Why am I writing about how a septic tank works? Well we found out this week that we need to replace ours. If I am going to eat beans and rice for the next 7 months and tear up my back yard...by golly we are going to learn how a septic tank works.
When you flush the toilet where does the waste go? This is a great lead into our unit study on septic tanks. I did toy with the idea of starting this unit with the book Where’s the Poop?
How a Septic Tank Works:
- Basic video on how a septic tank works.
- Dirty Jobs has a great 3-minute video on having a septic tank pumped.
- Listing Guide Questions for Dirty Jobs video:
- How big is the average tank?
- How often do you get the tank pumped?
- Why do they agitate the tank?
- What do they do after the tank is pumped?
Science Experiments on How a Septic Tank Works:
Septic Tank Diagram:
- Using diagrams from the Internet or the provided answer key have students label the parts of the septic system.
- Septic System Diagram with answer key.
- Perk Test: What is a perk test? Why does one need to be done before installing a septic tank? Following the directions in lesson 13 found online, you can reconstruction your own perk test. My boys loved digging a hole. I helped them calculate the math section. We found a great opportunity to discuss which is the best kind of shovel to dig a hole. According to our perk test our ground drains really fast!
- Research what role bacteria have with septic tanks.
- Define: Anaerobic and Aerobic
Calculate the Cost of a New Septic Tank:
Calculate cost of installing a new septic system. Which style is the most expensive? Which style is the least expensive? Which style is the most complicated to have installed? How does the most complicated compare to the most expensive?
Humor and How a Septic Tank Works:
Writing Prompts on Septic Tanks:
- Describe how the septic tank is the best invention of all time.
- Write a song the septic man could sing while pumping the tank.
- Explain how the septic tank works.
- Write a newspaper article about the costs of installing septic tanks.
- Which is better, septic systems or public sewer systems?
- Write a Haiku about septic tanks or use the word Septic Tank in an acoustic poem.
Septic tank all broke
Tank, drain field, and pipe all new
Great to flush away
Field Trips about Septic Systems:
- Local Waste Water Treatment Facility
- Observing the pumping of a septic system, either yours or a friends.
Oh I am pretty sure in the Spring when we actually get the new tank installed expect a party at our house. Everyone is invited and I am sure there will be cupcakes…theme yet to be determined.
After doing my research I am now convinced that you can find a DIY project on just about anything. I am not sure I could pull off a DIY septic system but it was interesting to read about it.