One of the most unnerving things for homeowners is speaking with a hired professional and not understanding what they’re talking about. It’s easy to feel uncomfortable when you’re being hit with terms and vocabulary that you don’t understand—especially when it’s followed by a bill for service! Understanding what someone is talking about is the first step in understanding what the problem was, how it was resolved and what you’re paying for.
Take a look at some common terms and phrases that you might hear when working with a septic and dewatering service in Bethel, OH and what these things mean in relation to your septic system:
- Anaerobic digestion: This is the process of breaking down waste within your septic tank. Bacteria living in the tank will work to reduce everything going down your drains into simplest parts. This is the foundation of how a septic system works!
- Back flow valve: This is a component of your home’s plumbing that works to prevent wastewater from coming back up after you flush it down. If back flow valves malfunction or become compromised, you could see waste backing up into your home, which is a major problem.
- Blackwater and greywater: These are two terms that are used to refer to the water flowing from your home into your septic tank. Blackwater specifically refers to contaminated water that contains human waste—anything from your toilet or a urinal. Conversely, greywater is any water from taps, faucets or drains—i.e. your sinks or showers.
- Distribution box: This is the component of your septic system that’s used to distributed wastewater appropriately to your drainfield. The distribution box helps reduce flooding by sending wastewater out to all channels of the field.
- Effluent: This is going to be the liquid wastewater that’s being distributed to your drainfield. This is water will have already gone through anaerobic digestion and will be ready for absorption by the soil.
- FOG (fats, oils and greases): FOG is a major problem for septic environments and causes a number of issues, from backups to drainfield distribution issues. These materials are harder to break down and as a result, start to coat pipes and build up in tanks, where they’ll disrupt the entire septic process.
- Lift pump: If your septic system has a lift pump, this will be the component that send effluent up a higher grade so it can be deposited in a drainfield at a higher elevation. A broken lift pump is sure to result in backflow and flooding and needs to be remedied immediately.
- Perc test (percolation test): This is a test to measure the absorption rates of your soil, to make sure it can appropriately handle effluent dispersion as a drainfield. Low perc rates may mean the land needs to be remediated; higher perc rates are generally more desirable.
These are just some common terms you might hear tossed around from time to time if you’re working with a septic and dewatering service in Bethel, OH. Always remember, if you’re unsure of what something means or you’re confused about a term, ask your septic professional! They’ll be more than happy to explain what it means and how it applies to your septic system.