What is a Septic Tank: Understanding the Core Piece of Your Septic System

What is a septic tank? 

A septic tank is a vital element of your home’s wastewater management system, specifically, your septic system. Septic tank companies like ACE will always advocate a proper understanding of your septic tank, including maintenance, installation, and repair. As a homeowner, understanding a septic tank’s core function is essential to maintain a healthy and efficient septic system overall.

What is the Primary Function of a Septic Tank?

The primary role of a septic tank is to receive, store, and treat wastewater from your household. It is a temporary holding and treatment facility for all the water that goes down your drains. Inside the tank, the natural separation process begins, where solids settle to the bottom, scum floats to the top, and relatively clear water is left in the middle. This treated water is then dispersed into the drain field for further purification by the soil.

Different Types of Septic Tanks

Septic tanks come in various types, and choosing the right one depends on factors like property size, soil conditions, and environmental regulations. You should also know the types of septic tank services that may be required by selecting one type of septic tank over another. Common types of septic tanks include:

  • Concrete Septic Tanks: Durable and long-lasting, concrete tanks can often withstand soil pressure and are available in various sizes.
  • Plastic (Polyethylene) Septic Tanks: Lightweight and corrosion-resistant plastic tanks are a modern choice for properties with challenging access or rocky soil. Polyethylene septic tanks are what ACE recommends and are generally a better idea for Florida homeowners due to the nature of the water table.

For more information on concrete, poly, and the different materials for septic tanks, read our guide!

Different Sizes of Septic Tanks

Septic tanks are available in different sizes to accommodate varying household needs. The size you choose should align with the number of people in your household and your daily water usage. To learn more about the general sizes of septic tanks that apply to most Floridians, read our septic tank size guide.

Components of a Septic Tank

A septic tank has a few major components:

  • Lid: The lid’s primary purpose, sometimes referred to as the cover or manhole, primarily serves as an access point to the tank.
  • Inlet Pipe: This is where wastewater enters the tank from your home’s plumbing.
  • Outlet Pipe: Treated water exits the septic tank through the outlet pipe to the drain field.
  • Baffles: Baffles are barriers inside the tank that help prevent solids from escaping into the outlet pipe.

Risers in a Septic Tank

Septic tank risers are an essential component often added to septic tanks. They serve two main functions:

  • Accessibility: Risers are like vertical shafts that extend from the septic tank to ground level, making the tank easily accessible for inspections, pumping, and maintenance. This eliminates the need for digging up the yard to reach the tank.
  • Safety and Prevention: Risers have safety lids that are securely sealed. They prevent unauthorized access and protect against accidents or contamination. Having risers on your septic tank enhances the overall safety and functionality of the system.

In conclusion, septic tanks are a fundamental part of your home’s wastewater management system. They serve the crucial function of collecting, treating, and preparing wastewater for further purification in the drain field. Understanding the various types, sizes, and materials used in septic tanks, as well as the importance of components like baffles and risers, is essential for homeowners to maintain their septic systems effectively. If you need septic tank services, whether for inspection, maintenance, or repair, call us at ACE. We have a team ready to ensure your septic tank is running flawlessly. If you know your tank is good to go, follow us on Instagram at @aceseptic. We provide DIY septic system tips for the great Tampa Bay and Central Florida residents.

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