Generally an engineer needs to visit a site to judge what septic solutions are most appropriate for a given property. Based on evaluation a list of possible septic systems will be offered. Different types of septic systems will require more or less maintenance from homeowners. Professional maintenance also varies based on which type of septic system is chosen. There are significant differences in the cost to purchase and install different septic systems.
Conventional Septic Systems
There are two basic types of conventional septic systems. The commonality between the two is the water leaving the structure reaches a tank where solid waste is filtered out. The difference between the two is where the wastewater flows after this point. There are gravel and chamber conventional septic systems. A gravel septic system does in fact use gravel to disperse the wastewater underground. A chamber septic system utilizes an underground chamber to transfer the wastewater back into the soil.
Gravel Septic Systems
During construction of the septic system an area of the property, usually downhill from the structure, is dug about 1-3 feet below the surface. How large this area is, is decided by the anticipated flow of water from the house or rural office. Large homes with lots of bathrooms will require larger drainfields. In the case of gravel septic systems this area will be filled with gravel to help distribute the water coming out of the solid filtration tank. The limitations on these systems are excess saturation. This can be from extra guests, or even unusually heavy rainfall.
Chamber Septic Systems
Instead of using gravel to distribute the wastewater into the soil chamber systems have molded high density plastic chambers that are buried underground. The sized of these chambers vary, but generally they can be found between 15 to 40 inches wide. The length can also vary, but is generally around 10 to 12 feet. One of the main advantages of these systems is the large area they make contact with the soil. This means they are able to drain water faster. They are also able to handle greater loads of water and will not back up as easy as a gravel system.
Gravity Septic System
This is a basic or standard system that uses gravity to move the drainage through the septic tank and into the drain field. The Gravity System has a pump which distributes effluent throughout the drain field at the same time. Used in most new systems because it makes better use of the entire drain field.
Has a pump which distributes effluent throughout the drain field at the same time. Used in most new systems because it makes better use of the entire drain field.
Alternative Septic Systems
Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Septic Systems
These are known as the universally applicable septic system as they are very similar in concept to a municipal sewage system. They earn this title as they contain all of the steps and activities that urban waste treatment plants have. The minor difference being a oxygen pump into one of the tanks. The oxygen is added to the tank to help the natural consumption of the waste in the system. Quality aerobic septic systems have a pretreatment tank, and an un-stabilized chlorine tank. Using all of these tanks cleans and purifies the water enough that it is distributed via sprinklers over an absorption field.
Low Pressure Pipe Septic Systems
Not all properties have the topography to have a conventional septic system. In these cases the system cannot be placed downhill from the structure. Low pressure pipe septic systems are similar to a conventional system, however there is a pump chamber located directly after the tank. Generally the system kicks on twice a day and forces wastewater into the pumping chamber. It is then passed into the drain field. The drain field in this case is made up of small perforated pipes in gravel trenches.
Evapotranspiration Septic Systems
An evaportranspiration septic system functions via natural evaporation. Given this fact they are only recommended for dry, arid environments. If the rainfall for an area is over 24” per year, these are not good solutions. While an ET system is similar to the other septic systems in terms of the tank, they differ in the type of drainfield. An ET system contains a trench with an impervious barrier liner. Located at the bottom are perforated drainpipes that have a layer of gravel around them. A layer of sand covers the system, as a domed layer on top of the trench. This system is totally reliant on evaporation to dispose of the wastewater through the sand, grass, and plants in the area.
Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU)
An aerobic treatment unit (ATU) pre-treats wastewater by adding air to break down organic matter, reduce pathogens, and transform nutrients. Compared to conventional septic tanks, ATUs break down organic matter more efficiently, achieve quicker decomposition of organic solids, and reduce the concentration of pathogens in the wastewater.
Mound Septic System
Installed when minimal soil is available for treatment, the drain field is raised above ground level. A mound septic system is used for abnormal soil conditions. In order for effluent (waste water) to be completely treated it must pass slowly through 3 feet of dry soil.
Sand Filter Septic System
A sand filter system is a wise solution for waste water treatment problems in areas lacking soil. These systems consist of the septic tank, pump chamber, sand filter and drain field. Sand is used to make up for the inadequate amount of soil at the site.
Other Septic Systems
This is a system that is above ground using rock and sand. Certain grass seed and shallow root plants can be planted on this system. The Glendon BioFilter requires only 12 inches of good soil (no water table) from the surface ground.
In this system, the effluent is filtered through a bed of engineering textile material that is enclosed in a watertight container. This allows treatment of a large amount of wastewater in a small space and is clean enough for subsurface irrigation. AdvanTex Treatment System is a re-circulating filter that’s configured like a re-circulating sand filter
Drip Irrigation Septic System
This system is a shallow drain field where water trickles out over a wide area in measured quantities from a pump chamber. Installers can snake the bendable piping around trees and shrubs, which makes it easier to install the drain field into an already established landscape.
Septic System Types Greater Phoenix Valley
Choosing the right septic system for your home or business is a top priority. Depending on the landscape, septic system types differ greatly from one another. Let A-American Septic Service help you find the right septic system for your application. Call 602-254-5448 today to discuss which type of system will work best for your application and help with septic tank design & installation.