What Is Septic?

You Need Septic, So You Need Smith’s Septic Service

Believe us when we say, septic service is a complex business; a septic tank company needs a professional staff of certified experts undergoing continual education, staying constantly updated on latest technology and new methods for septic tank maintenance and safe repairs. We work by the motto that we need to know everything there is to know about your septic tank system – concrete, plastic, aerobic, alternative, mound, above-ground, any type, any size – so you don’t have to.

But why is septic service – most importantly, Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service, a member of the Pennsylvania Septage Management Association for our commitment to ethics, integrity and environmental responsibility – a long-time going concern as a community business here in Hanover? What is a septic tank?

Because septic is a nasty ugly yucky inevitably necessary part of life…therefore you need the expertise of Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service.

The word “septic” comes from Greek sēptikos by way of Latin sēpticus meaning “decayed” or “rotted.” So a septic tank is a large chamber for holding material as it decays and rots. What’s doing the decaying and rotting, courtesy our friends the aerobic bacteria? Organic matter. Food waste and human and animal excrement. (You know, the dark nutrient rich carbon-filled stuff, the stuff we literally leave behind, those bacteria absolutely love to gorge on. To each their own.)

The tank allows the time and space for the waste to sit and rot, separating the effluent (fluid) from the organic decaying solid matter and keeping that part of the world just a little cleaner.

We want customers empowered with knowledge about their own septic tank systems, so Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service offers this glossary of terminology common in our company’s business:

  • Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU) – A system that provides for the biological decomposition of the organic portion of the wastewater by mechanical aeration of the wastewater. Also “Aerobic Septic Systems.”
  • Aerator – A pump or blower inserting oxygen into a wastewater treatment system to encourage decay.
  • Baffle – A flow-deflecting device used in septic tanks to inhibit the discharge of floating solids and reduce the amount of settleable solids exiting the tank into the drainfield.
  • Blackwater – Toilet and urinal waste carried from a home or other building via underground pipes into a septic holding tank.
  • Drainfield – An area in which perforated piping is laid in rock-packed trenches or excavations (seepage beds) in order to distribute the effluent from a wastewater treatment unit. Also “leach field.”
  • Effluent – Clarified, partially treated liquid which leaves a septic tank into an absorption system for further filtration before being released into the local environment. Also “scum.”
  • FOG – Acronym for “fats, oil, grease,” primary components of sewage in a septic tank’s floating scum layer.
  • Graywater – Wastewater from non-toilet sources, including lavatories, dishwashers, washing machines and sinks.
  • Leach field – See “drain field.”
  • Mound septic system – Scum-treatment disposal using a network of perforated pipes delivering scum (effluent) for treatment inside the filled bed, often with sand.
  • Septage – Material pumped out of septic tanks.
  • Scum – See “effluent.”
  • Sludge – Semi-solid organic matter fallen to the bottom of a septic tank.
  • Wastewater – Any water discharged from a building through plumbing fixtures, including sewage.

Around here in Pennsylvania and Maryland, in Lineboro and Littlestown and Manchester and Dover, finding a top-quality company to reliably serve your regular septic tank cleaning, pumping and maintenance needs is part of being a smart homeowner, business owner or property investor. Thank you for being wise, informed customers of Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service, the local septic tank company established in Dauphin County, PA, since 1959.

We at Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service hold nearly 60 years of institutional knowledge about septic tanks and septic systems, and because we live here in the beautiful areas surrounding historic Hanover, PA, too. We take care of best what needs taking care of most – your septic tank wastewater system, large or small, from inside to outside, while keeping you – our customer – informed all the time.

Our Septic Services

Installations / Repairs / Scheduled Maintenance / Locations / Inspections / Drain Fields / Excavations / Waste Disposal / Backhoe / Port-a-Potty Rental / 24/7 Emergency Response

Serving Hanover, York, Gettysburg PA and Westminster MD since 1959, Smith’s Sanitary Septic Service is on the job when you need us most. Call 717-637-5630 today.