Septic VS. Sewer – Understanding The Differences

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When it comes to the difference between septic and sewer systems, there is often confusion about the specifics. In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two so that you can make the most informed decision on what is best for your needs.

Septic VS. Sewer

The most noticeable difference between septic vs sewer systems lies in their implementation. In the most basic of terms, a septic system is closed-circuit, while a sewer is an open one. Sewers are typically owned and operated by the city, while septic systems are entirely operated by the owner of the property.

For a sewer system, it is designed to take waste away from your house, typically connecting a larger network of pipes that feed into the city or company managing the waste. This kind of service is not always available, particularly in places outside of a larger municipality. In those cases, septic systems are more widely used. A septic system initially works similarly, with the waste all going to a specific point, but diverges in exactly where it goes.

How Sewers Work

In its most basic form, a sewer connection works by separating your wastewater and clean water. All the drains in your house connect down to one big underground pipeline that takes the waste into the city’s sewer system. The waste travels through the system until it reaches the public sewer treatment plant, where they remove all the contaminants from the water. The water is then re-used elsewhere by the city.

How Septic Works

All that wastewater treatment that is done at a plant for sewers is done right under your house in a self-contained septic system. There is a misconception that septic works by shrinking down what a sewer system does into a closed system where everything is done right on your property. While that is partially true, it’s not quite accurate.

A septic system does not have the luxury of a pipeline connected to a treatment plant where everything is properly handled on-site. The septic system has to break down all the solids, liquids, bacteria, and other elements that are all in the water, then separate it so that it doesn’t then contaminate the ground with the water when released back into the soil.

That’s right, the treated water isn’t just kept in a tank somewhere; it’s actually given back to the land once the cycle is done, protecting the property’s natural groundwater.

Conclusion Of Septic VS. Sewer

Of course, there’s more that goes into all of this than what’s been described here. If you’re interested, we have in-depth articles on both septic and sewer systems that get into the nitty-gritty about the fine details.

You now know enough about the differences between septic vs sewer systems to properly distinguish the two. Chances are that you won’t want to be doing the maintenance work for them like septic pumping by yourself. If you live in Washington State in King, Pierce, or Thurston county, All Septic & Sewer is here to help.

With over 20 years of experience, All Septic & Sewer knows how to handle every aspect of your sanitation system, septic or sewer. We carefully inspect every system so that we never have to make any guesses, giving you the best quality service every time. Contact us through our website, give us a call at (888) 541-6600, and follow us on Facebook, and we will discover together what we can do for you.

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