How Septic Tanks & Leach Fields Work

Tips to keep your septic system in tip top shape.

If you live in a rural area of Central New York chances are that your home or business may have it’s own septic system. A septic system is generally pretty easy to maintain as long as you keep a few rules in mind.

A standard septic system works by holding wastewater in a septic tank, solid debris will settle in the sludge layer at the bottom of the tank, lighter wastes such as oil float to the top to create a scum layer. Between both of these layers is a liquid layer which flows into a pipe that drains from the septic tank into a drain or leach field. The leach field constitutes an arrangement of trenches containing perforated pipes and porous material, covered by a layer of soil to prevent animals and surface runoff from reaching the wastewater.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Conserve water – Septic tanks can only handle a limited amount of water at one time, it needs time to separate the solids and liquids.
    • Check for leaky faucets or running toilets. You may also want to install high efficiency toilets to reduce the amount of liquid.
    • Spread out laundry use to allow time for your septic tank to do its job instead of overloading it all at once.
  • Protect the system – Do not park or place heavy objects on the ground over your tank for instance do not place a shed on your property over the system or park heavy equipment on your lawn over top of the septic system to prevent damage.
  • Do not dispose of anything non-biodegradable or use chemicals that can destroy the bacteria that break down solid waste in your septic system. Some examples of what not to dispose of in your septic system are dental floss, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarette butts, kitty litter, tissue, cotton swabs, coffee grounds, paper towels, condoms, household chemicals, gasoline, grease, paint and bleach.
  • Use septic system safe products such as septic-safe toilet paper, wet-wipes, and soaps to preserve the bacteria in your system.
  • Keep up on maintenance around the tank – make sure not to plant trees or shrubs on the leach field to prevent the plant roots from damaging the pipes and tanks.

Septic systems can take a bit of getting used to if you’ve just moved into an area that is not connected to a city sewer system. Contact Kitchen Excavating for any of your septic system needs at 315-750-9284 or request a quote online today! We serve the Central New York region including Afton, Boonville, Brewerton, Camden, Canastota, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Cicero, Cooperstown, Dolgeville, Hamilton, Hartwick, Ilion, Little Falls, Liverpool, Lowville, Manlius, New Berlin, Norwich, Oneida, Oneonta, Poland, Rome, Russia, Sauquoit, South New Berlin, Sylvan Beach, Syracuse, Trenton, Unadilla, Union and Utica.