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 . 

Types of Septic Systems: Some Tip from a Marlowe Plumber

When it comes to septic systems, there are probably more options for your Marlowe home than you realize. To a certain extent, the type of septic system you choose is determined by the particular conditions around your home. But it is worth learning about the various options so that you can make an informed decision about the kind of system you would like to have.

The more conventional types of septic systems fall into two categories – gravity and pressure distribution. A gravity system, as its name implies, makes use of the force of gravity to drain away waste from your home and into a drainfield.

Gravity systems use gravity to help treat the waste as well, so this type of system requires that you have a particular type of soil and enough space below the ground to allow for proper filtering. If the water table or a layer of hardpan is too close to the ground’s surface around your home, a gravity system may not be an option for you.

Another conventional option is a pressure distribution system. In this setup, a pump regulates the flow of waste from a storage tank to the drainfield. This is the optimal setup if you do not have enough below ground space for a gravity system as the pump makes sure that only the proper amount of waste can enter the drainfield at once and that the waste is distributed evenly when it is pumped in.

There are also several alternative types of septic systems. For instance, mound septic systems are another option to consider when you do not have enough space below ground for a gravity system. In a mound system, the drainfield is actually placed above the surface of the ground and a pump regulates the flow of waste to the field. This allows for adequate treatment before the waste reaches the water table.

Also an option in this type of situation is a sand filter system. This type of septic system incorporates a sand filter holding tank to treat waste before it is allowed out into the drain field. It is another way to make up for the fact that there may not be enough soil to provide adequate filtration but does not require that you build up a mound of earth on your property.