. The sludge settles to the bottom of the tank, and the oils and grease float to the top (known as scum). Bacteria in the tank break down these waste particles. The resulting wastewater, called effluent, trickles into an absorption field or disposal bed to be treated by soil and groundwater.

A septic tank should be pumped periodically to prevent overflows and backups. The frequency depends on septic tank size and the number of people in a household, as well as habits such as the use of garbage disposals or high-water-use appliances such as hot tubs and whirlpools. The tank needs to be pumped by a septage waste transporter that’s licensed with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The technician will locate the tank, expose its lid, and set up equipment to access its contents. Then they’ll insert a large hose into the tank through an access point and begin extracting its contents, including the liquids and sludge.

During the pumping process, the technician may also clean and flush the tank. He or she will also check the condition of the drain fields, septic pump, baffles, and vent pipes. Keeping your septic system in good condition reduces sludge buildup and extends the life of the tanks, pipes, and drain fields. It also helps protect the health of family members and prevents pollutants from entering drinking water and polluting the environment.

There are several things homeowners can do to keep septic systems in good condition, including reducing the amount of wastewater they use by upgrading plumbing fixtures and appliances to more water-efficient models. They should also avoid planting trees, shrubs, and other long-rooted plants or structures over the septic tank or drain fields. This prevents roots from growing into the septic system and clogging pipes.