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How Your Septic System Works

Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in rural areas without centralized sewer systems. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry.

A typical septic system consists of a septic tank and a drainfield, or soil absorption field.

It was not all that long ago historically that using the restroom inside was a luxury and almost unthinkable for ordinary people. You might have family members who remember when it was far more customary to conduct business outside. The Greeks and Romans had versions of running water indoors, but it would be centuries before we had a reliable and economical way to dispose of trash in our houses.

In the nineteenth century, a Frenchman named Jean-Louis Mouras invented the septic system, making it possible to use the restroom indoors and send the waste outside. He essentially used clay pipes to connect his house to an exterior concrete tank. Then he figured out how to connect the tank to a central cesspool in his city. 

Today, we don’t even think twice about doing business indoors. It’s not a modern convenience; it’s a necessity. However, that can lull us into a false sense of security.