Septic 101

How does your septic tank operate?

  • The tank's job is to protect your drainfield or other components from becoming clogged by solids suspended in wastewater.

  • Lighter solids such as grease, oils, and toilet tissue form the scum layer.

  • Heavier solids and decomposed waste fall to the bottom to form a sludge layer.

  • A solid outlet baffle and regular cleaning ensure a nominal amount of solids enter your drainfield.

  • Above is a cross section of a septic tank that is due for service based on the level of scum and sludge.


How does my drainfield operate?

  • Drainfields are constructed in permeable soils.

  • Trenches are excavated and filled with stone. Perforated pipe is laid on top of the stone and is then covered with a few more inches of stone.

  • Geo fabric is used to cover the stone so that dirt and debris does not infiltrate the drainfield when it is backfilled.

  • Grey water leaves the tank, flows through the perforated pipe, filters through several feet of stone, and then percolates through the soil that lies beneath the stone.