Not only is this detrimental for the environment but, if the sludge overflows the septic tank into the leach field, it may clog the leach field piping or decrease the soil porosity itself, requiring expensive repairs.
The excess liquid, now in a relatively clear condition, then drains from the outlet into the septic drain field, also referred to as a leach field, drain field or seepage field, depending upon locality.Since septic systems require large drainfields, they are not suitable for densely built cities.The term "septic" refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank which decomposes or mineralizes the waste discharged into the tank.Wastewater enters the first chamber of the tank, allowing solids to settle and scum to float.The settled solids are anaerobically digested, reducing the volume of solids.
Single chamber septic tank design
Septic tanks can be coupled with other onsite wastewater treatment units such as biofilters or aerobic systems involving artificially forced aeration.A septic tank consists of one or more concrete or plastic tanks of between 40 liters (1,000 and 2,000 gallons); one end is connected to an inlet wastewater pipe and the other to a septic drain field.How often the septic tank must be emptied depends on the volume of the tank relative to the input of solids, the amount of indigestible solids, and the ambient temperature (because anaerobic digestion occurs more efficiently at higher temperatures), as well as usage, system characteristics and the requirements of the relevant authority.Some health authorities require tanks to be emptied at prescribed intervals, while others leave it up to the decision of an inspector.These help to fill the drainage pipe more evenly and extend the drainage field life by preventing premature clogging or bioclogging.
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An Imhoff tank is a two-stage septic system where the sludge is digested in a separate tank.
Anaerobic decomposition is rapidly restarted when the tank is refilled.
Like any system, a septic system requires maintenance.
The entire septic system can operate by gravity alone or, where topographic considerations require, with inclusion of a lift pump.
Certain septic tank designs include siphons or other devices to increase the volume and velocity of outflow to the drainage field.