Chambersburg, PA Plumber’s Guide: How Septic Systems Work

Your drain and sewer system is responsible for the disposal of your wastewater outside of your home and into your municipal waste management system or into your septic tank. The septic tank is responsible for sifting through the organic waste, and allowing the water to drain into the drain field. Knowing the ins and outs of your private water treatment system can go a long way towards recognizing when it’s not operating properly. And this is the first step to solve your septic tank problems. The next step is calling your local septic system expert for repair and maintenance services. Larry & Sons offers comprehensive plumbing services in the Chambersburg, PA area. Call us today!

A septic tank is a large concrete or steel tank buried in your yard. It typically holds about 1000 gallons of water. There is an input receiving waste from the home and an output moving water into the drain field. The key to a properly operating septic tank is the way it separates your organic waste into distinct layers. Scum floats to the top and sludge to the bottom. The majority of the contents is relatively clear water, which contains nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, and chemicals. This is basically what the inside of your septic tank looks like. Now what, you may ask, prevents the gases of your septic from venting back up through your house? Most homes have a ventilation pipe through which the gases exhaust, as they are blocked by the loops of pipe known as P-traps.

The various branches that collect the wastewater from your kitchen and bathroom band together into a large disposal pipe that leads to the septic tank. New water displaces the old, and pushes it out into the drain field, which is basically a trench full of perforated pipes and gravel. Septic tanks are powered by gravity, which is why it’s known as a passive system.

We hope that helps to clarify some of your questions and concerns about the basics of the home septic tank, although they will vary depending on the size of your home and its property layout. For all of your septic tank installation, repairs, and maintenance in Chambersburg, PA, call Larry & Sons .