What Is The Alternative To A Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

Mound systems work well as alternatives to septic tanks when the soil around your home or building is too dense or too shallow or when the water table is too high. Although they are more expensive and require more maintenance than conventional systems, mound systems are a common alternative.

How do I choose the best septic tank design?

  • Determine your size requirements. Before looking at septic systems,figure out what size of septic tank is right for your home.
  • Decide what type of septic tank design is best. Don’t think in terms of brand name,but what type of soil your septic tank will be installed into.
  • Select the pump type you will use.

What can I use instead of a septic tank?

Alternative Septic Systems

  • Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems. A raised bed drain field (sometimes called a mound) is just like what it sounds.
  • Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS) Aerobic systems are basically a small scale sewage treatment system.
  • Waterless Systems.

What is the cheapest septic system?

Conventional septic system These conventional septic systems are usually the most affordable, with an average cost of around $3,000.

What are the 3 types of septic systems?

Types of Septic Systems

  • Septic Tank.
  • Conventional System.
  • Chamber System.
  • Drip Distribution System.
  • Aerobic Treatment Unit.
  • Mound Systems.
  • Recirculating Sand Filter System.
  • Evapotranspiration System.

Is a cesspit the same as a septic tank?

A cesspit is a sealed underground tank that simply collects wastewater and sewage. In contrast, septic tanks use a simple treatment process which allows the treated wastewater to drain away to a soakaway or stream.

Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?

The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.

How much does it cost to pump a septic tank?

How much does it cost to pump out a septic tank? The average cost is $300, but can run up to $500, depending on your location. The tank should be pumped out every three to five years.

How long do septic tanks last?

A septic system’s lifespan should be anywhere from 15 to 40 years. How long the system lasts depends on a number of factors, including construction material, soil acidity, water table, maintenance practices, and several others.

What is the difference between a septic tank and a septic field?

The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The liquid wastewater (effluent) then exits the tank into the drainfield. The drainfield is a shallow, covered, excavation made in unsaturated soil.

How often should a septic tank be pumped?

Inspect and Pump Frequently The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years.

How big of a septic tank do I need?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

What is the smallest septic tank available?

If you’re looking to install a septic system, the smallest tank size you’re likely to find is 750-gallon, which will accommodate one to two bedrooms. You can also opt for a 1,000-gallon system, which will handle two to four bedrooms.

What size septic tank do I need for a tiny house?

Tiny homes typically require a 500 to 1,000-gallon septic tank. Though, it’s not always possible to implement a tank of this size. In some states, for example, the minimum tank size is 1,000 gallons. There may be exceptions to this rule if your home is on wheels.

What Is an Alternative Septic System? 7 Alternatives to Conventional Septic Tanks

Finally, the opportunity has arisen for you to put in place a septic system on your property. You had initially intended on installing a normal septic tank and leach field, but what about the forest preserve near your home? What do you do about that? Will a standard septic tank harm the watershed in question? When you’re researching a septic tank, you’ll recall that when you were developing your property, you came into problems with bedrock beneath the top of the soil. What if your property’s soil is too shallow to allow you to dig down far enough to install a conventional septic tank?

What are Alternative Septic Systems?

In the context of alternative septic systems, any sort of building wastewater (also known as “effluent”) drainage system that differs from the traditional septic tank is considered to be such. Diverting and cleaning water waste from your house is not limited to the use of a typical septic system; there are many more options available to safely reintroduce it back into the environment! You will learn the following things from this blog post:

  • Identifying the reasons why some properties require alternate septic systems
  • Alternative septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The operation of each sort of system

Why Do People Want Alternatives to Septic Tanks?

Just though traditional septic systems are commonplace does not imply that they are appropriate for every property or situation. There are a variety of reasons why the conventional model for wastewater sanitation does not always meet the needs of the community. For example, some parcels of property contain bedrock that is too close to the surface of the soil, making it difficult to build a septic tank deep enough to be effective. A large number of inhabitants in the United States also live near bodies of water that are particularly vulnerable to water contamination, which means that the normal technique of sanitation in septic tanks is insufficient to preserve the ecology of the region in question.

  • The term “perking” refers to the soil’s capacity to absorb and hold onto water.
  • Repairing a sewer pipe Fortunately, you may have your septic system or sewage line repaired before you break ground on your new system.
  • Never fear if your perc test does not go as planned, or if you have any additional worries about installing a traditional septic system on your land.
  • Each of the alternative septic systems that you will come across in this blog article has a distinct amount of upkeep that is necessary.

