How Sewers and Septic Systems Work

Curious about how sewer and septic systems really work? Let’s find out! The sewer system is capable of moving billions of gallons of water and being able to clean it and purify it from so much waste and debris. There are many reasons you don’t want to just go dumping your wastewater out in your yard or in a local water supply. Polluting the air comes to mind first, and this causes neighborhoods and cities to smell badly. Wastewater has a bunch of harmful bacteria and dangerous E-coli that shouldn’t be released into the environment. Keep your community safe and remove a huge health hazard by working with local wastewater treatment. Finally, you need to be careful of chemicals and solids that are left within the water that can be seriously detrimental to the environment. Wastewater will cause things to grow easily fouling the water because of algae growth. Fish and other marine biology can be devastated by doing this where it can permanently destroy their ecosystems. Many fish will die in this process. These are the few of the things that are fixed by having a good wastewater elimination process.

Because of all these serious issues communities would much rather the sewage system be used, even if they must pay a little more for it. Septic tanks are one kind of system that is used for a home when there is not another option available in the local community that is shared.  Septic tanks will create three layers with water in the middle, scum at the top, and denser than water sludge on the bottom. Sewer pipes from the house effectively feed these septic tanks. Systems are set in place so that the gas that is naturally produced from them does not flow back directly into the house. Vent pipes above homes are used to direct this gas high up into the air where it can be released higher into the atmosphere.

Drain fields are where the displaced water flows out to when there is more material added to the septic tank. Ground in drain fields is used to effectively absorb the water safely into the ground. More porous drain fields require less surface area to drain into while less porous areas, like clay may require a much larger area. Systems like a septic tank are powered by the hand of gravity that easily brings solids and liquids closer to the ground. Drain fields will surprisingly be some of the greenest places of grass because of all the fertilizing materials. Of course, you probably won’t want to stand by there.

Urban and suburban areas the systems for treating water are much larger in size and scope of what they accomplish to handle the much greater demand for an area. Wastewater treatment facilities are the best choice for dealing with this high demand. Like a septic system it’s best to keep the system passive by using gravity to flow to the sewer system. Check out are next article as we keep exploring urban sewer systems and how waster water treatment plants work. We would like to thank Marshall Brian for helping us with this info in his article “How Sewer and Septic Systems Work”.

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