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Septic System Basics: How does it work?

septic system under construction

Moving into a home with a septic system is common in many of today’s residential areas. Understanding how a septic system works is beneficial so that you can help it to work appropriately, know when things go awry, and know what to do if problems occur.

There are different design variations of septic systems, but they all perform the same primary function: to process household wastewater into a cleaner effluent that can be evenly distributed beneath the ground and blended with groundwater without creating a health hazard. Basically, homes on septic systems have their own onsite sewage facilities. Most septic systems are passive systems with the following components:

  • An inlet pipe: an inlet pipe carries the household water from the home to the septic tank. When a toilet is flushed inside a house, the wastewater flows from the house through an inlet pipe into the septic tank, which is downhill. Gravity allows wastewater to move through the inlet pipe into the septic tank.
  • The Septic tank: the septic tank is a “holding tank” full of living microorganisms called anaerobic bacteria. Some of the material in the septic tank floats while other material sinks to the bottom. The bacteria in the tank multiplies with the waste that enters the tank, and the bacteria get to work “eating” the organic matter in the septic tank. As the floating layer is eaten, the remains fall to the bottom. The floating material that remains in the wastewater is then carried out of the tank to the drain field (also called the leach field).
  • The gravity drain field: The gravity drain field slopes downward and disperses the filtered water into the ground.

When a septic system is working properly, this process is a proven and safe method of handling wastewater from a home. Over time, the solid waste left inside the septic tank will collect at the bottom and will need to be pumped out after a few years.

If you own a home with a septic system, Septic Service Pro is your source for ongoing maintenance, tank pumping, repairs, and inspections. Contact one of our knowledgeable team members today for a free estimate or to schedule an appointment for your septic service needs.

Posted on behalf of Septic Service Pro

Our Customer Reviews

Septic Service Pro

5.0

Based on 117 reviews

Jim is a true professional who worked with me over months to identify and correct septic field problems. His positive attitude and helpful discussion in resolving issues is the best I found.

Railsetter

Mike and Shane came out and did an outstanding job on replacing our septic pump. Same day service - and they came out on a Friday evening! Mother's day would not have been very happy if they didn't save the day. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!

Jtgaston

We had our septic tank pumped and baffle tee replaced. The guys were on time, respectful and quick. They cleaned up very well after the job and even fluffed our pine straw to perfection!! We'd recommend these guys without hesitation.

Thutchatl

Michael and Shane did an awesome job. Had to pump the septic,install a new baffle tee and tail out line. Very little yard displaced. Will definitely use Septic Service Pro again. Very pleased.

Chodell

We live in Dawsonville. The crew that came out was very professional. The company owner explained to me the value and the many details about the septic that I did not know, that is why I chose them in the first place. Excellent service. R.McGary

Remltc

Jim and his crew installed a new leech field for us quickly and professionally at a very reasonable cost. They handled all of the permitting and inspections and completed the work in a timely manner. Would recommend them to anyone.

Jem30534

Michael and assistant pointed out a leaking toilet that I didn't know I had (saved me $ there!). They also disturbed very little of the yard to get to the tank. Not the super cheapest but no hard upsell when they got here. Very pleased.

Sandimac

The team was efficient, friendly, knowledgeable and FAST to arrive. The bill was extremely reasonable for the work needed to be done. I would HIGHLY recommend Septic Service Pro.

Mkgaskill

These guys were amazing. Jim and Mike came when they said they would, did the job, explained everything they did. Very courteous,and professional. I am a handicapped person and felt extremely comfortable with them at my home. Thank you!!!!!

Gundoctor

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Septic Service Pro Cumming, GA

Cumming Office

562 Lakeland Plaza, Suite 202
Cumming, GA 30040

(678) 899-6457

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6295 Holly Court
Buford, GA 30518

(678) 899-6457

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