Additionally, the cost of alternative septic systems varies depending on the equipment and upkeep that is required. Discover alternative septic solutions that may be a better fit for your property than a standard system by continuing reading.

Types of alternative septic systems

In situations when the soil surrounding your house or structure is too dense or too shallow, or when the water table is too high, mound systems are a good option to septic tanks to consider. Mound systems are a popular alternative to traditional systems, despite the fact that they are more expensive and require more care. They are above-ground systems that are covered with topsoil and incorporate an additional component known as a pump chamber, which separates effluent from the scum and sludge in the first septic tank before it is discharged into the environment.

Pressurized Dosing

When using a pressurized dosing system, you may deliver effluent onto the leach field in more uniform, calibrated dosages (just as the system’s name implies!). Because of the measured technique of dispersing wastewater, this strategy can be particularly beneficial for repairing a leach field following a septic system failure. Given that this method is only concerned with the dispersal of effluent into the soil, pressurized dosing can be used in conjunction with any of the water treatment systems listed below.

Plastic Chamber Leach Field

Plasti-chamber leach fields are an excellent alternative to traditional septic systems for small lots and sites with high or fluctuating groundwater tables. Plastic chambers in the shape of half pipes are installed in the leach field to replace the gravel and create a gap for wastewater to flow through. Designed in the shape of a half moon, the plastic chambers are placed in the soil with the open side facing down, allowing effluent to come into touch with the soil underneath them, purifying the water and allowing it to flow back into the ground.

Sand Filter

Sand filter septic systems, as the name implies, cleanse and eliminate pollutants from wastewater through the use of sand filters. The sand filter system, which is similar to the aerobic treatment method described above, includes oxygen into its system in order to filter out germs. This cleansing takes place in an enclosed chamber that may either be erected above or below ground level depending on the situation. This is an example of an alternative septic system that does not require the use of a leach field, making it suitable for use in ecologically sensitive locations.

Aerobic Treatment System

Through the use of an air pump, which draws fresh air from the surrounding environment into the treatment tank, an aerobic treatment system introduces oxygen into the septic tank. It is believed that the increased oxygen aids in the cleaning of the effluent by increasing natural bacterial activity. As explained by the Environmental Protection Agency, aerobic treatment systems use the same technology as large-scale sewage treatment facilities, but on a smaller scale.

This is yet another excellent alternative septic system for tiny lots, lots with inadequate soil conditions, and lots located near bodies of water that are sensitive to pollutant runoff.

Drip Distribution/Irrigation

The drip distribution method disperses treated septic water over a larger area of land than the conventional method. To “irrigate” the leach field, instead of using a single PVC pipe to disseminate treated water into the leach field, the drip distribution technique makes use of a length of flexible tubing that is wound around itself and releases tiny increments of water all the way along its length. With this procedure, newer technology also enables for the discharge of water to be timed and regulated.

It is possible that power interruptions will make these alternative septic solutions more difficult to maintain than traditional systems.

Constructed Wetland System

The designed wetland system makes use of wetland plants to help your septic system filter waste by performing some of the filtration job. While the water waste from your home or building still passes through a single septic tank, the cleaned water is then sent to a plot of wetland that has a variety of various types of pebbles and grasses. Following that first stage of filtration, the water is channeled into a drain field, where it is discharged back into the soil, exactly as it would be with a traditional system.

  • Take into consideration the land on your property as well as the surrounding surroundings while deciding which system is best for your needs.
  • Finally, the opportunity has arisen for you to put in place a septic system on your property.
  • What do you do about that?
  • When you’re researching a septic tank, you’ll recall that when you were developing your property, you came into problems with bedrock beneath the top of the soil.
  • Fortunately, there are numerous different types of alternative septic systems that are designed specifically for situations like the ones described above.

What are Alternative Septic Systems?

In the context of alternative septic systems, any sort of building wastewater (also known as “effluent”) drainage system that differs from the traditional septic tank is considered to be such. Diverting and cleaning water waste from your house is not limited to the use of a typical septic system; there are many more options available to safely reintroduce it back into the environment! You will learn the following things from this blog post:

  • Identifying the reasons why some properties require alternate septic systems
  • Alternative septic systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The operation of each sort of system

Why Do People Want Alternatives to Septic Tanks?

