How does a septic tank work?

How Does a Septic Tank Work?

In my last post I gave a pretty basic rundown of what a septic tank is, but didn’t go too far into how exactly they work. For all of you who are a little curious about where all the stuff you flush or wash down the drain ends up, this one is for you!

What Happens Inside a Septic Tank

Once all the wastewater from your home makes it into the septic tank, what you’re left with is some raw material and some lighter material. After the separation I mentioned before, you have a tank of septage, with “sludge” on the bottom and floating scum on top, sandwiched around effluent water.

What Happens Outside a Septic Tank

That effluent water then gets run back out into the drain field, somewhere safely above the water table but below the ground. This is nutrient-rich, so usually these areas will have thicker, greener grass than others.

As that water goes out, the tank makes room for more to come in. If all this happens too much too fast, you might see some flooding in the drain field.

What Happens Over Time

As you might realize, that leaves the sludge and scum still in the tank. This is where we come in.

Septic companies like Reeves have to come and pump out those remaining materials from the tank from time to time because they will continue to build up with no way of getting out. When people go too long without a pumping, that’s when things get really messy, and usually when that happens it’s too late for a quick pump.

So, be sure to have your septic tank checked on and pumped regularly. That’s what we’re here for!

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