How the septic system works

“Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in rural areas without centralized sewer systems. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry.”

Septic tanks above ground

All conventional septic systems have a septic tank, which is usually a large buried rectangular or cylindrical container made of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene. Wastewater from all plumbing fixtures drains into the septic tank. Heavy solids settle to the bottom where bacterial action produces digested sludge and gases. Lighter solids that float such as grease, oils and fats, rise to the top and form a scum layer. Systems constructed before 1975 in King County usually have single compartment tanks. Those built from 1975 and on are usually two compartment tanks. This is important to know when having the septic tank serviced, as both compartments of a two-compartment tank need to be pumped.

Read more: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/environmental-health/piping/onsite-sewage-systems/maintenance/how-OSS-works.aspx

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