If you are in need of a new septic system, it is important to know the different types that are available. There are several different types of septic systems, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.
In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each type of system so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!
In this article:
- What is a septic system?
- What is the most common septic system?
- What is the most expensive septic system?
- Different Types Of Septic Systems
- 6. Constructed Wetland System
- Alternative Systems:
- How to install a septic system
- How to maintain a septic system
What is a septic system?
A septic system is a self-contained, underground wastewater treatment system. Septic systems are used in homes and businesses that are not connected to a central sewer system.
Wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks, and washing machines flows into the septic tank. The tank is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic and is buried in the ground.
The wastewater is broken down by bacteria in the tank, and the resulting sludge and effluent flow into a perforated pipe buried in the soil. The treated wastewater then slowly seeps into the groundwater or evaporates into the air.
How does a septic system work?
Septic systems are used to treat and dispose of wastewater from homes that are not connected to a municipal sewer system. Wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks, and washing machines flows into the septic tank.
The septic tank is a watertight chamber that is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. Inside the septic tank, bacteria break down the wastewater.
After the wastewater has been treated in the septic tank, it flows into the leach field. The leach field is a series of trenches that are filled with gravel. The treated wastewater then flows through the gravel and into the soil.
There are three different types of septic systems: conventional, alternative, and advanced. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your home.
Conventional septic systems are the most common type of septic system. They consist of a tank and a leach field. Wastewater from your home flows into the tank, where it is treated by bacteria. The treated wastewater then flows into the leach field, where it is filtered through the soil.
Alternative septic systems are designed for homes with limited space or poor soil conditions. There are several different types of alternative septic systems, including aerobic systems, anaerobic systems, and graywater systems. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your home.
Advanced septic systems are designed for homes with high-strength wastewater, such as homes with a lot of people or businesses. These systems use a tank that is divided into two compartments. The wastewater enters the first compartment and flows through a filter before it enters the second compartment. This compartment has an effluent pump that pumps the wastewater out to the septic field.
What is the most common septic system?
The most common septic system is the conventional septic system. It consists of a tank and a drain field. The tank is usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. It holds sewage from the home until it decomposes and is treated by bacteria. The effluent then flows through the drain field, where it is filtered and absorbed into the soil.
This system is usually less expensive to install, but it can be more difficult to maintain and may not work as well in cold climates. Additionally, the drain field can only handle a certain amount of wastewater before it becomes overloaded.
What is the most expensive septic system?
There is no one definitive answer to this question. The most expensive septic system will vary depending on the size of your home, the type of soil you have, and other factors. However, a traditional septic system with a leach field typically costs more than an aerobic treatment unit (ATU). An ATU can be a more expensive option if your home is located on a steep slope, as it may require more extensive excavation and installation.
If you have a large home with plenty of wastewater, or if your soil is not conducive to a leach field, then an ATU may be the best option for you.
Different Types Of Septic Systems
1. Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU)
The aerobic treatment unit is the most common type of septic system. It uses oxygen to break down sewage into water and other substances. ATUs are typically used in areas where there is a high water table or where the soil cannot absorb enough water.
-An aerobic treatment unit is less likely to fail than other types of septic systems.
-It treats sewage more effectively than other types of septic systems.
-An aerobic treatment unit requires more maintenance than other types of septic systems.
-It is more expensive to install and operate than other types of septic systems.
2. Pit and Pipe System
The pit and pipe system is a simple, old-fashioned system that uses a hole in the ground to hold sewage. A network of pipes carries the sewage from the house to the hole.
-A pit and pipe system is relatively inexpensive to install.
-It is simple to operate and maintain.
-It does not require electricity.
-A pit and pipe system can pollute groundwater if it is not maintained properly.
-It can be a health hazard if it is not maintained properly.
-It may not be suitable for areas with a high water table.
3. Anaerobic septic system
The anaerobic septic system is a type of septic system that does not use oxygen to break down sewage. Instead, it uses bacteria to break down the sewage.
-An anaerobic septic system is less likely to fail than other types of septic systems.
-It is relatively inexpensive to install.
-It does not require electricity.
-An anaerobic septic system is more difficult to maintain than other types of septic systems.
-It can produce unpleasant odors.
-It may not be suitable for areas with a high water table.
