It may be hidden beneath the ground, but the septic system of your home provides an invaluable service to all inhabitants inside. Even though you may not have to deal with this home system unless something goes wrong, it is always helpful to understand some of the terminology associated with the septic system. Here are a few key terms you should keep in mind the next time you call on a professional for septic tank repair or pumping.
Influent - This is a term that you may hear mentioned when you have issues with a drainage line in the home. Influent is waste water that flows into a reservoir or tank such as the septic tank. A professional may say that you are having an issue with the drainage of influent water if the line from your bathtub to the septic system is clogged and not draining as it should.
Septic Sludge - At the bottom of the septic tank, solidified waste will form a dense layer that may require more than just septic tank pumping to remove. This is especially true in older homes where the septic system may be left unused for long periods of time because there is not enough liquid waste water moving through.
Septage - The material that is found inside a septic tank is not completely composed of human waste. Therefore, it needs a specific term and that term is often septage. Septage can include influent water, sludge, solid waste, and various other compounds that make their way into the septic tank and system.
Catabolism - This is the degradation process caused by naturally occurring microorganisms; it encourages the breakdown of solidified waste in the septic tank over time. You may hear this term if there seems to be an issue with the natural breakdown of waste inside of your septic tank.
Effluent - The overflow lines of the septic tank allow small amounts of partially treated waste water to leave the tank and be deposited into the ground at minuscule amounts that are not considered a hazard. The liquid waste leaving the tank is known as effluent.
It is a common misconception that the septic system is a pretty cut-and-dry component of the home, but in truth, it can be complex, boasting many parts and features. It is always helpful to learn a bit about the key terms associated with your septic system, either when you need help or you are working with a professional like American Pumping Service.