All You Ever Wanted to Know about Septic Tanks (But Were Afraid to Ask)

by | Aug 8, 2012 | Plumbing and Plumbers

Most Arizona residents who own contemporary houses do not have very much trouble with their draining system unless the toilet is misused and overflows. When we use our bathrooms, waste magically disappears and we do not think about what becomes of it.

Not very many people outside of those who work at a plumbing service in Phoenix are familiar with sewage systems, septic tanks and waste management process. Unless we have a problem with our septic system or drains that necessitate the assistance of a plumbing service in Phoenix, we pay no heed. We simple pull a lever, the toilet swirls with a loud gush of almost magical intensity, and it all, quite nicely, simply disappears.

Actually, it’s not magic. For many households (about thirty five percent) waste is carried by hard water down our drains to merge into a single tube, the large intestine of the back yard, into a septic system. All the water that has been used in our dishwashers, washing machines, bathtubs, showers, sinks and toilets converge in one fell swoop and land into a tank, where a process of separation begins.

Knowing the differences of the waste that exudes from your household shouldn’t just be information relegated to your plumbing service. Phoenix residents who educate themselves begin to make a more responsible effort, so differentiating between the heavy waste and the lighter is good stuff to know.

The heaviest waste is called sludge and it sinks to the bottom of the tank. At the very top, the light particulate that consists of proteins, fat and oil forms a layer renowned the world over as scum. The stuff between the sludge and the scum is relatively clear gray water. Combined, all three components are conveniently called septage.

The gray water is effluent and seeps out of the tank through a set of pipes that are perforated with holes that allow the water to infiltrate the surrounding soil, which is fertilized by the organic matter that remains in the water while simultaneously filtering out the toxins. If you wonder where your septic tank is located, it’s probably in the one location where you were able to grow awesome tomatoes last season, or where the grass is greener.

Being familiar with your septic system is helpful in case problems arise and you catch them before things really get degenerate. A broken septic system can cost thousands of dollars to fix, so it’s a good idea to call a plumbing service in Phoenix at the first signs of malfunction.


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