4. Chamber System
The chamber system is a type of septic system that uses a series of chambers to treat sewage. The sewage is broken down in the first chamber, and the water is cleaned in the second chamber. The clean water then flows out to the soil absorption area.
-The chamber system is a relatively easy system to install.
-The system is also relatively cheap to install.
-The system is effective at treating sewage.
-The chamber system can be slow to treat sewage.
-The system can be difficult to maintain.
5. Cluster or Community System
The cluster or community system is a type of septic system that is used in areas where there are a lot of homes. The sewage from all the homes is collected and treated in one central location.
-Saves money because you don’t have to build a septic system for each individual home
-The sewage is treated by professionals
-If the central location fails, all the homes will be affected
-You have to share the cost of maintaining the central location with all the other homeowners in your community.
6. Constructed Wetland System
A constructed wetland system is a type of septic system that uses natural processes to treat wastewater. Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil or plants year-round, or for extended periods of time during the year.
They can be either man-made or naturally occurring. Constructed wetlands systems rely on the ability of wetland plants to remove pollutants from the water.
The wetland area is divided into two sections: an inlet section and an outlet section. Wastewater enters the inlet section, where it is treated by the plants. The treated wastewater then flows to the outlet section, where it exits the wetland and enters a drainage system or septic tank.
-Can be used in areas with high water tables or shallow soils
-Treats a wide range of pollutants
-Requires little maintenance
-Requires a large amount of space
-Takes a long time to construct
7. Conventional System
The most common type of septic system, the conventional system is composed of a tank and a drain field. The tank is where sewage collects and breaks down, while the drain field allows treated water to seep back into the ground.
-Inexpensive to install and maintain
-Can handle a large amount of wastewater
-Not as efficient as other systems
-If the tank fails, it can be expensive to repair or replace
8. Drain Field and Piping System:
A drain field and piping system is the most common type of septic system used in homes. A perforated pipe is installed in a gravel-filled trench, which distributes effluent evenly into the soil.
The soil filters out contaminants and breaks down the waste naturally. This type of system should only be used on level ground, as slopes can cause the effluent to pond and create a mosquito breeding ground.
-Easy to install and maintain
-Can only be used on level ground
-Piping can clog over time, causing the system to fail.
9. Drip Distribution System
This type of system is also referred to as a leach field or leaching bed. It is the most common type of septic system, and it is composed of perforated pipes that are buried in gravel-filled trenches. The effluent from the septic tank slowly drips through the gravel and into the soil below.
Pros: Drip distribution systems are relatively simple and inexpensive to install. They are also low maintenance, and they can be used in a variety of soil types.
Cons: Drip distribution systems require a large amount of land, and they can be damaged by tree roots or other objects that penetrate the trenches. In addition, they are not suitable for use in areas with high water tables or shallow soils.
10. Evapotranspiration System
An evapotranspiration system, also known as an ET system, is a type of septic system that uses the natural process of evaporation and transpiration to treat wastewater.
This type of system is typically used in areas where there is ample sunlight and water availability. The wastewater is collected in a tank where it is treated with bacteria. The treated wastewater is then released into the environment through a series of perforated pipes.
– ET systems are simple and relatively inexpensive to install.
– They do not require a lot of maintenance.
– They are effective at treating wastewater.
– ET systems only work well in areas that have ample sunlight and water availability.
– They can be difficult to operate in cold weather climates.
11. Low-pressure septic system
A low-pressure septic system is a great option for homeowners who have space constraints since it doesn’t require a large tank. This type of system operates with a pump that sends effluent to the distribution box and then to the leach field.
-Takes up less space
-Can be used in areas with high water tables
-More expensive to install and maintain
12. Mound Systems
Mound systems are most often used when the soil conditions are not suitable for a conventional system. A mound is created by excavating and adding fill material to raise the level of the absorption field above the water table or bedrock. Mounds can also be used where space is limited.
-Can be used in areas with unsuitable soil or space limitations
-More expensive than a conventional system
-Requires more maintenance than other types of systems
13. Pond Systems
Pond systems are used in rural areas where there is an adequate water supply. A pond is excavated and the absorption field is located in the pond. The effluent from the septic tank is discharged into the pond where it is treated by bacteria.
Pond systems have several advantages:
-They are less expensive to construct than other types of septic systems.
-The effluent is dispersed over a large area, which reduces the chances of pollution.
-Pond systems are aesthetically pleasing.
However, pond systems have some disadvantages:
-They require a large amount of land.