Just though traditional septic systems are commonplace does not imply that they are appropriate for every property or situation. There are a variety of reasons why the conventional model for wastewater sanitation does not always meet the needs of the community. For example, some parcels of property contain bedrock that is too close to the surface of the soil, making it difficult to build a septic tank deep enough to be effective. A large number of inhabitants in the United States also live near bodies of water that are particularly vulnerable to water contamination, which means that the normal technique of sanitation in septic tanks is insufficient to preserve the ecology of the region in question.

  1. The term “perking” refers to the soil’s capacity to absorb and hold onto water.
  2. Repairing a sewer pipe Fortunately, you may have your septic system or sewage line repaired before you break ground on your new system.
  3. Never fear if your perc test does not go as planned, or if you have any additional worries about installing a traditional septic system on your land.
  4. Each of the alternative septic systems that you will come across in this blog article has a distinct amount of upkeep that is necessary.

Additionally, the cost of alternative septic systems varies depending on the equipment and upkeep that is required. Discover alternative septic solutions that may be a better fit for your property than a standard system by continuing reading.

Types of alternative septic systems

In situations when the soil surrounding your house or structure is too dense or too shallow, or when the water table is too high, mound systems are a good option to septic tanks to consider. Mound systems are a popular alternative to traditional systems, despite the fact that they are more expensive and require more care. They are above-ground systems that are covered with topsoil and incorporate an additional component known as a pump chamber, which separates effluent from the scum and sludge in the first septic tank before it is discharged into the environment.

See also:  200 Gallon Septic Tank How Long For Drain Lines? (Solved)

Pressurized Dosing

When using a pressurized dosing system, you may deliver effluent onto the leach field in more uniform, calibrated dosages (just as the system’s name implies!). Because of the measured technique of dispersing wastewater, this strategy can be particularly beneficial for repairing a leach field following a septic system failure. Given that this approach is simply concerned with the dissemination of effluent into the soil, pressure dosing can be used in conjunction with any of the water treatment systems listed below.

Plastic Chamber Leach Field

Plasti-chamber leach fields are an excellent alternative to traditional septic systems for small lots and sites with high or fluctuating groundwater tables. Plastic chambers in the shape of half pipes are installed in the leach field to replace the gravel and create a gap for wastewater to flow through. Designed in the shape of a half moon, the plastic chambers are placed in the soil with the open side facing down, allowing effluent to come into touch with the soil underneath them, purifying the water and allowing it to flow back into the ground.

Sand Filter

Sand filter septic systems, as the name implies, cleanse and eliminate pollutants from wastewater through the use of sand filters. The sand filter system, which is similar to the aerobic treatment method described above, includes oxygen into its system in order to filter out germs. This cleansing takes place in an enclosed chamber that may either be erected above or below ground level depending on the situation. This is an example of an alternative septic system that does not require the use of a leach field, making it suitable for use in ecologically sensitive locations.

Aerobic Treatment System

Through the use of an air pump, which draws fresh air from the surrounding environment into the treatment tank, an aerobic treatment system introduces oxygen into the septic tank. It is believed that the increased oxygen aids in the cleaning of the effluent by increasing natural bacterial activity. As explained by the Environmental Protection Agency, aerobic treatment systems use the same technology as large-scale sewage treatment facilities, but on a smaller scale.

This is yet another excellent alternative septic system for tiny lots, lots with inadequate soil conditions, and lots located near bodies of water that are sensitive to pollutant runoff.

Drip Distribution/Irrigation

The drip distribution method disperses treated septic water over a larger area of land than the conventional method. To “irrigate” the leach field, instead of using a single PVC pipe to disseminate treated water into the leach field, the drip distribution technique makes use of a length of flexible tubing that is wound around itself and releases tiny increments of water all the way along its length. With this procedure, newer technology also enables for the discharge of water to be timed and regulated.

It is possible that power interruptions will make these alternative septic solutions more difficult to maintain than traditional systems.

Constructed Wetland System

The designed wetland system makes use of wetland plants to help your septic system filter waste by performing some of the filtration job. While the water waste from your home or building still passes through a single septic tank, the cleaned water is then sent to a plot of wetland that has a variety of various types of pebbles and grasses. Following that first stage of filtration, the water is channeled into a drain field, where it is discharged back into the soil, exactly as it would be with a traditional system.

Take into consideration the land on your property as well as the surrounding surroundings while deciding which system is best for your needs.

Septic System Alternatives

If you have any knowledge about alternate septic systems, please share it with me. Do most states permit the use of alternative systems? In my backyard is a lake property that has an outdated septic system on it that will no longer be acceptable when we build a new house. However, because the property is situated on a sloping ridge with little place for a drainfield, I’m exploring for other possibilities. — Benita Edds, in an e-mail message A: There are several solutions accessible for small-scale locations, which is a blessing.

