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How a Septic System Works in New Jersey

Septic systems treat wastewater in homes, businesses, and institutions that are not connected to municipal or centralized wastewater systems. They greatly impact groundwater quality, so proper septic system installation is paramount for safe, clean water supplies. The State of New Jersey provides regulations and guidelines for septic systems to reduce and eliminate potential contributions of pathogens and chemical nutrients to water systems.

Atlantic Sitton Services offers septic services in New Jersey. With the assistance of our certified technicians, home and business owners can safely install and maintain effective septic systems. Here, we discuss how a septic system works and what all homeowners should know.

Technician lays a barrier layer in a trenching system for a septic system

Understanding the Basics of a Septic System

There are two basic components of a septic system. The first is a tank that collects wastewater and filters waste products. The second is a system that leads to a drainfield, where wastewater is returned to the ground and the cleaning properties of healthy soils. Depending on the specific site of the septic system, and its service capacity, there may be additional parts added to the basic septic system construction for safety and functionality. Here are more details about septic systems

Wastewater flow

Water for households and businesses with septic systems may be from private wells or surface water located in the area. It enters the home or institution via plumbing pipes, and wastewater exits from toilets, sinks, baths, dishwashers, and other appliances, flowing to the septic system. Only through proper care of the septic system can individuals manage septic system impacts on water sources. It’s important to prevent disease-causing pathogens and polluting discharges from entering the ground and water sources.

The Septic Tank

There is initial pretreatment that removes some contaminants within the septic tank, which is an airtight tank buried in the ground. Solids settle to the bottom of the septic tank as sludge, while oils and grease float to the top and form a layer of scum. Depending on the design of the septic system, compartments or various outlet management constructions prevent the scum and sludge from flowing into the drainfield.

Solid Waste and Effluent

Gravity and septic system mechanisms, such as baffles, can contain most of the sludge and scum that enters the septic tank. These remain in the tank and must be pumped out regularly by qualified professionals. The remaining effluent is discharged. This dispersal of wastewater effluent is distributed throughout the drainfield so it slowly works through the soil and doesn’t overwhelm any one part of the area. This usually is accomplished through various means, including multiple chambers, perforated piping, and gravel-filled trenches.

Drainfield Functions

As the pretreated wastewater seeps into the drainfield, it enters the soil, which filters the remaining solids and organic matter. In addition, soil microbes break down bacteria and pathogens, cleaning the water as it percolates through, joining groundwater and surface waterways. This process removes harmful bacteria, viruses, and chemical nutrients and additives.

The Science Behind Septic Systems

Maintaining a balance in the septic system requires that it not be overloaded. If too much wastewater enters the system, the force of the water may push waste products, such as grease and human fecal matter, into the drainfield. If the sludge reaches too high of a level in the septic tank, there may be backups that occur, and wastewater will re-enter the home or business. These occurrences also damage and clog plumbing pipes, necessitating repairs and cleaning. Preventative maintenance plans from Atlantic Sitton Services offer residential and commercial customers regularly scheduled inspection and pumping, as well as septic system repairs.

Septic System Designs

There are a variety of septic system designs. The appropriate type of septic system for your site depends on several factors, such as the size of your business or household, type of soil, landscape, and placement of building structures. In addition to basic septic and chambered septic systems, choices in alternative technology systems include:

  • Aerobic treatment
  • Drip distribution
  • Mound
  • Sand filter
  • Evapotranspiration (natural processes of evaporation and transpiration into the atmosphere by plants)
  • Constructed wetland
  • Cluster or community

Septic systems for organizations with commercial kitchens must include grease trap systems, as well as a plan for grease tank pumping. The certified technicians at Atlantic Sitton Services are experienced with all types of septic systems used in New Jersey and can help home and business owners determine the best choice for their situation

Extending the Septic System’s Lifespan

Owners of properties must maintain septic systems in good working condition for the health and safety of humans using the home or business, as well as to protect water quality in the area. If any backups occur, or if you notice gurgling sounds in the plumbing, foul odors, or concentrated wet spots in the drainage field, it’s time to call on qualified professionals. Atlantic Sitton Services assists with troubleshooting and regular maintenance that can extend the lifespan of your septic system

Schedule Septic System Service and Installation With Atlantic Sitton Services

Whether it’s time to choose a new type of septic system or repair an existing system, schedule an appointment with Atlantic Sitton Services. We are available to discuss preventative maintenance, septic system repairs, and full installations. Contact us today.

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