Understanding the Different Types of Septic Systems

Understanding the Different Types of Septic Systems 1


Septic systems are underground structures that treat wastewater generated by households and commercial establishments. These systems are essential where access to centralized wastewater treatment is not possible. Understanding the different types of septic systems available is vital as it empowers property owners to make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the most suitable and efficient system for their needs.

Understanding the Different Types of Septic Systems 2

Traditional Septic System

The traditional septic system consists of a septic tank and a leach field. The septic tank is typically a large, underground container made of concrete, plastic, or fiberglass, which collects wastewater from the house. Bacteria in the tank decompose the solids, and the liquid waste flows into the leach field. The leach field consists of perforated pipes surrounded by gravel. The liquid then filters through the gravel, and the bacteria in the soil purify it before it enters the groundwater.

Alternative Septic Systems

Alternative septic systems are useful if a traditional system cannot be installed due to site restrictions, property size or soil conditions. The most common types of alternative septic systems include aerobic treatment units (ATUs), sand filters, and mound systems.

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs)

An ATU is a controlled environment that encourages aerobic bacteria to break down waste in the water. The presence of oxygen helps these bacteria to decompose the waste more rapidly and efficiently than a traditional system. ATUs are often utilized in areas where groundwater is at risk of contamination due to the proximity of local waterways or wells.

Sand Filters

A sand filter system comprises a septic tank and a large filter bed filled with sand. The sewage from the house flows into the septic tank as with a traditional system, where solids settle to the bottom. The liquid then enters the sand filter bed where the sand removes any remaining contaminants before it percolates into the soil below.

Mound Systems

A mound system is particularly useful when the soil is too thin or has a high water table, making it unsuitable for a traditional leach field. Mound systems consist of a specially constructed sand mound, which is engineered to provide an adequate filtering and absorption area. The wastewater is dispersed into the mound via a pump and is then filtered by the sand before entering the groundwater.

Choosing the Right Septic System for Your Property

When selecting a septic system for your property, it is essential to consider several factors, including soil type, site layout, and local regulations. An experienced septic system professional can help you assess your property’s requirements and recommend the most efficient type of system for your situation. Selecting the correct system can impact the longevity of your system, water quality, and property aesthetics.

The Cost of a Septic System

The cost of a septic system can vary depending on a variety of factors. Traditional systems are generally less expensive than alternative systems, averaging between $4,000 and $10,000. Alternative systems such as ATUs, sand filters, and mound systems tend to be more costly, ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 or more. However, the initial cost savings in choosing a traditional system can be outweighed by costly repairs or replacements in the future.

Maintenance and Care for Your Septic System

Maintenance is crucial in extending the lifespan and performance of a septic system. Basic maintenance includes regular pumping and system inspections performed by a licensed septic service professional. Property owners should take care to avoid flushing non-biodegradable materials down the toilet, such as feminine hygiene products and cleaning wipes. Keep water usage to a minimum and avoid pouring grease, oil, or harsh chemicals down the drain. Our commitment is to offer a complete educational journey. That’s why we suggest visiting this external website with additional and relevant information about the subject. cesspool companies near Huntington Station NY, discover more and broaden your understanding!


Understanding the different types of septic systems available, collecting information on your options when choosing a system, and maintaining your system correctly are all vital steps in ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your septic system. When correctly chosen and maintained, a septic system can last for many years, providing an efficient and affordable method of wastewater treatment.

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