Where in the septic system do the septic system pumps go?

septic system pumps

Septic systems typically include a pipe running from your home, a large tank with 2 or more chambers, and a drain field.  Under certain circumstances, septic system pumps or a septic aerator may also be necessary.

Some systems require septic system pumps

To understand why septic tank pumps are sometimes necessary, you first need to know how a septic system works.  When you have a septic system, all wastewater flows from your house and into the septic tank.  In the first chamber of the tank, the wastewater settles into 3 layers: oils, liquids, and solids.  The middle layer (the liquid) then flows into another chamber where it can settle further. Bacteria work to breakdown solids and the water eventually is sent to a drain field.  In some septic systems, the water flows out of the tank naturally, but sometimes a septic tank pump is needed. The pump can be submerged (usually in the last chamber of the tank) and pumps water to the drain field.  

Whether or not you need septic pumps can depend on the conditions in your yard and the amount of water that needs to flow through your septic system.  For example, if the box that distributes water to the drain field is at a higher elevation than your septic tank, gravity will not cause the water to flow that way so you will need a septic tank pump.  Your septic system installers and service providers can help you determine which septic tank pumps are best for you based on the elevation of your system components and the amount of water that will flow through the system to maximize efficiency.  Your septic service providers will need to ensure that the pump can handle the amount of water discharged from large appliances (such as dishwashers and washing machines) but that it also gives the water time to flow through the drain field.

Septic tank aerators

Another component that is sometimes included in a septic system is a septic tank aerator.  In a typical septic system, the bacteria that help breakdown waste in the septic tank are anaerobic – meaning they work with little to no oxygen.  A septic tank aerator draws air from outside the tank and distributes it in the tank through tubes so aerobic bacteria can help breakdown waste. A septic tank with an aerator usually has 3 chambers and the septic aerator is located in the second chamber.  

The advantage to a system with a septic aerator is that the aerobic bacteria are usually faster and more effective.  The effluent that flows from a septic system with a septic aerator is usually cleaner than effluent from a system without an aerator.  Visit www.wastewaterpro.com/ to learn more about septic tank pumps and septic aerators.