If you’re curious about what it means to live with well water and a septic tank, here’s what you need to know
Buying a Home With Well Water and a Septic System
From grabbing a drink to brushing your teeth to making a meal, we rely on water constantly for everyday life. If you’re considering a home purchase in a more rural area, one important factor to think about is where your water utilities will originate. Access to a municipal water and sewer line may not be available, so you might be introduced to a well water and septic tank system for the first time.
Before you move forward with that rural homestead purchase, you will want to be familiar with living with well water and a septic tank.
How Does a Well and Septic Tank System Work?
You may not give much thought to where your water comes from, but a well and septic system will require a bit of knowledge in order to keep everything running smoothly. While the concept is simple in theory, there are several different parts that homeowners should be aware of.
What Is a Well?
In simplest terms, a well is a hole drilled into the ground that provides access to water. A pump and pipe system is used to pull water out of the ground, and then a screen filters out unwanted particles to help avoid clogs. Because groundwater sources can be exposed to bacteria and chemicals, wells can easily be contaminated if built incorrectly.Every well is made up of four important components:
Casing made from steel, PVC pipe, or concrete pipe. The casing maintains open access in the ground while preventing any leakage into the well from the surrounding area.
Grout is used as a sealant to fill in any cracks or spaces around the outside of the well, preventing contaminants from getting in.
Filter screen made from stainless steel or slotted PVC pipe keeps gravel, sand, and other debris out of the well.
Gravel is packed around the outside of the filter screen to prevent debris from entering the well or clogging the screen.
What Is a Septic System?
A septic system is an underground wastewater structure that consists of a septic tank and a drain field. These systems are commonly found in rural areas without access to centralized municipal sewers.
All the wastewater from a home’s kitchen, faucets, and bathrooms exits through one main drainage pipe into the tank, a water-tight container buried in the ground. The tank then holds all the wastewater, slowly separating the solids (which sink to the bottom) and the oils (which float to the top). Because sludge builds up over time, septic tanks need to be pumped every two to three years.
Eventually, the liquid (called effluent) is released from the tank and distributed into the drain field, which is a shallow, covered trench of unsaturated soil. The drain field treats and disperses the wastewater, eliminating much of the bacteria as it filters into the soil.
For more information on septic system installation, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.