  • The pace at which soil percolates is referred to as the soil percolation rate.
  • This type of device, according to Daniel Friedman, a writer for the Home Inspection and Construction website, is typically utilized on lake sites where there isn’t enough space for a drainfield.
  • These systems perform well in the treatment of wastewater, but only provided they are kept in good working order.
  • Because these systems rely on power, there will be some minimal operating expenses associated with them.
  • If you discover that you have enough room for a drain field, you might also want to look at recirculating sand filters (RSF) or peat systems as an alternative.
  • This is made possible by the use of alternative toilet systems, which range from composting to incinerating units.
  • Enviroletoffers three models that are completely self-contained and require no water.
  • Other options for toilets include: With an Incinolet, instead of digesting trash, it is heated at a high temperature and incinerated, thereby turning the waste into ash.
  • Sun-Mar– This company provides a central composting system that can be connected to either low-water flush toilets or toilets with dry-air flow.
  • A septic system, for example, requires that you get your soil analyzed before to installing it according to state legislation.
  • In this case, you should consult with your local planning or zoning committee.

Just like you would with a traditional system, you should consult with a professional to assist you with the setup, installation, and maintenance of your wireless system. Toilets that are environmentally friendly may be found here.

Alternative Septic Systems For Difficult Sites

This Article Discusses Mound Systems are a type of system that is used to build mounds. Alternative Systems are also available. View and post commentsQuestions Septic System FAQsView all articles on the SEPTIC SYSTEM If your lot does not pass the perc test, some towns may enable you to construct an engineered system as a backup plan if the perc test fails. For waterfront estates and other ecologically sensitive places, alternative water-treatment systems may also be necessary to aid in the protection of water supplies.

  1. A “mound” system operates in much the same way as a normal system, except that the leach field is elevated above the natural grade.
  2. They require more frequent monitoring and maintenance in order to avoid complications.
  3. It is possible that the technology will not operate as planned if either the designer or the installer is inexperienced with the technology.
  4. The design of a system is particular to the soil type, site circumstances, and degree of consumption that is being considered.
  5. Some states and municipalities will only accept system types that have been certified in their jurisdiction, and they may also demand that the owner maintain a service contract with a vendor that has been approved by the state or municipality.

MOUND SYSTEMS

Mound systems are often two to three times more expensive than ordinary septic systems, and they need more frequent monitoring and maintenance. To see a larger version, click here. Ohio State University Extension provides the following information: The mound is comprised of a network of tiny distribution pipes that are embedded in a layer of gravel on top of a layer of sand that is normally one to two feet deep. Topsoil is applied to the tops and sides of the structure (see illustration). A dosing chamber (also known as a pump chamber) is included in a mound system, and it is responsible for collecting wastewater that is discharged from the septic tank.

Most feature an alarm system that notifies the owner or a repair company if the pump fails or if the water level in the tank increases to an unsafe level.

Aside from that, monitoring wells are frequently placed to keep track on the conditions inside and outside the leach field.

The most expensive items are the additional equipment, as well as the earthwork and other materials that are required to construct the mound.

In extreme cases, a mound system can cost more than $20,000 in some locations. Additionally, owing of the increased complexity, mound systems need more regular pumping as well as additional monitoring and maintenance. In certain cases, annual maintenance expenditures may exceed $500.

OTHER ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC SYSTEMS

Sand filters that do not have a bottom are frequent on coastal properties and other ecologically sensitive places. There is a large variety of alternative septic systems available on the market, with new ones being introduced on a regular basis. Some are designed at community systems that serve a number of houses, and they are often monitored and maintained by a professional service provider. Some alternative systems are well-suited to particular houses, albeit the costs, complexity, and upkeep of these systems must be carefully evaluated before implementing them.

Before the wastewater reaches the leach field, which serves as a miniature replica of a sewage-treatment plant, some larger community systems employ pre-treatment to reduce the amount of bacteria present.

