What is septic and sewers system:
- Facilities to manage water and waste substances through pipes.
- Most common in rural areas.
- Usually installed underground in the backyard.
- Collect and treat wastewater to ensure safe disposal.
Professional Septic and Sewer System Installation and Maintenance
At West Michigan Septic Sewer and Drains, we have produced a complete guide that we hope answers this question on how does septic and sewer system function. This will greatly help in maintaining and handling residential and commercial waste disposal properly and economically for the benefit of the environment and public health.
How to find your septic system?
- Search for a copy of the “as-built” diagram of your septic system.
- Find your building sewer outlet pipe.
- Locate the septic tank outside.
- Dig to uncover the tank.
- Inspect and assess the condition of the tank and contents.
- Record the location of the septic tank and drain field.
Sign of a malfunctioning septic system
- Water and sewage from toilets drain and sinks are backing up into the home.
- Bathtubs, showers, and sinks drain very slowly.
- Gurgling sounds in the plumbing system.
- Standing water or damp spots near the septic tank or drain field.
- Bad odors around the septic tank or drain field.
- Bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank or drain field, even during dry weather.
- Algal blooms in nearby ponds or lakes.
- High levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water wells.
What is a Septic System And How Does It Work?
The septic system is efficient wastewater treatment. Septic is constructed in two parts:
1. Septic tank:
How does it work?
- First, the water and household waste from homes passed through the sewer pipe and reaches the septic tank.
- Household rubbish, water, body waste, and substances are treated on-site. Inside the tank, the wastes form into three layers.
- The scum or any light substance floats on the top layer.
- The clear water stays in the middle, while the sludge or heavy particles settle at the bottom.
- The middle layer which consists of purely liquid or clear water goes into the drain field.
2. Drain field:
What is a sewer and how does it work?
Sewer serves as a sewage transporter from houses and commercial establishments through pipes going to centralize treatment facilities. There are three types of sewer systems:
- Effluent Sewer or Solids-Free-Sewer (SFS) has septic tanks that collect sewage from households and businesses. The solid wastes stay inside the tank and only wastewater comes out and goes to the centralized sewage treatment.
- Simplified Sewer or conventional sewerage is a sanitary sewer that collects household waste. It is consists of a small diameter of pipes.
- Vacuum Sewer is ideal for communities in low areas. It uses various pressures to pump the liquid to the central vacuum station.
Difference Between Septic and Sewer System
Where does the waste go?
- Septic System: The waste goes into a holding tank.
- Sewer System: Sewers lines carry waste to a treatment facility.
How does it work?
- Septic System: Bacteria break down the solid waste and the liquid effluent is then released into the drain field.
- Sewer System: The facility removes contaminants and then discharges water back into local water supplies.
What is the cost?
- Septic System: If buying a new home from a reputable new home builder, then the cost of the septic system is included in the price of the house.
- Sewer System: The cost to use a public sewer system varies depending on location. Some areas separate the cost of water and sewage, while others combine the two.
What type of maintenance is needed?
- Septic System: Depending on the usage, septic tanks need to be pumped out yearly or every few years.
- Sewer System: None
Who is responsible for the maintenance?
- Septic System: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the septic system.
- Sewer System: Your local municipality is responsible for maintaining the public sewer system.
What are the benefits?
- Septic System: If maintained properly a septic system generally has fewer ongoing costs.
- Sewer System: Sewer systems are very convenient and the homeowner has no responsibility for repairs.