Proper Use and Maintenance of Septic Systems
Everything that goes down the drain, toilet, dishwasher, bathtub, and/or washing machine goes to some type of waste water disposal system; usually it’s either a private septic system or a municipal sewer system.
If a home is on a private system, that system needs to be maintained in order to function properly.
The septic system is a two-part sewage treatment and disposal system buried in the ground, composed of a septic tank and a leaching system. The sewage generally flows by gravity; first into the septic tank where the larger particles are removed and some decomposition takes place and then into the leaching system where it soaks into the ground.
The effluent that enters the leach field contains bacteria (E. coli), nitrates, phosphorus, and other chemicals; remember – whatever you put down your drain or toilet ends up in your septic system!
The leachate or effluent from your septic system eventually filters through the soil and becomes groundwater. If your system was located and installed properly and is maintained, this arrangement works to naturally filter out the pollutants. However, inadequately functioning and/or failing septic systems contribute to groundwater contamination. Waste water from septic systems may include many types of contaminants, such as nitrates, harmful bacteria and viruses.