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We all know that most modern houses are connected to public sewage systems, but for houses in rural areas, that isn’t always the case. For areas where houses are built too far apart for the construction of a cost effective sewage system, individual waste treatment systems called septic tanks are used. But what exactly does a septic tank do? And how does it work? At WildRose Vacuum Services, we offer a variety of maintenance and servicing options for your septic tank. Let our team of experts take you through the design and construction process of your home’s water treatment system.



Your septic tank consists of three major parts: a watertight cement tank of roughly 4000 litres, an inlet pipe, and an outlet pipe that leads into a drain field to release the water. Toilets, sinks and bathtubs throughout the house feed into this tank that is generally buried somewhere in the backyard. A septic tank is a completely passive system that takes time and uses disinfectant chemicals to treat waste before releasing it back into the soil surrounding the tank.


Now that you know the basic design of your septic tank, let’s take a look at the process used to treat your household waste:

  1. All waste runs through one main drainage pipe and into your septic tank.

  2. Your septic tank holds this water for a period of up to 24 hours, allowing all solids to be broken down and settle down to the bottom of the tank forming a type of sludge. At the top of your tank a thin layer of scum will form (consisting of oil and grease and liquids that are less dense) and in the middle you will have relatively clear water (called effluent).

  3. The treated water will exit the tank and into the drain field.

  4. Treated wastewater is discharged through these pipes and percolates into the soil surrounding the tank. An overflowing drain field will result in untreated sewage flowing to the surface of your property.

  5. Waste is dispersed into the soil, removing harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients.

Septic tanks generally use gravity to facilitate this process, but will sometimes have a pump that guides the wastewater through the various stages of treatment.

At WildRose Vacuum Services, we repair, clean, install and replace septic tanks throughout Calgary. For more information regarding our services, contact us or visit our website today.

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