What’s Causing Sewer Issues in Your Home?
Showers, dishes, handwashing, toilet flushing, clothes washing. Each of these activities has something in common. Do you know what it is? If you guessed that they all use water, that is partially correct.
The fact is, each of these activities and every process in your home that uses water, creates wastewater. The wastewater created is sent down the drain and it’s never to be seen again--at least not seen again as grey or black water.
Generally speaking, most water that is used has been recycled at some point or another, whether it is through a septic tank or a sewage system. We are going to explain each of these as they are the two most popular choices for wastewater disposal! Keep reading for more information!
Tanks of Sewage?! Well, Not Exactly
If your home uses a septic tank for wastewater, you may assume that everything is sent into the septic tank system and floats around until the tank is full.
That is only about halfway true. Septic tanks allow for the solids to sink to the bottom, forming sludge. The fats and oils rise to the top to form scum.
The water that is left between these two layers is relatively clear and as more sewage is added to the tank, the water seeps out into the drain field.
The drain field is composed of punctured pipes buried in trenches. The water slowly leaches out, allowing for the surrounding soil to remove nitrogen and phosphorus. After this happens, the water is clean and is reabsorbed into the environment. (Don’t worry about the grass or environment--nitrogen and phosphorus act as a natural fertilizer, allowing for lush, green grass!)
City Sewage Systems
If your home does not use a septic tank, there is a pretty decent chance that it is connected to a municipal sewage system. A sewage system isn’t too much different than a septic tank but can have a few extra ‘steps’ or stages.
The first stage of a sewage treatment system will be similar to a septic tank. The sludge and scum are formed, removing up to 50% of the contaminants. If that is the only stage of treatment, the water is treated with chlorine.
If the facility has a second stage, it consists of using bacteria to remove up to 90% of the remaining contaminants. The wastewater is then chlorinated or treated by a third stage which consists of more chemicals. This third stage will remove nitrogen and phosphorus and may use filter beds.
Other Waste Disposal Methods
While septic tanks and sewage systems are the most popular types of sewage and waste disposal, there are also composting toilets, cesspools, and options between electric and non-electric biotanks.
Composting toilets have the benefit of creating natural fertilizer while allowing liquids to evaporate; cesspools require a good deal of maintenance but allow solid waste to remain in the tank while liquids ‘percolate’ and leach back into the ground.
Finally, electric and non-electric biotanks can be installed when septic tanks are not functional and sewage systems are not accessible. We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about waste disposal and water treatment and if so, share this with your friends! If you are noticing problems like slow drains or overflowing toilets, you may be due for a drain cleaning! Call Apple Valley Plumbing to schedule an appointment today!