Now, there are several types of septic systems. However, we will only focus on a few of the most popular ones, highlighting their respective features and design.
If you live in a rural area or suburb, there’s a higher chance that a septic system will serve you best. However, one thing you have to decide on is the type of system to install.
Different Types of Septic Systems
We are delving straightaway into the details of our discussion.
Here, we will be listing and discussing each of the many septic systems available. We have chosen only the most popular due to the ease of installation and maintenance associated with them. The efficiency of these systems is also a major factor in why they’re most preferred.
Conventional Septic Systems
As with most types of septic systems, these are decentralized wastewater treatment systems.
However, what makes this quite different is how it is designed. The entire system consists of a drain field and a septic tank. The drain field is where wastewater treatment happens.
The septic tank used for a conventional system could either be made from reinforced plastic or concrete. Its working process all begins from the drainpipes (inclusive of toilets, bathtubs, sinks, etc).
All of the wastewater generated from your home is channeled through a pipe into the septic tank.
A separation between the solids (sludge) and liquid happens. This liquid is further treated by sending it to the drain field where it undergoes a series of filtration processes.
In most cases, mound septic systems are preferred when there’s shallow soil depth. In other words, when there isn’t enough soil depth for a conventional septic system, this option is mostly considered.
Other factors influencing the installation of mound septic systems include areas with shallow bedrock as well as those with high groundwater.
So, how does this system works? An elevated ground will be most ideal and helps in setting up effectively. We have mentioned shallow soil depth as a hindrance for the installation of a septic tank, why is that so? The answer is easy!
An area with more soil (ideal soil structure) is needed to allow for better filtration of wastewater until it reaches groundwater.
A pump chamber is introduced into the mound septic system. Here, effluent collected from the septic tank is pumped to the mound in measured doses.
Treatment of this wastewater happens gradually, filtering through the sand and eventually releasing it to the groundwater.
Drip Distribution Septic System
This is also known as the drip irrigation system. How it works is that it prevents the soil from getting easily saturated during wastewater filtration. Wastewater is held in a holding tank (apart from the septic tank) and released in doses.
An absorption area is vital for this system to work effectively.
While drip distribution septic systems are efficient, they require greater or more maintenance intervals. It distributes water more evenly across the drain area.
If you have worries about the suitability of your soil type, consider using the drip distribution system. It works well in different soil conditions.
The Chamber Septic System
This type of septic system is ideal for areas having gravel scarcity. Gravels form an important component for septic system construction. These are utilized in the building of drain fields.
However, the chamber system introduces an alternative method for the treatment of effluent or wastewater.
Here, multiple chambers are built and connected in series to the septic tank. Soil is filled around the area to serve as a filtration system. This creates an ideal system for microorganisms to thrive and help filter and treat effluent.
In installing the chamber system, synthetic materials are used in place of gravels. Such synthetic or alternative materials have a similar effect to gravels.
Intermittent Sand Filter Septic Systems
Under the intermittent sand filter system, an additional layer of filtration is made available. To ensure that wastewater goes through an added filtration or treatment process, a sand filter is made available. As such, all wastewater coming from the septic tank is directed through the sand filtration compartment.
This helps ensure only treated water is released into the soil. This process has been used with a great degree of success. It is installed in homes and commercial buildings among others.
Recirculating Sand Filter Septic Systems
These systems are much similar to intermittent systems as regards the introduction or installation of additional sand filtration.
In the case of recirculating sand filters, A loop is introduced. This ensures effluent goes through double filtration or treatment before it is released into the soil.
Here, wastewater is channeled from the septic tank into a pump chamber which is then pumped into the sand filter.
This sand filter is made with either a sand-filled concrete box or PVC lined material. We must state though that pumping of wastewater isn’t done at high pressure. This helps create a slower and more natural filtration process.
This too represents a septic system. The septic tank is made from watertight material and must be buried below the ground surface. Such a tank might be made from concrete, fiberglass, or reinforced concrete. However, the type of tank to be used will be determined by your soil structure.
Testing will be necessary to find out the soil type.
When waste is emptied into the tank from household drains, it is separated into two main components; solids (sludge) and liquid.
Other forms of liquid include oils. Lighter solids will also float to the surface. Now, this liquid or effluent is discharged into the drain field for further treatment.
Evapotranspiration Septic Systems
Unlike other types of septic systems, the drain fields for evapotranspiration is unique. After entering the drain field, wastewater isn’t absorbed or filtered through the soil. Rather, it is evaporated. Having mentioned evaporation, the common understanding will be that there’s adequate sunlight.
However, the reality is that not all areas experience sufficient or adequate sunlight.
Therefore, certain regions (mostly arid) are most ideal for installing evapotranspiration septic systems. In constructing the drain field, the base is covered or lined with an impermeable material or membrane. This is meant to prevent water absorption through the soil.
Community Or Cluster Septic Systems
Unlike septic systems installed for households, community or cluster systems involve more than one household or structure. Here, wastewater is conveyed to a treatment and dispersal unit which is centralized. This isn’t so far away from the buildings or structures.
The community or cluster septic system is easy to maintain and more cost-effective. It requires the cooperation of your neighbors too.
Deciding on the installation of the cluster septic system may be determined by the soil or other conditions. Such systems are mostly found in rural areas.
Chlorine Disinfection Septic Systems
If you thought chlorine was only used to disinfect drinking and swimming pool water, you’re wrong! This chemical is also used for septic wastewater treatment. When this method is used, it helps create an unconducive environment for harmful microorganisms.
A holding tank is required for such treatment before the wastewater is released to the drain field. Chlorine disinfection septic systems can be deployed in any condition and prevent untreated wastewater from entering the water body.
Is your home located close to areas with conditions considered adverse for the installation of septic systems? If you do, it might be time you considered aerobic treatment units as an alternative to other types of septic systems.
So, what are aerobic treatment units?
Although the name might sound technical, it is quite simple and consists of a septic tank. This comes attached to an air pump or vent which helps inject oxygen into the septic tank. You might be wondering how this helps.
It helps a lot! Oxygen increases natural bacterial activity in your septic system.
This allows for a greater and faster bacterial breakdown of harmful microorganisms. Thus, making it much safer by lowering the pathogen levels before the wastewater is absorbed into the soil.
The aerobic treatment for septic systems can be used in most conditions. Especially in areas where the water table is shallow. Here is how to maintain aerobic systems.
Ultraviolet Disinfection Septic Systems
The purpose of septic wastewater treatment is to help remove harmful contents, thus making it safer for further filtration. Through filtration, the treatment process is completed with the water safe to mix with groundwater.
Ultraviolet rays help disinfect wastewater in a holding tank. Rapid reproduction of microorganisms is restricted when such rays penetrate wastewater.
Ozone Disinfection Septic Systems
Ozone disinfection systems are additional options to consider. Though expensive, these systems help disinfect wastewater, thus allowing for the safe release of treated water into the soil. Ozone disinfection can be integrated with any system.
Most importantly, this system is effective in unfavorable conditions such as shallow water tables, and bad soil structure.
The list goes on and on! These are some of the most popular septic system types in use. Each of these fit specific situations. However, the suitability of any should be determined by your installer.
A professional should be able to recommend the best or most ideal septic system for certain locations. This, of course, depends on results from a septic inspection carried out. It all starts by contacting an experienced technician to inspect and recommend.
- Alternative Septic Systems For Difficult Sites & Soil Types
- Septic Systems For Small Lots: Types & Challenges
- Mound Septic System: Features, Raised Components & Maintenance
- Chamber Septic System: Pros, Cons & Safety