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Diagnosing The Signs of Sewer System Issues

If you’ve ever wondered where your toilet water goes after you flush or why the drains back up, it all relates back to how your home gets rid of household waste. There is a high chance that you have one of two treatment systems: either a septic tank or a sewer system that flows into the city treatment facility.

No matter which way you slice it, all wastewater from your home is removed and eventually reused. Also, regardless of the system, clogs can happen–this will always require some type of clog removal or drain cleaning. If you’re curious to find out more about your household plumbing, keep reading!

Do You Pay a Sewage Treatment Bill?

If you have no idea what we’re talking about and can’t recall a sewage treatment bill, chances are your home runs on a septic tank. Septic tanks are typically used for rural homes that aren’t close enough to connect to the nearest municipal water treatment center.

When wastewater leaves your home, it flows into a holding tank (AKA septic tank.) Once there, the solids will sink to the bottom creating sludge, while the fats and oils rise to the top creating scum.

The water that is left between these two layers is relatively clear. As more sewage comes into the tank, the water is displaced and flows into a drain field. The drain field is a series of punctured pipes buried in trenches that allow for the water to leach out into the soil. The soil removes any nitrogen and phosphorus to use as fertilizer and the water becomes ordinary groundwater.

City Sewage Treatment Could be Less Hassle

If you do pay a sewage bill each month, your household waste is drained into the sewer main line that flows toward the treatment facility. Once the sewage water reaches the facility, it may be treated up to three times, with the first one being standard and the other two optional, depending on the city.

The first stage of treatment is quite similar to a septic tank where sludge and scum form. This stage will remove up to 50% of contaminants and if the water is not treated further, it will be chlorinated.

If there is a second stage, it will involve bacteria consuming up to 90% of contaminants. Again, if the facility does not have a third stage, the water will be chlorinated and discharged. Finally, in the third stage, multiple chemicals are used to remove any other contaminants as well as nitrogen and phosphorus. Filter beds may also be used before the water is discharged to be recycled.

Other Forms of Waste Disposal

Although the aforementioned treatments are the most common, there are a few other waste disposal options. One of these is called a cesspool which acts similarly to a septic tank but instead of the water flowing into a drain field, it is percolated while the waste stays in the tank.

This treatment is high maintenance due to the regular need to pump the cesspool. Another form of waste disposal you may come across is a composting toilet. Liquids are evaporated out while solid waste is composted into fertilizer for surrounding plants.

Hopefully, you enjoyed learning a bit about your home’s plumbing–and if you did, feel free to share this with friends! If you have further questions about your sewage treatment or think you may need drain cleaning services, give Arrow Plumbing a call today!

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