How Does a Septic Tank Work?

January 10, 2020

septic tank being installed in soilThe septic system in your home may appear rather simple, but it is a delicate system that requires proper maintenance.

That’s why we wanted to provide this brief article to help you understand how a septic tank works.

The following information will help you learn a great deal about your septic tank in Kelowna, what can go wrong, and when to call for a professional septic tank service.

Septic Tank: The Vital Parts

Although a septic tank is a stand-alone unit, it is a part of your home’s septic system.

The vital components of these systems include your drainage pipe, septic tank and drainage field.

Each one of these parts plays a vital role in keeping the system running. If anything goes wrong with any component of the septic system, you will have a problem on your hands.

Now that you know the essentials of what makes a septic tank system, let’s see how it works.

The Intricate Design of a Septic Tank

To help you understand how a septic tank works, we’ve broken down the process into several steps.

Step 1

The wastewater and sewage from your house go through the main drainage pipe, which is connected to your septic tank.

Step 2

Once the water exits the drainpipe, it ends up in a septic tank. Septic tanks can be made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The primary role of the septic tank is to hold the water so that solid particles can settle down while grease and oil remain floating to the top.

The solid particles at the bottom form sludge while oil and grease form scum. The special compartments built in a septic tank prevent sludge and scum from leaving the tank.

hose leading from septic tank

Step 3

The captured water between sludge and scum exits the septic tank and ends up in a drainfield.

Step 4

Drainfield consists of several pipes that take the water from the septic tank and pipe it into the ground.

Step 5

The soil works as a final natural filter that breaks down harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients in the water.

When You Need Septic Service in Kelowna

septic tank on home lawnAs a leading Kelowna septic tank service provider, D & L Environmental is fully equipped to meet your septic system & servicing needs.

While every septic tank should be serviced at least once in a couple of years, the following signs indicate that you need a septic tank service:

  • Muddy soil and/or pooling water around your septic tank
  • Wastewater backing up into your household
  • The grass around drainfield appears spongy and bright green
  • You can sense the characteristic odor around the drainfield and septic tank

Hopefully, this information will help you understand how your septic tank works and when to get a septic tank service.

For Okanagan septic cleaning & service, get in touch today. For septic emergencies in Kelowna or the Okanagan call 250-765-0999.


D & L Environmental Ltd. has been doing business in the Okanagan for over 30 years. We have grown into the largest full service hydro vac & vacuum truck company in the BC Interior.

670 Beaver Lake Road
Kelowna, BC V4V 1S7

250-765-0999 (Main Number)
250-766-3260 (Lake Country)
250-769-8040 (West Kelowna)
250-769-8040 (Vernon)
236-425-2232 (Kamloops)

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    D&L Environmental is hiring experienced operators immediately for hydro vac, haz waste, septic and grease vac trucks. Very competitive wages, benefits, boot allowance, overtime etc. Out of town camp work available and as well local area work.

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