A septic service collects wastewater discharged from household plumbing, including toilets, tubs and sinks. The tank is a water-tight container made of concrete, fiberglass or polyethylene that’s buried underground in an area near the house. An inlet pipe allows all the household waste to enter the tank, while an outlet baffle prevents solid waste from flowing out of the tank with the liquid waste (effluent).

Which chemical is used to clean the drain pipe?

As wastewater flows into the septic tank, it undergoes a process of settling and separation. Heavy solid waste particles settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a layer of sludge. Lighter substances like oils and grease drift to the top, where they partially decompose. Between these layers is a layer of clean, liquid wastewater called effluent. The distribution box directs the wastewater from the septic tank to pipes in the drain field or leach field.

Without regular pumping, the septic system can overflow. Overflow can be a health risk, since the untreated waste can back up into toilets and drains. It can also flood the drain field, contaminating the soil and groundwater. This contaminated wastewater can also seep through the ground and run into creeks and rivers, polluting the drinking water.

The best way to minimize septic system issues is to practice good self-maintenance. Avoid flushing chemical drain openers, large volumes of trash or latex paint down the drain, and use a garbage disposal sparingly. Plant grass and other shallow-rooted plants over the drainage field to help keep roots from entering the pipes. Conserve water by fixing leaky fixtures, installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators and using appliances and devices that use less water.

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