Commonly Used Septic System Terminology
Septic systems are small scale sewage treatment systems that process and pump solid and liquid waste into a drain field, wherein the processed waste water is reintroduced into the ecosystem. In districts where homes were built with no connection to municipal sewer pipelines, individual septic systems must be used. Numerous factors can cause a septic system to cease functioning. The dumping of fats and cooking oils into the system can block inlet drains; the use of garbage disposals can overload the tank; heavy rainfall can prevent the drain field from operating properly. Here are a few terms to remember in order to understand your septic system:
Septic Tank: A small sewage treatment system. Waste enters the tank, and as it travels through the chambers, solids and liquids are separated. The liquid then is passed thorough the outlet and into a drain field.
Sand Filter: A water purification system that operates either by the introduction of flocculent chemicals or the non-pressurized, non-chemical process of allowing water to seep slowly through a biological layer of protozoa, bacteria and fungi.
Anaerobic Filter: A water treatment filter that uses anaerobic microorganisms break down biodegradable materials without oxygen.
Aeration: The circulation, mixing or dissolution of air through a liquid substance such as water. It is used to increase the oxygen content of water.
Leach Field: A system that removes contaminated materials from the liquid that flows from a septic tank. The system consists of a series of trenches in which the organic matter in the waste materials is broken down by a microbial ecosystem.
Cesspool: Also known as a cesspit, a cesspool is a covered waterproof receptacle used for holding human waste. Cesspools are antiquated versions of the modern sewage system.