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Jun 06, 2024

If you’re new to the world of septic systems, you may be wondering what goes on inside the septic tank. Thankfully, Rooter Man Plumbing is here to help you understand how it works. We specialize in septic tank installation, so we’re familiar with how septic tanks work and the process of filtering wastewater. In this article, our skilled and experienced septic technicians will provide you with a detailed overview of how septic tanks filter wastewater.

All household wastewater flows into the septic tank through a main drainage pipe. Inside the tank, the contents are separated into three layers. Let’s look at these layers in greater detail.

  • Scum Layer

This is the topmost layer that is composed of lighter materials like oils, fats, grease, and a few solids that are lighter than water. This layer plays a crucial role in the wastewater treatment process. It separates lighter materials from the effluent, thereby helping to prevent clogging of the outlet baffle and the pipes leading to the drainfield.

The scum layer, along with the sludge layer, helps in the initial clarification of wastewater. By trapping fats, oils, and greases, the scum layer ensures that these substances do not reach the drainfield, where they could cause clogging and reduce the soil's ability to absorb and filter effluent. If not contained in the septic tank, these floatable materials could cause surface scum or clogging in the drainfield.

Like the sludge layer, the scum layer is also a site for anaerobic bacterial activity. These bacteria help break down some of the organic materials within the scum. They reduce the volume of floatable waste and contribute to the overall treatment process. If the bottom of the scum layer is within 6 inches of the outlet baffle, or if the top of the scum layer is within 12 inches of the outlet baffle, it is time to schedule septic tank cleaning.

  • Sludge Layer

The sludge is composed of heavier solids and organic matter that settle at the bottom of the tank. In other words, this layer consists of all the solid waste that the bacteria aren’t able to decompose. The sludge layer should not exceed one-third of the total tank depth. If the sludge level reaches this point, it is time to schedule septic tank pumping. It is important to monitor the sludge level in your septic tank to ensure the efficient operation of your septic system and prevent costly repairs.

The sludge layer harbors anaerobic bacteria that break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen. This digestion process reduces the volume of sludge by converting some of it into gases and simpler compounds. The digestion process aids in the further treatment of wastewater.

  • Effluent Layer

The effluent layer is the portion of the wastewater that exits the septic tank through the outlet baffle and flows into the drainfield. It is partially treated at this stage and requires further treatment as it percolates through the soil in the drainfield. The soil acts as a natural filter, removing remaining pathogens, nutrients, and organic materials. This process is crucial for protecting groundwater and the environment.

Looking For a Reliable Septic Company? Contact Rooter Man Plumbing

Are you looking for professional septic technicians offering septic tank installation? Is it time to pump out your septic tank? Is your septic tank exhibiting signs of damage? The septic experts at Rooter Man Plumbing take pride in offering top-of-the-line septic services at competitive prices. Whether you’re in need of septic tank repair, drainfield repair, or septic system inspection, we’ve got you covered.


Our Clients Feedbacks

qutes We had a busted drain pipe. And we found Rooter Man Plumbing when we were searching for local plumbers in the area. We were having trouble finding someone to come out and fix it. I called the Rooter Man and they showed up the same day and fixed it in less than an hour. Very quick and reliable. Kept their number just in case if we need a plumber later.

Scott Prescott

qutes We made the call and Rooter Man responded in a very acceptable time and took care of the problem quickly and efficiently. We are very thankful of the service provided by Rooterman. Highly recommended. Get ‘er done. Keep up the good job. I was very pleased with the completed job and no mess left.

Marc Mund

qutes We were very pleased with the service we had today with Rooter Man. Dan, our technician, was professional and efficient. He explained the problem well, provided the cost up front, wasted no time, and suggested solutions for future problems should they occur.

L Watson

qutes Came the same day and cleared the clog. I would recommend Rooter Man Plumbing to anyone in the Reno area looking to hire a plumber. Their crew completed the job as expected and left no mess behind. I kept their phone number and they are the plumbing company to call If I need any plumbing repairs in the future.

Paul Campos

qutes Adam was very professional. I found Rooter Man Plumbing when I was searching online for a plumber in my area. I was very pleased from scheduling to the completion of the project. They did really great job replacing our sewer lines. And their pricing was reasonable as well compared to the other plumbing companies in the area. They are now our go-to plumbing company when we need any type of plumbing repairs. Thank you guys for the work and thanks not leaving any mess behind :)

Tim Neith

qutes Adam was awesome! Thank you Adam!

Rocio Munoz

qutes Fast response and efficient service. Thank you!!

in fo

qutes Adam is a great asset to your company.

Bible Fellowship Baptist Churc

qutes Came within 2 hours and fixed the drain problem. Easy!

Wendy Poore

qutes Rory got here fairly quick for dinner time on a Saturday night. His actions were even faster for a complicated problem that had waste water backing into a first floor tub. Since it wasn’t our first time, he scoped the problem and gave us an assessment of the necessity for future repairs. Rory is very professional and honest. An Expert Plumber.

Jack Miller