There are numerous other versions and combinations of systems and components that may be employed, including the following:

  • Pressurized dosing: This method makes use of a holding tank and a pump to drive effluent through the distribution pipe in a more uniform and regulated manner, hence boosting the effectiveness of the leach field. When used in conjunction with other techniques, such as a mound system, a sand filter, plastic leach fields or drip irrigation, it can be used to rehabilitate a leach field
  • However, it should not be used alone.
  • Septic system with alternative leach field made of plastic: This is a normal septic system with an alternative leach field that may be shrunk in some jurisdictions, making it ideally suited for tiny construction sites. Because the half-pipe plastic chambers provide a gap for effluent flow, there is no need for gravel in the system. Infiltrator System, for example, has been in service for more than two decades and, according to the manufacturer, can withstand traffic volumes with only 12 inches of compacted cover. The higher cost of the plastic components is somewhat countered by the lower cost of gravel and the smaller area of the drain field, respectively.
  • Sand filter: This is a big sand-filled box that is 2-4 feet deep and has a waterproof lining made of concrete or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Using filtration and anaerobic microorganisms, the sand is utilized to pre-treat wastewater before it is discharged into the leaching field. The boxes are often partially or completely buried in the ground, although they can also be elevated above ground level as necessary. While a pump and controls are typically used to equally administer the effluent on top of the filter, gravity distribution is also viable in some instances. The most common setup is shown in Figure 1. A collection tank at the bottom of the tank collects the treated effluent, which is either pumped or gravity-fed to the drain field. Some sand filters recycle the effluent back to the tank multiple times before discharging it into the drain field, while others do not. The majority of sand filters are used for pre-treatment, although they can also be utilized as the primary treatment in certain situations. A “bottomless sand filter” is used in this situation since the effluent drains straight into the soil underneath the filter (see photo above). A well designed and manufactured sand filter that is regularly maintained will prevent sand from being clogged on a consistent basis. More information about Sand Filters may be found here.
  • Aerobic treatment system: These systems treat wastewater by the use of an aerobic process, which is normally carried out in an underground concrete tank with many chambers. Aeration, purification, and pumping of the effluent are all accomplished through the use of four chambers in the most complicated systems. The first chamber functions similarly to a smaller version of a regular septic tank in its function. An air pump is employed in the second “treatment” tank to ensure that the effluent is continually injected with fresh air. The presence of oxygen promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria, which are more effective in processing sewage than the anaerobic bacteria found in a standard septic system. It is possible to utilize a third and fourth chamber in certain systems to further clarify the water and to pump out the purified water. In addition, so-called “fixed-film” systems make use of a synthetic media filter to help the bacterial process go more quickly. In the correct hands, aerobic systems may create better-quality wastewater than a typical system, and they may also incorporate a disinfectant before the purified wastewater is discharged. A smaller drain field may be used in urban areas while a larger area may be sprayed across a whole field in rural areas. Technically speaking, they are tiny sewage treatment plants rather than septic systems, and they rely mostly on anaerobic treatment to accomplish their goals. They are referred to as ATUs in some circles (aerobic treatment units). Installation and maintenance of these systems are prohibitively expensive
  • As a result, they are mostly employed in situations where high-quality treatment is required in a small area or with poor soils. A growing number of them are being built on beachfront sites. More information about Anaerobic Treatment Systems may be found here.
  • Using a pump, wastewater is sent via a filtering mechanism and onto an array of shallow drip tubes that are spaced out across a vast area for irrigation. In order to deliver relatively clean water to the system, a pretreatment unit is typically required. Alternatively, the water may be utilized to irrigate a lawn or non-edible plants, which would help to eliminate nitrogen from the wastewater. This sort of system may be employed in shallow soils, clay soils, and on steep slopes, among other conditions. Frozen tubes can pose problems in cold areas since they are so close to the surface of the water. Expect hefty installation fees, as well as additional monitoring and maintenance, just as you would with other alternative systems.
  • Wetlands that have been constructed. These are suitable for those who are environmentally conscious and wish to take an active role in the recycling of their wastewater. They may be used in practically any type of soil. An artificial shallow pond is used in the system, which is lined with rock, tire chippings, or other suitable medium and then filled with water. A pleasant atmosphere is created by the media, which serves as a habitat for particular plants that process wastewater and maintain the ecosystem. Wastewater from the septic tank is dispersed across the media bed through a perforated conduit, where plant roots, bacteria, and other microorganisms break down the contaminants in the water. The treated water is collected in a second pipe located at the back of the marsh. Household members must budget time for planting, pruning, and weeding in the wetlands area.
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Additional resources: National Small Flows Clearinghouse Inspectapedia.com You may also be interested in:Who Should I Hire For Perc Test? Whether or not alternative septic systems are permitted. Is It Possible for Septic Systems to Last a Lifetime? How Much Slope Do You Need for a Septic Line? Performing an Inspection on a Septic System When Is the Best Time to Take a Perc Test? Should I use a Sand Filter with my existing septic system? Examination of the WellSEPTIC SYSTEMView allSEPTIC SYSTEMarticles Return to the top of the page

Alternative Septic Systems

Previous PostNext PostThe standard septic system is well-known to the majority of people. Depending on the terrain of the location, the classic tank and field method may not be effective. Landowners will be required to adopt an alternate septic system in certain instances. In the first instance, unexpected water accumulating in your garden or drain field may indicate that you should consider switching systems. You should contact your local Greater Syracuse plumber as soon as you discover anything strange in your plumbing.

