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What Is a Septic Tank?

The septic tank is a buried container that receives wastewater from your toilets, laundry rooms and kitchen sinks. It separates gray and black wastewater, with solid waste settling to the bottom in the form of sludge while oil and grease floats to the top. The liquid wastewater (effluent) exits the tank through a drain field or absorption system. Contact Septic Tank Armadale now!


The cost of owning a septic system can vary depending on the size and type of tank, as well as installation costs. Septic tanks are available in several different materials, with concrete being the most popular due to its durability and low cost.

In addition to the price of the tank, the cost of installation includes excavation and site preparation, as well as piping and other materials. On average, septic tank installation costs around $10,000 or more. This figure is higher for aerobic septic systems, which are more expensive than conventional septic tanks.

A septic tank connects to a drain field, or leach field, via a pipe that is buried underground. The drain field is a big, open area in your yard that is used to absorb wastewater from your home. The drain field is designed to filter and treat the sewage before it goes back into the environment.

Generally, septic tanks require pumping every three to five years. This is a vital preventative maintenance service that can save you hundreds of dollars in potential plumbing repairs. The pumping process involves a company that comes with a giant truck equipped with a septic tank pump. The septic tank pumping company will empty the septic tank, and the sewage will be hauled away to a sewage treatment plant.

If you are considering buying a home with a septic system, be sure to ask about the cost of pumping and maintenance. It is also important to consider the benefits of having a septic system, including lower property taxes and no municipal sewer fees. However, it is critical to know that a septic system can leak, which could cause groundwater contamination and pose health risks for those who drink well water.

Having a septic system can be an excellent choice for homeowners who want to live in a rural setting. If you are thinking about moving to a rural location, be sure to speak with your plumber about the pros and cons of septic systems before making any major purchases. While the initial investment of a septic system can be high, the cost of maintaining it will pay off in the long run.


As a homeowner with a septic tank, it is your responsibility to keep your home free of waste and odors. This includes keeping the tank in good condition, having it inspected and cleaning periodically, and preventing any clogs from occurring. Keeping up with this maintenance routine will save you money in the long run and prevent the need for costly repairs.

A septic system works with natural bacteria to break down household waste and dispose of it into the drainfield. These organisms are vital to the function of your septic tank, so it is important to protect them by not flushing anything other than sewage and human waste. Various cleaning products, like bleach and household cleaners, can kill these organisms or damage the tank itself. If you must use these products, try to find a product that is plant-based and does not contain any bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Keeping up with septic tank maintenance includes having it inspected and cleaned periodically, usually once a year. A professional will check the pipes and tank for leaks, proper ventilation, and the presence of scum and sludge. They will also inspect the drainfield for any clogs or other problems.

The septic tank must be pumped out regularly to keep it from becoming full and overflowing into your house. This is typically done every three to five years, but may be more frequently if your household generates more waste. You can tell the tank is full if your drains are slower than usual or there are water puddles above it.

It is also recommended to have an effluent filter installed, which filters the liquid as it exits the septic tank, capturing suspended solids and reducing the amount of sludge. You should also avoid putting anything else down the drains that could contaminate the effluent, including paper toweling, facial tissue, cigarette butts, baby wipes, grease, oils, detergents, paint, thinners, pesticides, gasoline, and medicine.

When hiring a septic company, make sure to get a price estimate before they begin the job. The cost of a septic tank pump will vary based on the size of the tank and the number of people in your household, so be prepared to pay more if you have a large family.


After passing through your home’s plumbing system, wastewater collects in a septic tank. These tanks can be a concrete, fiberglass or metal box that holds anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of waste. They can be installed in a shallow, open space or deeper underground where the soil is more dense. Once the tank is in place, it’s connected to the house and a drain field through pipes. The tank is inspected and sealed to make sure it’s watertight before being backfilled with gravel and topped with soil.

Before installation, the site where the septic tank will be located must be cleared of any obstructions. It also needs to be accessible by large, heavy machinery. This process can be expensive and time-consuming, so it’s important to consult a professional. They can help you determine how much space you need and recommend the best septic tank material for your home’s unique situation.

Once the septic tank is installed, it’s connected to the house and the drain field through inlet and outlet pipes. It’s then buried in the ground and covered with dirt to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The installer will also dig tracks for the sewage pipes in the drain field. Once everything is in place, the contractor will inspect the installation to make sure it’s watertight and safe to use.

Septic tanks are a great way to treat your household waste, but they’re only as effective as the drainage system that surrounds them. A poorly designed septic system can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and clean-up. That’s why it’s important to have a qualified, professional technician install your septic tank.

Once the septic tank is installed, you’ll need to have it pumped periodically to remove the solid waste that builds up inside. A septic tank pumping company will come with a truck equipped with a large tank and giant suction hose that “sucks” up the sewage into their truck for transport to a septic processing plant. You can avoid expensive septic tank repair costs by having a septic tank inspection regularly.


A septic tank collects wastewater from toilets, sinks, garbage disposals and washing machines and holds it underground. The liquid waste exits into a buried drain field, while the solid waste sinks to the bottom of the septic tank. This system needs routine maintenance and emptying to avoid costly problems. A septic system that isn’t properly maintained can produce foul odors, slow drains and backups, gurgling sounds in the plumbing and puddles on the lawn. If you notice these issues, contact a plumber right away.

The first sign of trouble is water that takes longer than usual to drain from the sinks, bathtub or shower. This may indicate that an obstruction is clogging one or more of the household drain lines that lead to your septic tank. It could also mean that the tank is full and needs to be pumped out.

If sewage backs up into the house or there’s standing water on the property, it’s important to turn off all of the home’s drains. This will prevent any more wastewater from entering the system and causing further problems. Next, it’s a good idea to remove the septic tank access cover and see what the problem is. It may be as simple as a clogged effluent filter or trouble with the solid waste baffle. It could also be a system problem, such as cracks in the pipe or tank, or an issue with the leachfield.

Some septic tank problems require professional help, but other problems are easily prevented with consistent maintenance. This includes avoiding items that don’t belong in the septic system, such as paint, cleaning products, grease traps and cat litter. Adding a septic tank treatment to your regular cleaning routine is another great way to keep your septic system healthy. DOWN JOHN treats, protects and supercharges your septic system so it’s more efficient and less likely to fail. With DOWN JOHN, you’ll save money on septic tank repairs and avoid unpleasant odors in your home.