What are Septic Tanks?
Septic tanks are underground waste disposal tanks, which are predominantly used in rural areas. In the areas in which a centralized waste management system is poor or absent, septic tanks are utilized for the safe disposal of the wastewater.
Septic tanks are not very common in urban areas, as waste is transported through the centralized sewerage system. They are used to treat the waste from the households; kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry drain.
A typical septic system consists of two pipes (inlet and outlet) connected to the septic tank, drainage field (soil absorption field).
A septic tank is a water-tight container usually made of concrete or polyethylene, buried underground. The water is collected through the inlet into the septic tank, in which the solid and liquid waste is separated. A septic tank has two compartments and T-shaped outlet pipes, which does not allow the sludge to enter the drainage field.
The septic tanks help in the digestion of the organic matter and separate the oils, grease, and solids substances from the water waste. The upper layer containing oils and grease is known as scum, the middle one is wastewater, and the last layer containing solids called sludge. Due to the presence of bacteria, the organic matter breaks down and releases water, which is drained easily.
The outlet takes the water to the drain field which releases the effluent (water) into the soil or the watercourses.
The drain field contains unsaturated soil which is shallow and covered. The water is discharged into the porous soil, which filters the wastewater. Percolation of the water takes place as it moves through the soil, eventually leading to the groundwater. If the water level increases in the drain field, it can overflow through the toilet or comes to the surface of the ground.
The alternative system consists of a pump chamber, which is also known as a pressure tank. It contains an electric pump that drains the effluent (wastewater) to the drain field for disposal. The pumps trickle the water through the sand, sludge, and other Media. It removes the disease-causing pathogens, phosphorous, nitrogen, and other contaminants from the water before draining it.
Process of installation of the Septic system:
- First of all, select the site where you want to install the Septic system and examine the soil for a percolation test.
- After the approval of the soil and designs from the relevant authorities, the system can be installed.
For Gravity fed system / conventional system:
- Take the equipment and tools for excavation.
- Find the place where you want to install a septic tank, relative to your building.
- Drill/ excavate the hole deep enough that the septic tank fits into it.
- Connect the inlet pipe to the tank and cover it with the gravel, once you get a green tag from the health inspector.
- For alternative septic system/ pressure tank
- After the installations of the septic tank, install the pressure pump.
- The electric motor installation requires a licensed electrician to satisfy the state regulations.
- The construction of such a system includes all the details of sewers outside the homes, location, and depth approved by the state department.
- Cover the pressurised lines and tank after the approval from the inspector.
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