Homeowner Resources

At Workman Septic we strive to be a valuable resource for our community. Here are homeowner resources to aid in locating septic systems. We’ve also included a helpful list of do’s and don’ts for general septic systems care. Most of all, if you have any questions with any aspect of your septic system do not hesitate to call or email us.


What Are Septic Systems?


The purpose of septic systems are to dispose of domestic wastewater or sewage from a building. The process should be in such a manner as to protect public health and the environment. There are four main components to septic systems:

  • Building sewer connects the building plumbing to the septic tank.
  • Septic tank allows for the settling of solids and provides the initial treatment of the sewage. This is where waste material is broken down by bacterial action. A properly functioning septic tank will reduce pollutant levels and produce an effluent of fairly uniform quality.
  • Distribution piping directs the flow of sewage effluent to the leaching system in a manner that assures full utilization of the system. Sewage effluent can flow through the distribution piping by means of gravity, or with the assistance of a mechanical pump or siphon.
  • As a result, the leaching system disperses the sewage effluent into the surrounding soil. There are many types of leaching systems. The specific type utilized on a property is usually dependent on the soil conditions on that site. Most residential installations utilize either stone-filled leaching trenches or hollow structures surrounded by stone.



septic systems

What Is The Purpose Of A Septic Tank?


The septic tank is a watertight receptacle that retains and delays the wastewater from proceeding directly to the leachfield. It serves as the primary physical treatment of the wastewater by settling out the heavier solids and preventing the floating scum and greases from escaping into the leachfields. The standard septic tank has a minimum 1,000-gallon minimum liquid capacity and can be made out of concrete, steel or plastic.

Newer tanks are equipped with inlet and outlet baffles, an interior compartment wall, and an effluent filter. These components will assist in retaining scum/solids inside the septic tank. The efficiency of the septic tank as a settling unit is reduced when the speed of the liquid moving through the tank increases. This can occur if a tank that is undersized or has a reduced storage capacity due to an excessive amount of solids. A relatively stable biological system within the septic tank helps promote the conversion of organic solids to soluble organic chemicals and gases. As a result, this helps provide a uniform quality of effluent with reduced pollutant levels.


Typical Septic Tank

septic tank

You can locate your septic system in a variety of ways


  • Contact the Health Department office and ask them for a copy of the “AsBuilt” for your residence. See the department of public health for more information.
  • Workman Septic has expert technicians that use a variety of state-of-the-art probing and electronic locating techniques to locate your septic system.

Septic Care Do’s and Don’ts

There are many ways that homeowners can reduce the amount of problems that lead to replacements and repairs by taking care of septic systems with these helpful tips:

Septic Systems Do’s

  • Conserve water to reduce the amount of wastewater that must be treated & disposed of by your system.
  • Divert down spouts and other surface water away from your tank and drain field. Too much water keeps the soil from adequately cleaning the wastewater.
  • Repair any leaking faucets or toilets. To detect toilet leaks, add several drops of food dye to the toilet tank and see if the dye ends up in the bowl.
  • Keep your septic tank cover accessible for inspections and pumping. Install risers with lids, if necessary.
  • Have your septic tank inspected and pumped regularly by a licensed septic tank contractor such as Workman Septic. Suggested frequency is 1-4 years. Pumping your septic tank is the single most important thing you can do to protect your system. If the buildup of solids in the tank becomes too high and solids move to the drainfield, this could clog and strain the system to the point where a new drainfield will be needed.

Septic Systems Don’ts

  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can. This may poison your system and the groundwater by pouring harmful chemicals and cleansers down the drain. Harsh chemicals can kill the bacterium that helps to purify the wastewater. Normal bleach use is acceptable.
  • Never drive over your tank & drain field or compact the soil in any way.
  • Do not dig around the tank or drain field, or build anything over it. Don’t cover it with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt.
  • Definitely do not use a garbage disposal, or at least limit its usage.
  • Never enter a septic tank. Toxic gases from the tank can kill. If your system develops problems, get advice from Workman Septic.
  • Certain laundry detergents are better than others. Please contact Workman Septic for tips on which types are best.

For more information about septic system care, contact Workman Septic for all of your septic system needs at 203-226-5758.

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