• Septic Systems

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    The Septic System:

         The septic system is a small, on site-sewage treatment and disposal system buried in the ground.  The septic system is comprised of a septic tank and a soil absorption area.  When household waste material enters this box, several things occur:

                 

    Organic solid material floats to the surface and forms a layer of what is commonly called "scum"  Bacteria in the septic tank biologically convert this material to liquid.

    Inorganic or inert solid materials and the by-products of bacterial digestion sink to the bottom of the tank and form a layer commonly called "sludge."

    Only fairly clear water should exist between the scum and sludge layers.  It is this clear water-----and only this clear water that should overflow into the soil absorption area.

    Solid material overflowing to leach field should not be occurring.  It is this solid carryover which clogs the pores of the leach and causes systems to fail.  Two main factors are the cause for solid carry over.

    Bacterial deficiency

    Lack of sludge removal

    Bacteria must be present in the septic tank to digest the solids.  Normal household waste provides enough bacteria to digest the solids UNLESS any harm is done to the bacteria. Bacteria are very sensitive to environmental changes.  Many home-care products used in most homes every day will destroy bacteria.  Check the labels of the products you normally use. Any label carrying any of the following warnings will kill bacteria.

    Harmful or fatal if swallowed

    Avoid contact with the skin

    Do not get in open cuts or sores

    If comes in contact with eyes, call a physician immediately

    Many of these products are used in homes on a daily basis:

                          detergents        bleach             polishes

                          disinfectants     acids               sink & tub cleaners

                          cleaning compounds                 caustic drain openers

    These products kill bacteria, the bacteria which is necessary for proper septic operation.  When the bacteria is not present it can not digest and liquefy the scum.  The scum will then accumulate until it overflows into the absorption field.  The sludge in the bottom of the tank is not biodegradable and will not decompose.  If not removed, by pumping it will accumulate until it overflows into the absorption field.