Does Sink Water Go to the Septic Tank?
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Wondering where all the wastewater from your sink, toilets, and laundry room goes? Does sink water go to the septic tank? Or what happens to the wastewater once it goes down the drain?
Read on to find out!
Does Sink Water Go to the Septic Tank?
Does sink water go to septic tank? Here is what happens when the sink water leaves the drain.
All water from the sinks, toilets, shower, and laundry room, to mention a few, leave the house and combine in the main drainage pipe that leads to the septic unit.
Once the wastewater gets to the septic tank, a watertight container buried in the ground and made from concrete or fiberglass, it settles there long enough to allow the waste to break down.
The solid content, also known as sludge, sinks to the bottom of the septic tanks while the lighter materials, such as grease and oils, float at the top of the tank forming a scum layer.
An effluent layer comprises the liquid wastewater between the scum and the sludge layer. The effluent exits the septic tank into the drain field. It is worth noting that the septic system has compartments and T-shaped outlets that prevent sludge and scum from leaving the septic tank and traveling to the drain field.
The drain field or the leach field is the last component of your septic system designed to allow wastewater to filter through the soil. It is worth noting that too much liquid in the drain field can cause it to flood, resulting in backups in the toilet and kitchen sink and sewage flowing to the ground surfaces of your home.
The effluent percolates into the soil while removing harmful viruses, nutrients, and coliform bacteria. Coliform bacteria indicates fecal contamination and inhibits the human intestines.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is an underground wastewater treatment structure often used in areas without a centralized sewer system. A septic tank combines nature and technology to treat wastewater from bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry rooms.
Septic systems comprise a septic tank and a drain field, also known as leach or soil absorption fields. The septic tank holds organic matter and solids from the wastewater and separates floatable matter such as oils and grease. The liquid waste, often called effluent, is discharged by the soil-based systems into the soil through perforated pipes buried in a leach field.
How to Maintain The Septic Tank System
You do not have to wait until there is an unbearable odor from the septic system to tend to it. You can adopt the following maintenance tricks to keep the system working correctly at all times.
Let’s delve right in!
1. Regularly Inspect The Septic Systems
When a problem with the septic system becomes apparent, for instance, when you notice spongy grass around the drain field, it is always an indication of a severe problem that a simple solution will not fix. You have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs. So you should continually monitor the system to identify and rectify a problem in time.
To inspect the system, you could hire a plumbing professional to do the work for you. These professionals can quickly identify issues with the pumping system, leaks and examine sludge and scum layers in the septic tank.
There are various plumbing or septic service providers available in the market, so choosing the right one may be overwhelming. So you could consider reading reviews and testimonials on the service provider’s website for leads to the best plumber. Alternatively, you could seek referrals and recommendations from friends, colleagues, and relatives who have septic systems in their homes.
2. Pumping The System
Now, although the septic system breaks down the waste matter in the tank, the sludge and scum layers may build up over time, so the system needs to be pumped regularly to prevent wastewater from flowing back into the toilet and sinks.
To determine how frequently the septic unit should be pumped, you should consider the size of your household, the volume of solids in the wastewater along with the total waste generated, and the size of the septic tank. You could search and hire a professional to determine the total waste generated and the volume of solids in the wastewater.
3. Disposing of The Septage
Often, solid organic matter builds up over time, especially when you have a large household, and when left unattended, it may cause overflow and blockage of the drain field pipes, which can cause health hazards, not to mention the foul smell.
So you should consider hiring commercial septic pumping services to help you empty the sludge and scum that accumulates in the tank over time.
4. Dispose of Waste Properly
Whether you flush the waste down the toilet or pour it down the sink, everything that goes down the drain ends up in the septic tank. Some of the waste you dispose of into the septic system may deter it from functioning properly, which can be hazardous. So do not treat the system as a trash can.
You should not dispose of substances such as cigarette butts, cat litter, condoms, cooking grease or oil, dental floss, diapers, paper towels, coffee grounds, non-flushable wipes, pharmaceuticals, and household chemicals such pesticides, antifreeze, and gasoline, to mention a few, into your drain systems.
Signs of a Faulty Septic System
So can you tell when the septic system is not functioning properly? Here are signs of a septic unit failure you should watch out for.
- A bad odor around the septic tank or the drain field.
- Green spongy grass around the septic tank or the leach field, especially during the dry weather seasons.
- Stagnant water or damp spots near the tank or drain field area.
- The toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and laundry equipment drain slowly.
- Backing up of water from the toilets, sinks, and bathtubs into your homes.
- Algae blooms in nearby ponds and lakes
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does drain water go into the septic tank?
All water, whether from the sinks, toilet, shower, and washing machine, to mention a few, leaves the house from one main drainage pipe that leads into the septic system. The septic tanks have a T-shaped outlet and compartments that prevent scum and sludge from exiting the system and going to the drain field area. That said, effluent, which refers to the liquid wastewater, leaves the tank and goes into the leach field.
2. Where does sink water go when you have a septic tank?
Wastewater from sinks, showers, washing machines, and toilets combine when it leaves the house and travels to the septic tank. When the waste content gets into the septic systems, it starts to separate, and the solid waste known as sludge sinks to the bottom while the liquid wastewater travels to the drain field.
3. Can GREY water go into a septic tank?
Yes. Greywater refers to wastewater generated in your household that does not have fecal contamination. This includes wastewater from showers, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
The greywater combines with water from the toilet and travels to the dual-purpose septic system.
4. What happens to liquid wastewater in a septic tank?
When waste content travels into the septic tank, the solid waste sinks to the bottom while the liquid portion is disposed of through the leach field, where natural filtering occurs in the soil. If an area is concentrated with many septic systems, pathogenic organisms may enter nearby surface waters or shallow groundwaters.
5. What happens if you never pump your septic tank?
Pumping the septic system allows it to function correctly. Failing to pump the tank results in solid buildups, compromising the septic system’s holding capacity. This causes the solid waste to reach the pipes that feed the drain field, clogging it. Eventually, the wastewater goes back up into the house.