graphic of a septic tank showing how they work

How Your Septic System Works

A septic system is an underground wastewater treatment system commonly used in rural areas where municipal sewer systems are not available. It consists of a septic tank and a drain field, also known as a leach field or soil absorption system. In this post, we will explain how a septic system works.

Septic Tank

The septic tank is a watertight container that receives and treats wastewater from your home. The tank is usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene and is buried underground. Wastewater enters the tank through a pipe called an inlet, where the solids settle to the bottom and form a layer of sludge. The remaining liquid flows out of the tank through a pipe called an outlet, which leads to the drain field.

Drain Field

The drain field is a series of perforated pipes or chambers buried underground that disperse the liquid from the septic tank into the surrounding soil. The soil acts as a natural filter, removing harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the wastewater. The drain field should be located in an area with well-draining soil and enough space to accommodate the size of the septic system.

How it Works

When you use water in your home, it flows through the pipes and into the septic tank. The solids settle to the bottom of the tank, and the liquid flows out into the drain field. The liquid is absorbed by the soil, where it is naturally treated and purified. The septic tank needs to be pumped periodically to remove the accumulated solids.


Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the proper functioning of a septic system. Septic tanks should be pumped every 3-5 years, depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it. Additionally, you should avoid flushing non-biodegradable items down the toilet, limit your water usage, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can kill the beneficial bacteria in the septic tank.

In conclusion, a septic system is a reliable and efficient wastewater treatment option for rural areas without access to municipal sewer systems. By understanding how it works and following proper maintenance procedures, you can help ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your septic system. For more information, contact Darrell Crews Septic Tank Service today.


  • High water alarm going off...ensure there is power to the pump.
  • Clogged filter...unfortunately filters clog up over time. If your tank has been pumped within the last year and you are still seeing slow drains you may want to check your filter to ensure it is not causing water to back up.

Improperly Functioning Systems and Potential Causes

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Darrell Crews Septic Tank Service
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(904) 923-1241
10626 James Crews Rd
Sanderson FL, 32087