Septic systems were created for those who live in rural areas and don’t have access to sewer systems. You can think of a septic system and septic tank as your own, private sewage treatment plant that filters your waste in your backyard. Most people who own septic systems don’t fully understand how they work and simply want to keep them working well! As septic tank pumping experts, Webb’s Select-A-Service is more than happy to take care of the dirty work for you. But we also believe that knowledge is power, which is why we started our blog. A septic system is a pretty incredible piece of technology, and it’s interesting to learn how they work. Continue reading to learn more!

Your septic tank is just a big concrete or steel tank that is buried in your yard and filters your waste water. It’s important to get regular septic tank pumping to keep the system working correctly. If you’re in need of septic tank pumping in Altonah, contact Webb’s Select-A-Service. Our experienced technicians will pump your septic and keep your system running smoothly! 


Bacteria are the heart of the septic system, and they break down the waste, leaving that waste clean enough to seep into the earth. The whole system is designed to keep the bacteria healthy and happy, so they can do their work — breaking down your waste!

There are many many different types of bacteria in the world, and the bacteria that live in your septic system can be broken into two categories: aerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to live, and they are good at eating and breaking down organic waste. Anaerobic bacteria, on the other hand, can live in environments with little or no oxygen. They’re smaller bacteria and they are good at breaking down solids, which they eat and excrete as gases and liquids. 

Septic Tank

The bacteria live in the septic tank, which come in a variety of sizes and hold wastwater. Wastewater flows into the tank at one end and exits on the other through pipes that are near the surface of the tank.

Within the tank, anything that floats rises to the top, forming a scum layer, while the heavier materials settle on the bottom. A septic tank naturally produces gases, which come from the bacteria breaking down the organic material in the wastewater. These gases don’t smell great, since they’re basically bacteria farts. The septic tank has a vent pipe that releases the gases. One of the reasons you should regularly get septic tank pumping is to remove the sludge layer and reduce the production of gases.

Drain Field

When new water flows into the septic tank, it displaces the water that’s already in there, which then flows out of the tank and into the drain field. The drain field is made of pipes that are buried in gravel-filled trenches. The pipes are perforated, which allows the water to be dispersed throughout the field, rather than being dumped in a single location, which could cause a lake to form. The water is slowly absorbed and filtered by the gravel and dirt in the ground. 

Webb’s Select-A-Service Altonah

We don’t expect everyone to get as excited about septic systems as we do, but we’re always happy to answer any of your questions about how to properly maintain your system! Learn more on our septic tank pumping page and contact us today for inspection, maintenance, and regular septic tank pumping. Along with septic tank services, we also specialize in drain cleaning. Learn more and get in touch for all your plumbing needs!