Learn More About Your Septic System


This page contains valuable information regarding your septic system. We at Salina Septic Service want Homeowners to know about their system and how to care for it properly, with hopes to eliminate having to perform any major repairs and keep the system functioning properly. Inside, you will find basic information regarding what your septic system is and how it operates, as well as how often it should be pumped and how to care for your system to prolong its life.


What is a Septic System?

A septic system is a self-contained, underground wastewater treatment system. A septic system’s primary purpose is to treat and dispose of household wastewater on site, using natural and biological processes to do so.


Septic systems are fairly simple in design, consisting of only a few key components:


  • Sewage/Wastewater lines: All plumbing fixtures, including toilets, showers, sinks, garbage disposals, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. are connected within your home leading to a sewage line into your septic tank

  • Septic Tank: A septic tank is a watertight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass or metal. It serves as a holding tank for any solid matter that enters your wastewater lines.

  • Drainfield: Also called laterals or a leechfield, your drainfield allows for filtered liquid within your septic tank to drain out into your yard. This reduces the wear and tear of your septic tank and increases the amount of area for solid matter storage.


How does a Septic System Work?

A septic system, though simple, must follow a certain process without interruption in order to function properly.

  1. As soon as any material enters your sewage lines, they head for your septic tank.

  2. Inside your septic tank, the materials break down and separate into solids and liquids. The solid particles sink to the bottom and the liquid stays on top.

  3. Bacteria present inside your septic tank begins breaking down and decomposing the solids as they settle at the bottom of the tank.

  4. As more and more solids build up inside your septic tank, they push the liquids out into the drainfield. There, they seep out into your yard and absorb into the soil.

  5. Baffles within your wastewater lines prevent solids from entering and plugging up your drainfield

  6. Over time, your septic tank will fill up with the broken down solids, slowing or even preventing the decomposing process and draining into your drainfield. This is when it is time to have your septic tank pumped.


Pumping out your Septic Tank

As your tank fills up with solids, regular pumpings will be required to keep your septic system functioning properly. How often you should pump your septic tank depends on a variety of factors, but the three most important are:

  1. The number of people in your household

  2. How much wastewater your household creates

  3. How large your tank is

Ideally, homeowners should have their septic tank pumped every 3-5 years regardless of the amount of people, consumption or size of tank. Failure to perform regular pump-outs can lead to sewage backup into the house, reduction of bacteria preventing solids breakdown, drainfield clogging/failure, or even a cracked/collapsed tank.


Septic System Care/Maintenance

Septic systems require regular maintenance and care to function properly. If a septic system fails, it can cost the homeowner thousands of dollars for repairs or a replacement. Homeowners wanting to take good care of their septic system can do the following to prevent system failure:


  1. Do not place heavy objects overtop your tank or drainfield. (Cars, RVs, asphalt, etc.)

  2. Do not plant trees or large shrubs around your tank or drainfield. The roots can affect the tank or laterals integrity.

  3. Do not flush anything unnecessary down the drain. (Feminine products, condoms, coffee grounds, cigarette butts, napkins, diapers, kitty litter, any harmful/toxic chemicals, oil, hair, baby wipes or paper towels.)

  4. Since food and other solids associated with garbage disposals do not break down as fast, excessive or heavy use of garbage disposals will cause your septic tank to fill up sooner.

  5. Liquid laundry detergent is better for your septic system as compared to powder detergent.

  6. Having a fresh, quality filter on your washing machine can prevent excessive amounts of lint and fabric buildup inside your septic tank.

  7. Low-flow or high-efficiency plumbing fixtures can increase the life of your tank by preventing overloading the tank with liquid during times of heavy usage.

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Salina Septic Service

827 N. 13th St

Salina, KS 67401

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