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How Do Septic Tanks Work? All you need to know about!

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

If you’re planning to install a septic tank at your home, there must be a question on your mind. How do septic tanks work? So in this article, you will get an answer to your question. Keep in touch till the end for exciting knowledge about the septic tanks.

How do septic tanks work?

What a septic tank is?

A septic tank is a chamber that is usually made up of concrete, plastic, or glass fiber. Generally, it is buried under the ground to treat the wastewater flowing out of the home. Most commonly it is used in areas where no sewerage system is available like rural areas or on-site areas.

How do septic tanks work?

Particularly, septic tanks consist of two compartments. The waste coming from the home enters into the first compartment through pipes. The solid waste settles down in the bottom and the remaining waste passes to the next compartment. Similarly, in the second compartment, the remaining solid particles settle down the bottom to make water waste-free. The water is now clean from waste particles. This clean water then enters into the drain field, from where it gets absorbed into the groundwater.

Components of septic tank:

Mainly, a septic tank consists of three components. A septic tank, a drain field, and soil. Below are the details of every component.

Septic tank:

A septic tank is used to treat the wastewater coming down from home. The solid wastes present in the water settle down in the tank and the treated water overflows into the drain field. The solid wastes that settled down in the tank are decomposed by microorganisms present in the tank. The decomposition results in sludge buildup. This sludge reduces the active volume of the tank and the tank needs to be cleaned.

Septic drain field or Leach field:

After the treatment in the septic tank, the water in clear condition travels to the septic drain field also known as the leach field. It consists of a piping network, often laid in a stone-filled trench. It distributes the wastewater throughout the field with multiple drainage holes in the network. The size of the drain field depends upon the volume of wastewater generated. The septic drain field is surrounded by suitable soil.


The remaining impurities in water are eliminated in the soil. The excess amount of water is eliminated here in the soil. Some water absorbs into the ground, some water gets evaporated and some water is uptaken by plants roots. Also, some water gets entered into groundwater or surface-level water. A percolation test is required before the installation of the tank to ensure the porosity of the soil is adequate to serve as a drain field.

Cleaning a septic tank:

The solid waste that is not decomposed by the microorganisms must be removed by cleaning the septic tank. Otherwise, this sludge fills up the tank and becomes a reason for huge problems down the road. When the tank gets full, the wastewater with particles of the solid waste directly runs into the drain field. As a result of which clogging may occur in the drain field. Also, it will affect the porosity soil and as a result, it needs expensive repairs.


On average, the tank needs to be cleaned out every three to five years. However, a regular inspection will help in determining the time for cleaning. On average a septic tank needs inspection after every two to three years. But if your tank is outfitted with mechanical components, it needs an inspection every year. The cleaning of a septic tank depends on different factors related to the septic tank. Some of the factors include the size of a septic tank, size of the household, amount of water generated, etc. Also, it depends on the temperature inside the tank. Because it is responsible for the running of the micro organismic process in the tank. Cleaning the septic tank on regular basis will increase the life of the septic tank. Otherwise, if it gets late, it will prove itself so much expensive for you.


The cleaning of a septic tank consists of several steps. We have created an easy 10 steps guide for you.

  • First of all the process begins with assessing the septic tank.
  • Then the entire tank is disinfected with particular chemicals.
  • After that with the help of a sludge pump, all the sludge and scum has been pumped out.
  • Then using high precision equipment, all the sediments, dirt, stains, and fungus has been removed.
  • In the next step, a high-pressure jet is used to clean off the walls, ceiling, and floor of the sewage tank.
  • Step 5 is followed by a vacuum cleaning technique, used to suck out all the remaining dirt.
  • Afterward, an anti-bacterial spray or liquid bleach is used to completely disinfect the tank.
  • Ultra-Violet or UV radiations are on tank and the surroundings in order to get rid of any harmful bacteria.
  • Finally, the tank is completely drained and left for drying.
  • That’s it! Use your tank, it’s cleaned and ready to use.

Inspecting and cleaning a septic tank is not such an easy process. In other words, it is a difficult task for an ordinary person. However, with the help of professional services, it will become easy for you.

For a complete cleaning guide, visit: How to clean a septic tank?

Maintenance of a septic tank:

A well-functioning septic system needs cleaning after a particular time. But, it still needs regular maintenance after cleaning. Maybe you will not observe any problem with your septic tank. But when the tank gets overfull then the septic system will stop working properly. Solid material like sludge might get into the septic tank and out through the absorption line. After that, it may cause damage to the septic system.

Is your septic system checked and cleaned on regular basis to ensure it’s working efficiently? Modern septic systems have a maintenance contract to perform regular checks and cleaning of the tank. But for older septic tanks or traditional systems, you’ll need to arrange the checks and septic cleaning yourself.

It’s possible for everyone to check the septic tank’s sludge levels. But it’s not an easy job. Many people arrange a professional plumber to do the checking and cleaning of the septic tank for them. It is recommended to annually check the levels of sludge in your septic tank.

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