Leesburg VA Septic Tank Cleaning: Terms to Know

Leesburg VA Septic System Cleaning

Are you experiencing slower running toilets or perhaps experiencing some back-up in your drains? This could be a sign that your septic tank needs to be emptied. If you are a homeowner with a private septic tank in Leesburg VA, septic tank cleaning should be done every one to three years. An inspection of the entire septic system will determine whether a cleaning will be needed for sure.

While it’s important to hire an experienced contractor like SES to clean your septic tank, it’s also important to understand the terms and the process so you are informed. Here are some common terms you will hear:

  • Septic tank – a container that is placed below ground that collects and separates waste when it is discharged from your home
  • Sludge – solid waste that settles at the bottom of your septic tank
  • Scum – fats, oils and protein from waste that settles at the top of your septic tank
  • Effluent – a gray-ish but transparent liquid that settles into a layer between the sludge and the scum, and then is allowed to flow out of the tank to an external drain field to be treated
  • Effluent filter – a filter attached to the outlet pipe that keeps solids from entering the drain field and clogging the drain field pipes
  • Septage – the combination of sludge, scum, and effluent in the septic tank
  • Drain field – also known as a leach field, the drain field removes contaminants from the septic effluent that is discharged from the septic tank. The drain field is made up of a system of perforated pipes, gravel and soil. The soil acts as a natural filter contains aerobic microorganisms that decompose the anaerobic organisms in the effluent so that it doesn’t contaminate ground or surface waters.

Following an inspection where high levels of waste have been measured in the septic system, a pump truck will come and evacuate the tanks completely. At the same time, the drain field pipes will be cleaned and the effluent filter replaced to ensure the drain field continues to operate as it should on your property in Leesburg VA. Septic tank cleaning is important to maintaining a safe environment.

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