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Installing A Septic System
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

A septic system is an onsite system designed to treat and dispose of domestic sewage. A typical septic system consists of two major components: a septic tank and a drain field. A septic tank is where waste water flows to from the house. The treated waste water then travels to the drain field. The drain field then distributes waste water into trenches. The water is then slowly infiltrated into the soil, separating the bacteria. The purified water then either evaporates or becomes ground water.

Several things need to be considered when selecting the type of septic tank you want to install. You must consider the size of your lot, the depth of your soil, and the perk rate of your soil. For new constructions, it is often a good idea to consider the ideal location of your septic tank before deciding on where to put your house.

The most common types of septic systems are gravity, pressure distribution, sand filter, and mound systems. Gravity systems let gravity drain the waste water into designated trenches. The size depends on the estimated daily waste water flow. There needs to be an efficient soil depth in order to have a gravity system installed.

The next three systems are installed when there is minimal soil depth. Pressure distribution systems use a pump and pressurized lines to drain the waste water. Sand filter systems use a sand containment vessel to make up for the lack of soil depth. Mound systems consist of a mound above ground with a network of pressurized pipes.

Possible problems with septic tank include the tank not having been pumped in several years, wet areas or standing water, backed up toilets, and septic odors. To avoid these issues make sure you fix leaks and drips, do not overload the system, and avoid pouring fats, oils, and coffee grounds down the sink. Also, make sure never to put paper products, besides toilet paper, down the toilet.

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