A septic tank is a large volume, onsite, sewage disposal chamber. It is usually used in places where sewage lines aren’t connected to a city sewage system. Septic tanks are made out of fiberglass, plastic or concrete. Human and household waste is carried to the sewage tank through sewage lines that are connected to it.
How the Septic Tank Functions
The septic tank intercepts the discharge by separating all the solids from the liquid. The discharge then receives its primary treatment in the tank through anaerobic processes that break down and decompose the substances. A layer of substances, such as fats, grease, and oil, that are lighter than water forms on top of the water. This is called the scum layer, which is digested by aerobic bacteria. Solids that are heavier than water sink to the bottom, forming a layer of sludge; the organic materials in the sludge are then consumed by the underwater anaerobic bacteria. What remains after the sludge and the scum is separated is clarified water called effluent. This water forms the middle layer and is drained into the ground/drain field through the septic tank outlet. Vacuum pumps are also periodically used to pump out fecal sludge as the accumulation of waste occurs faster than the decomposition of it.
In order to know when to pump out sludge and to avoid obstructions such as clogging and overflowing of septic tanks, it is necessary to have sensors installed. Contact level sensor for liquids, such as resistive chain, magnetostrictive, or submersible pressure transducers can responsibly give you accurate readings of the liquid levels in the tank. These sensors have varying features that calculate readings either through measuring gravity, pressure or the float. Their degrees of accuracy vary in comparison to one another.
How Far or Close Should Septic Tanks Be Placed?
If you’re planning on getting a septic tank placed in the right spot, here are some tips to consider:
It is best to not put the septic tank too close to the main road/driveway or anywhere there is heavy vehicle traffic. This can cause additional pressure on the septic tank and can affect its longevity. Not to mention, having to replace or repair a septic tank, post construction, is a big hassle.
However, don’t place it too close to your home or facility either because after a couple of years, septic tanks tend to accumulate a thick layer of scum and sludge. This needs to be removed through a vacuum truck. This is usually part of the maintenance process that needs to be taken care of periodically. To do this, a vacuum truck will need safe access to the septic tank by stationing itself in close proximity. Having built a septic system in a place where trucks cannot easily access can cause great inconvenience.
Septic tanks can be built to look beautiful by planting plantation around it to conceal the lid. This reflects a natural look from the surrounding area. Some homeowners opt for this option to boost the aesthetic appeal of their homes. But you must remember to keep your septic tank out of the way of trees before incorporating this idea into your landscaping design.
Deciding where and how to place the septic tank should be done in the early stages of planning and building. However, its installation can be left till the end; this will not only ensure the tank doesn’t get damaged during the construction process but also save it from unforeseen conditions like rain water floating the tank out of its position, or the walls of the excavated area caving in.
There are certain regulations pertaining to septic tanks that need to be looked into. Before landscaping take into consideration property lines, and wells. Make sure you do not sever any public lines during the building process. Also, always check with your local municipality in advance to learn about the exact dos and don’ts regarding septic systems.