-They may attract mosquitoes and other pests.
-They may be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
14. Recirculating Sand Filter System
This type of system is common in areas with high water tables or shallow soils. It uses a recirculating pump to circulate effluent through a bed of sand, which filters out contaminants. The filtered effluent then flows back into the septic tank.
-It requires less maintenance than other types of systems.
-The sand bed can filter out a large percentage of contaminants.
-It can be expensive to install.
-The pump may need to be replaced often.
15. Septic Tank and Leach Field System
This is the most common type of septic system. The septic tank collects wastewater from the home and the leach field distributes it over a large area of soil. The soil filters out contaminants and allows the wastewater to soak into the ground.
-It is relatively inexpensive to install.
-It is relatively easy to maintain.
-It can handle a large amount of wastewater.
-If the leach field becomes clogged, the system will not work properly.
-The soil must be able to absorb water without becoming saturated and flooded.
Effluent Pumping System: This system uses a pump to move effluent from the septic tank to a distribution box or field line.
Pneumatic System: This system uses air pressure to move effluent from the septic tank to a distribution box or field line.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
Yes, you can have a septic tank without a leach field. If your soil is not suitable for a leach field or you don’t have the space for one, you can install an alternate absorption system like a mound system or sandfilter. Your local health department will be able to tell you if an alternate absorption system is allowed in your area.
How much does a septic system cost?
Septic systems can be a great way to handle wastewater from your home, but how much does it cost?
A standard gravity fed septic system will typically cost between $4000-$6000 depending on the size of your home. If you have a more complex home with a lot of extra features, the cost could go up to $8000 or even more.
A septic system maintenance and pumping service will typically range from $50-$150 per visit, depending on the size of your tank and how often it needs to be pumped. If you have a garbage disposal, you will also need to have your septic tank pumped more often, as the disposer will add more solids to the tank.
If you are on a municipal sewer system, you may be able to apply for a grant from your local government to help offset the cost of installing a new septic system. Be sure to check with your municipality before you begin any work.
How long does a septic tank last?
The average septic tank lifespan is 20 to 40 years, but this can vary depending on the type of system you have, how well it was installed, and how well it has been maintained.
Does shower water go into septic tank?
This is a common question that many homeowners have. The answer, however, is not so straightforward. In general, shower water does not go into the septic tank. However, if you have a particularly large home with multiple bathrooms and showers, your shower water may end up going into the septic tank. If this is the case, you will need to have a larger septic tank installed in order to accommodate the extra water.
How to install a septic system
Septic systems are a great way to dispose of wastewater, and they’re easy to install. Here are the steps you need to take:
Pick a spot for your septic system. The system should be downhill from your house, and it should be far enough away that the effluent won’t contaminate any bodies of water. Mark the spot with a shovel.
Dig a hole that’s at least 12 feet deep and 18 feet wide. If you have to go over these dimensions, it’s okay—just make sure the septic tank will fit in the hole!
Backfill the hole with soil, making sure to compact it well.
Install the septic tank. This is probably the trickiest part of the installation, so you may want to call in a professional. The tank should be level, and it should be installed on firm ground.
Run a perforated pipe from the septic tank to the drain field. The pipe should slope downhill, and it should be buried at least 18 inches below the surface.
Cover the tank and pipe with a layer of topsoil.
Seed the area around the septic system with grass or other ground cover.
Now you’re ready to enjoy your new septic system! Just make sure to have your tank pumped every few years to prevent it from overflowing.
How to maintain a septic system
Septic systems are an important part of every home, and it is crucial to properly maintain them in order to keep them functioning correctly. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:
-Regularly inspect your septic tank for any signs of damage or leaks.
-Make sure the baffles inside the tank are intact and not damaged.
-Have your septic tank pumped every three to five years to remove any built up sludge.
-Avoid putting any harsh chemicals or cleaners down your drains, as this can damage the bacteria inside the septic tank that breaks down waste.
-Dispose of grease and oil properly, as they can clog your septic system over time.
-If you have a water softener, make sure to properly maintain it as well, as too much salt can also damage your septic tank.
Follow these tips and your septic system should be functioning smoothly for years to come!
Septic systems are an important part of our everyday lives. There are many different types of septic systems, and each one has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. It is important to choose the right type of septic system for your home, and to maintain it properly so that it lasts for years. Thank you for reading!