Raised Bed (Mound) Septic Tank Systems

A raised bed drain field (sometimes known as a mound) is exactly what it sounds like: a raised bed drain field. When there is not enough area for a full drain field, it is occasionally necessary to construct a retaining wall. A specialized sand fill material is used to elevate the mound over the surrounding natural soil.

A gravel bed with a network of pipes is embedded within the sand. The water that is pushed via the pipes is dispersed across the bed in little amounts at regular intervals. In order for your system to function effectively, drainage surrounding the mound must be maintained at all times.

Aerobic Treatment Systems (ATS)

In its most basic form, aerobic systems function as a small-scale sewage treatment system. It works in a similar way to a septic tank system, but it employs an aerobic process (which means it requires more air and oxygen). A single residence or a small group of residences might benefit from one of these systems, which are most commonly seen in rural settings. The effluent (waste water) produced by the ATS is of greater quality than the wastewater produced by conventional systems. This provides for greater freedom in the placement of the leach field, as well as a reduction in the needed size of the field by half.

Waterless Systems

A growing number of individuals in poor nations, as well as those who want to be more environmentally conscious, are opting to become waterless. I’m not sure what this means in terms of meaning. If you use your toilet instead of a septic tank, you are essentially turning it into a compost bin. One or more of the toilets is equipped with a remote system that directs waste down a chute to a compost bin. In a crawlspace someplace underneath or outside the house, there is a garbage can. Do you have a qualm about composting?

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For those of you who live in or around the Greater Syracuse region, please contact us by phone or by scheduling an appointment online.

The Homeowner’s Guide to Alternative Septic Systems

Graphithèque / Fotolia (Graphics and Photography) The installation of a septic tank appears to be the natural decision whether you reside in a rural or suburban area where your home is unable to be linked to the municipal sewage system. Although septic systems are extremely practical, they aren’t always effective in every case. There are alternatives to constructing a septic tank in situations where the soil is too shallow or thick, the water table is too high, or another issue prevents you from doing so.

Plastic Leach Field Chamber

This system makes use of a regular septic tank, however instead of the traditional pipe leach field, the leach field is made up of interlocking polyethylene arches that create a continuous drainage area, as opposed to the usual pipe leach field. Because the chambers create an empty area for wastewater to pass through, there is no requirement for gravel or geotextile in the treatment system. These materials, on the other hand, can be added to the system if you desire to increase the system’s lifetime.

Their smaller footprint than systems with typical leach fields makes them appropriate for small construction sites, and their installation will cause as little damage as possible to the existing landscape. They are also known to endure far longer than traditional systems.

Mound Septic System

Mound and raised bed septic systems are identical to conventional systems, with the exception that the soil is properly prepared in order to provide an area where the effluent will be treated before being released into the environment. The sand-lined filter bed is one of the most often used types of filter bed. In this technique, tiny distribution pipes are embedded in a layer of gravel that is placed on top of a layer of sand to provide a stable foundation. The entire area has been entirely covered with top soil, resulting in a mound.

This chamber releases effluent at a regulated pace in order to prevent overloading of the leach field in the leach field.

An observation tube has been erected to enable for inspection of the tank without the need to descend into the earth to reach the access point under the surface.

Advanced Material Media Filtration

These systems filter wastewater before it is discharged into the leach field, using materials such as sand, peat, or synthetic fabrics to do this. Although these systems are capable of being built in places where conventional systems are ineffective, they are also less expensive in areas where gravel is not easily accessible. The sand filter is one of the most often used types of water filter. A sand filter is a box that is lined with concrete or PVC and filled with sand to filter water. This box is often built in the ground, however it can also be installed above ground if the situation calls for it.

