What is a Septic Tank?

What is a Septic Tank?

In households or business premises where there is no connection to the main sewage pipes provided by private waste treatment companies or the government, a septic system is vital and a septic tank is a key component of the overall system, which in simple terms, is a sewage treatment facility on a smaller scale.

The waste which is discharged into the tank decomposes due to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank, which is what the term “septic” refers to. Septic tanks can also be coupled with other treatment units including aerobic systems or biofilters.

The efficiency of the septic tank is greatly reduced over time due to a build up of solids which gradually fill the tank, so it’s essential that you implement preventative maintenance on a periodic basis, so every so often, you will have an empty septic tank, which is far more efficient for waste treatment.

A vacuum truck is used to pump out the sludge, which builds up over time and should be undertaken by a septic tank professional, who has experience and knowledge of emptying septic tanks. How often this procedure is required will ultimately depend on how large the septic tank is, the input of solids and the temperature, because at higher temperatures, anaerobic digestion occurs more efficiently.

There may however, be requirements from health authorities who may want your tank emptied on intervals prescribed by them, while other people who have a septic tank installed at home or business, leave it up to an inspector, who can determine if and when the tank needs to be emptied.

Leaving the tank to overflow and leak out can have major effects on the surrounding environment, which is why it’s so important to ensure your tank is in good shape and is fixed immediately if any defects are detected. If the tank leaks out, this could also result in prosecution or fines, if you were aware or previously advised by a septic tank adviser and the recommendations are ignored.