Diagnosing the septic system at Lake K

Yesterday I learned enough about septic systems to know I’ll never own one. John the septic expert explained to my bro-in-law and me the ins and outs (literally) of the tanks buried at the family’s house at Lake K.

Septic system, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

This house has been vacant for over a year, and we figured something was up when starting up electricity at the house resulted in gigantic sprays of stinky water coming up from a couple spots in the front yard.

I thought that had to be a mistake. But instead, it’s how a properly functioning system works. Solids and liquids enter the tank, a pump adds air, and micro-organisms break down the poo and liquid waste. This slush passes over a chlorinated tablet and then sprays out onto your lawn.

Works well enough I suppose, but it seems pretty gross at the same time. John also commented that far too many property owners don’t properly maintain their systems, and so to think about the possibility of all that less-than-treated water polluting the ground and the lake …. YUK. Makes the sewer seem sweet!

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