In areas located too far from municipal sewer systems, homes are built with private sewage treatment devices. These are called septic systems. Generally speaking, a septic system is made of a septic tank and a drain field.
A septic tank is typically a large steel or concrete tank that is buried underground in the yard. The tanks vary in size, but one might hold 1,000 gallons of water. Waste sewage is emptied from the house into one end of the septic tank. Material that floats to the top of the tank forms a scum layer. Material that sinks to the bottom of the tank forms a sludge layer. In the middle is a fairly clear layer of waste water that is mostly free of solids. Water will flow from this middle layer into the drain field. The drain field is made of perforated pipes buried in the ground surrounded by gravel. The water is slowly absorbed and filtered by the ground in the drain field. The only power involved is gravity, which makes it a passive system.
If your new home has a septic system, as an additional option, you can have the septic system inspected as part your inspection.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about home inspections or getting a septic system inspection.