Secrets of the Septic System

If your home has a septic system you should know how it works — and how it might fail. Our correspondent provides an explanation.



septic system - full system diagram
The tank is an essential part of the septic system. The two-chamber design shown here is popular because it’s uncomplicated and reasonably effective. However, flooding or overloading the tank can still send undigested material into the drain lines, clogging the absorption field. The latest tank designs have deep holding chambers and internal convolutions to encourage solids to settle out from the flow.
ILLUSTRATION: DON OSBY
septic system - four layouts
Illustration shows possible layouts for an absorption or drain field.
DON OSBY
septic system - trench cross section diagram
The absorption-field trenches should be carefully planned and laid out to suit the site. Each line is buried in a bed of gravel.
DON OSBY











Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.