  • Before it is released into the leach field, some systems cycle the effluent through the filter multiple times.
  • Squares of specializedgeotextile are put horizontally or vertically in a container, depending on the use.
  • Geotextiles have the ability to hold more water than sand or peat, which means that systems that employ this material can treat a comparable quantity of wastewater in less space.
  • Open-celled polyurethane foam cubes are a less widely used, but as effective, alternative to closed-celled polyurethane foam cubes.
  • It is possible to store the packages above ground in regions where harsh freezes are not frequently experienced.
  • As a result, it is simple to maintain the system since the top piece of the foam cubes may be easily removed and replaced when it becomes obstructed by debris.

Inspections of all system types are required, during which the media bed is inspected for evidence that it is in need of cleaning or replacement. Although they may be kept clean, media filtering systems ultimately become clogged and must be replaced with new ones.

Drip Distribution System

Drizzle distribution, or drip disposal, septic systems are structurally similar to traditional septic systems, but they feature an aerobic pre-treatment chamber and a filtration mechanism to further cleanse the wastewater before it is released into the environment. A system of drip irrigation tubes is then used to disperse the treated water over a vast region once it has been treated. This water is suitable for irrigating a lawn or non-edible plants because it is free of contaminants. Plants remove excess nitrogen from water, allowing it to be purified even more.

Freezing, on the other hand, is a danger in cold areas.

Aerobic Sewage Treatment System

Aerobic septic systems, sometimes known as ATUs, are basically tiny wastewater treatment plants for residential use. They increase the amount of oxygen in the septic system, which encourages the growth of aerobic bacteria, which break down the organic waste in the sewage and eliminate it. As a result, the effluent is more sanitary. The aeration chamber of the system provides oxygen into the sewage, allowing microorganisms to grow and decompose the waste. Solids are collected in a clarifier and recirculated back to the aeration chamber for further processing.

Once the water has been chlorinated, it is sent to a holding chamber where it will be released later.

There are numerous options available to you if your house is in a region where establishing a standard septic system would be difficult, if not impossible, due to the terrain.

An aerobic sewage treatment system is still a feasible choice for situations where none of the other options are effective.

Types of Septic Systems

Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration.

The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.

  • Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.

Septic Tank

This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.

Conventional System

Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a traditional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The term is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A short underground trench made of stone or gravel collects wastewater from the septic tank in this configuration, which is commonly used.

Effluent filters through the stone and is further cleaned by microorganisms once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench.

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Chamber System

Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.

  • The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.
  • This sort of system is made up of a number of chambers that are connected to one another.
  • Wastewater is transported from the septic tank to the chambers through pipes.
  • The wastewater is treated by microbes that live on or near the soil.

Drip Distribution System

An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.

This method necessitates the use of additional components, such as electrical power, which results in a rise in costs as well as higher maintenance.

Aerobic Treatment Unit

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.

ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.

Mound Systems

Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended. During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.

Recirculating Sand Filter System

Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.

However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.

Evapotranspiration System

Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective.

The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation. These systems perform effectively in shallow soil; but, if it rains or snows excessively, they are at risk of failing completely.

Constructed Wetland System

Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.

As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.

Cluster / Community System

In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.

Alternative Septic Systems: What Are They and Why Do They Require a Contract?

If all Virginia residents do not have an annual contract with a licensed service provider, the state will impose a fine of $500. You have a non-conventional septic system.

What Is an Alternative Septic System?

The two types of septic systems are as follows: the regular septic system and the alternative treatment septic system (ATR). In the context of septic systems, alternative septic systems are systems that are distinct from the more often used standard style septic system. When the site and soil characteristics on a property are unsuitable for a conventional system, or when the wastewater strength is too high for the receiving environment, an alternate system is necessary (i.e. restaurants). In contrast to traditional wastewater treatment systems, alternative methods â€clean†wastewater (by lowering the organic load, nutrients, and pathogens) before dispersing it into the receiving environment.

In other words, the drainfields are smaller, and the distances between them and the water table and soil limits are shorter than before.

The advanced treatment unit, which is a tank or container with a blower and/or filtering material, is where the majority of the â€cleaning†takes place in alternative systems.

All Septic Systems Require Maintenance

Because alternative systems are more advanced, they need more frequent maintenance. More equipment and other procedures are being added. Because they operate in such a delicate environment, they are suitably complicated systems. Alternative systems that are not adequately operating have a negative impact on public health and wellbeing. If they are not properly maintained, they run a significant danger of failing completely. Periodic inspection and maintenance performed by a qualified operator (or service provider) improves treatment and dispersion, lowers the chance of costly repairs, and protects the environment (surface water and ground water).

Performance standards for alternate systems have been established by the Virginia Department of Health. Every year, the owner is required to have the system examined by a licensed operator in accordance with the system’s operation and maintenance manual.

