Where does septic tank waste go? 

We can put the water in your house's piping into two different catagories: waste water, and fresh water. 

Today we are going to answer the question, "Where does septic tank waste go?"

We already know that the fresh water coming into your house is supplying your household appliances. Some houses have well water, and some have municipal water. 

The waste water plumbing in your house is going to remove the fresh water after it has been used. Water from the washing room, the bathroom toilets, sink, and shower, and other locations. Where does this water go?

This is how waste water is managed in a rural household:

Rural homes have a tank underground to process the waste water and it is called a septic tank. The tank and the piping before and after the tank is called the septic system. The piping after the tank is called a drain field. The septic tank manages the solid waste flushed down the drain in the toilet, also known as sewage. The septic tank needs to be water tight to prevent any sewer water from leaking. When the septic tank gets full of effluent it overflows out of a pipe on the downstream side of the tank. This pipe leads to a distrubution box which then leads to drain pipes called the drain field. 

The purpose of the drain field is to get the water back into the soil. This water is an overflow from the septic tank. 

The solds in the sewage water in the tank is called sludge and it will remain in the tank while the water travels down to the drain field and then into the ground. The sludge in the septic tank will stay in the tank and decompose over time. 

The water that goes into the drain from the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen don't normally have solids in them. Some houses have different plumbing for these locations and the water is directed around the septic tank and directly into the drain field. It is probably more common for the drain water from these locations to go directly into the septic tank which will then pass right through. The benefit of running all of your waste water through a septic tank is that if there are any solids it will be caught in the septic tank and won't be able to continue on to the drain field because there is a screen in the downstream side of the tank.

The drain field is usually located farther way from your wate water field in order to prevent waste water from leaching into your water source. This is more important for a drilled well. Water that comes from a municipality comes to your house through piping so waste water leaching into the piping isn't going to happen. 

We have now discussed how the waste water is processed in a rural home. If you would like to find out how waste water is processed in a city home we are going to post another article you can read. Look for a link below to that article and continue learning about the septic system process.