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A key component of the septic system, a small-scale sewage treatment system common in areas with no connection to main sewage pipes provided by local governments or private corporations. (Other components, typically mandated and/or restricted by local governments, optionally include pumps, alarms, sand filters, and clarified liquid effluent disposal means such as a septic drain field, ponds, natural stone fibre filter plants or peat moss beds.) Septic systems are a type of On-Site Sewage Facility (OSSF). In Northamerica, approximately 25% of the population relies on septic tanks; this can include suburbs and small towns as well as rural areas (Indianapolis is an example of a large city where many of the city's neighbourhoods are still on separate septic systems). In Europe, they are generally limited to rural areas only.
The term "septic" refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank and which decomposes or mineralizes the waste discharged into the tank. Septic tanks can be coupled with other on-site wastewater treatment units such as bio-filters or aerobic systems involving artificial forced aeration.
Periodic preventive maintenance is required to remove the irreducible solids which settle and gradually fill the tank, reducing its efficiency. In most jurisdictions this maintenance is required by law, yet often not enforced. Those who ignore the requirement will eventually be faced with extremely costly repairs when solids escape the tank and destroy the clarified liquid effluent disposal means. A properly maintained system, on the other hand, can last for decades or possibly even a lifetime. (Wikipedia).
The possibility exists to connect more than one house to one septic tank (e.g. communal septic tank). (Source: MajiData).