What Is an Alternative Septic System Contract?

A contract for an alternative septic system is a formal agreement between the owner of the septic system and a qualified system maintenance expert that is renewed each year. The licensed professional maintains your system on a regular basis in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards. The health departments’ rationale for mandating contracts is based on the reasons outlined above in “All Septic Systems Require Maintenance,” which may be found here. In addition to being more sophisticated, alternative systems have a larger probability of failing, placing a bigger danger on the public health and the environment.

Consequently, money is saved by lowering the likelihood of significant, costly issues occurring, and the environment is protected from possible harm.

A Contract fromStamie E. Lyttle Co.entitles you to:

Peace of mind- our response time is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, giving you the assurance that you will never be caught in a pickle. It is YOUR difficulties that we are dealing with.

Alternatives to a Septic Tank

Table of Contents for Home-DIY Septic tanks are not always the most cost-effective option when building a home, nor are they the only alternative. Knowing the alternatives to a septic tank might be beneficial in terms of saving money. Also vital is determining which solution is most advantageous for your particular situation.

Leach Field

A leach field functions in the same way as a leaching system connected to a septic tank, but without the need for a tank. From the home, the effluent is sent through perforated pipes that are contained under a layer of gravel-filled ditches. The effluent seeps into the gravel from the perforated pipes, and then into the soil beneath the gravel. Traditional septic systems require more room than what is required for this system. Leach field beds can be stacked on top of one another. Due to the fact that excavation must be done from the sides in order to avoid compaction of the bed bottom, there are size restrictions on beds.

It is necessary to have a minimum soil depth of 18 inches below the bed.

Lagoon System

By exposing sewage to air, sunshine, and microbes, the lagoon system is able to effectively treat it. Storage tanks collect wastewater, which is subsequently discharged into solid pipe that drains into the lagoon’s bottom. Lateral fields are utilized to capture the overflow, which is then absorbed into the soil by the vegetation. Lagoons are less expensive than septic tanks and are less difficult to install. Lagoons are low-maintenance structures. To keep the lagoon safe, fencing and gates will be required.

When working with rocky soil or steep slopes, creating lagoons might be tricky.

Mounds

Mound systems are comprised of a collection system that pumps wastewater into a mound through distribution networks that are located in the upper section of the sand. Effluent passes through the soil, via fill material, and finally through natural soil. This technique should be used in places with a lot of groundwater, clay soil, or bedrock soil.

This is a system that requires little upkeep. Because these systems require flat terrain, they may be difficult to design and are sometimes prohibitively expensive. It is necessary to examine the system on a regular basis, and these systems might be rendered inoperable by power failures.

Constructed Wetlands

This system includes a primary treatment unit with two compartments and a rock-lined bed, as well as a secondary treatment unit. 12 inches of rock cover the bed, which also contains an overflow lateral field. The use of aquatic plants aids in the treatment of wastewater, with surplus effluent being disposed of in the lateral field. The fields may be set up on irregular or segmented lots, and they can be situated in places with shallow water tables or high bedrock, depending on the situation. When compared to traditional systems, one of the disadvantages is that they require more maintenance.

Compost Toilet

Compost toilets are designed to organically break down waste. The effluent is collected in a receptacle beneath the toilet, where it decomposes naturally. Using wood shavings, straw, or leaves to aid in the process is recommended. The container is emptied and buried in a designated location of the yard. Septic tanks are no longer required with this technology. Compost toilets are useful in regions where other sanitation methods are not feasible to build. Composting toilets are not permitted as a stand-alone installation in all places.

These systems require regular heating and ventilation in order to function correctly, which necessitates the use of a continuous electrical supply.

The Drip Cap

  • Septic tanks are not always the most cost-effective option when building a home, nor are they the only alternative. Knowing the alternatives to a septic tank might be beneficial in terms of saving money. Traditional septic systems require more room than they do
  • This system requires less space. Lagoons require little care. Typically, a mound system involves the pumping of effluent into a mound through distribution networks in the upper half of the sand
  • However, a mound system can also be used for other purposes. Because these systems require flat terrain, they can be difficult to construct and can be prohibitively expensive
  • Nonetheless, This system is comprised of a main treatment unit with two compartments and a rock-lined bed
  • A secondary treatment unit with two compartments and a rock-lined bed
  • An overflow lateral field is present in the bed, which contains 12 inches of rock. In regions where other systems cannot be implemented, compost toilets are an excellent alternative.

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