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How Septic Systems Work | Onsite Overview #3

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Whether you are a septic system homeowner or an onsite wastewater professional, it is important to know all you can about the ins and outs of septic systems. Whether it be the basics of how they work, what types are available, or how to clean a septic tank, there’s no such thing as being overeducated when it comes to such an integral aspect of so many homes in the U.S. We have compiled a list of resources to get you started if you are interested in learning how to properly care for and maintain a septic system.

Our best resources on this topic:
About Septic Systems | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
This webpage provides a brief introduction to septic systems, how septic systems operate, an inspection checklist for those who are planning to buy a property with a septic system, how to go about getting a new septic system installed, and a septic system maintenance fact sheet.

All About Septics | University of Minnesota Onsite Sewage Treatment Program
This webpage provides detailed information on septic system types (type i and iii systems), advanced treatment systems (type iv systems), special situations, and other onsite treatment areas of interest.

Septic System Basics Video: Septics 101 Course | Washington State Department of Health
This 19-minute video intended for homeowners explains the basics of how on-site sewage systems function and the steps you should take to keep your system working well. The video is divided into 5 chapters that can be viewed separately. Chapters include: Introduction and Sewage Overview, System Basics and Soil, Types of Septic Systems, and System Care & Maintenance.

Cleaning an Onsite Sewage System | Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association
This 2-page fact sheet provides onsite owners some basics about the system. These include: How an Onsite Sewage System Works, Inspection of the System, Cleaning the Outlet Filter, and Cleaning the Septic Tank. Additional references are also included in this fact sheet.

Septic Tank Pumping | Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
This 11-page manual was developed to help pumpers understand these important aspects of septage handling and disposal. Topics covered are: Septic System Components, Checking the Level of Scum and Sludge in a Septic Tank, Permit Requirements, Septic Tank Pumping, Equipment for Pumping and Transporting Septage, Septage Storage, and Septage Disposal.

How to find more resources on this topic on our website?
If you are interested in looking through our database for other resources on this topic follow the instructions below:

  1. Select "CATEGORY" in the dropdown then choose "Decentralized WW Systems." 
  2. Once you make that selection, a second dropdown will appear where you can choose "TYPE" if you are looking for a specific kind of resource (videos, factsheets, etc.)
  3. Optional: In the Keyword Filter, you can type a specific word or phrase to target the search even further.
  4. The last step is to click the "Retrieve Documents" button to see your results.