What is a septic tank?

What Is a Septic Tank?

It’s a simple question with a pretty simple answer, but many homeowners and renters probably aren’t even really aware of it.

We don’t normally give much thought to septic tanks, which is how things should be. If you’re thinking about it, that’s probably because there’s a problem – and septic tanks are not something you want there to be a problem with.

Thinking about Where Wastewater Goes

Understanding what a septic tank is starts with thinking about your drains: do you ever think about where those go? Most of us just flush, rinse, and pour and let the pipes do the rest, but all that has to go somewhere!

That somewhere is probably your septic tank (though not everyone has one). This is a large, heavy container buried in the ground somewhere near your home where all your home’s pipes come together. Everything you put into those pipes ends up there.

From there, you have four basic elements that work together: the pipe that runs out of your home, the septic tank, the drain field, and then the soil. The pipe carries everything to the septic tank, and the drain field and soil end up with much of the harmless elements that end up in the septic tank.

What a Septic Tank Does

Inside the tank there’s a lot of chemical processes going on, including decomposition of the waste from your home. What’s left remains in the tank – which is why it needs to be tended to from time to time, and why a poorly maintained one ends up spewing back some very unwanted materials.

Those are the basics of septic tanks, but there is, of course, a bunch more to it than that. The main thing is to remember that these aren’t “out of sight out of mind” types of things, even though you can go a long time without having to think about them. When the time comes to do something about it, though, remember that Reeves is here to keep all the bad stuff where it belongs – out of your home!

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