One of our main goals here at H&S Septic Services is to educate our customers. While many people are unaware of just how their septic system functions, even more are unaware of how their daily habits impact their septic system. We understand the confusion and strive to alleviate any and all anxiety.

Septic Service diagramThere are many locations within the greater Rochester community that simply do not have access to public sewer. As a result, homeowners are often scarred or worried about future expenses and possible maintenance associated with a septic system. This is where we come in.

Here is the basic definition of a septic system:

A septic system is an underground waste water treatment system that biodegrades the waste and water that comes from your toilets, showers, faucets, dishwashers and washing machines.

There are four main components to the traditional septic system: the tank, drain field, the pipe coming from the home and the soil. The waste that comes from the home is sent to a septic tank, which is generally made of concrete or plastic. Liquids that are lighter in weight than water such as oils, cooking greases and fats go to the top of the tank to form a layer of scum. Solids or liquids that weigh more than water go to the bottom of the tank to form a layer of sludge. The middle layer is wastewater. The bottom and top layers cannot be easily broken down and remain in the tank until pumped or cleaned out. The middle layer of wastewater flows to the distribution box and is then sent to the drain field to be absorbed into the soil. This is also known as a leach field in a traditional style septic system. The leach field can consist of percolated pipes (or chambers) with small holes in them where the liquids slowly drain into the soil and are broken down. On a map or diagram, the leach field looks almost like fingers extending from the palm of a hand.

How a Septic System Works

In the cases where a home does not have soil that can absorb water easily (as determined by a percolation test), an alternative septic system may be necessary. This can include a mound system, raised bed systems, modified raised bed systems, aerobic systems and systems that use sand, peat and other ways of breaking down the solids. Sometimes pumps and other electrical devices are required to make these systems function properly.