What Type Of Classification Is A Septic Tank? (Solved)

Septic tanks are classified into 4 different types based on materials used for manufacturing and they are as follows: Concrete septic tank. Steel septic tank. Plastic septic tank.

  • A Type 1 septic system is defined as an on-site septic system where a septic tank is the primary means of treating sewage. Once the wastewater is in the tank the suspended solids settle down to the bottom forming a layer of sludge, while the less dense oil, grease and fat floats to the surface forming a layer of scum.

What type of tank is septic tank?

It is basically a sedimentation tank. Its shape can be rectangular or cylindrical. Septic tanks are used for wastewater with a high content of settleable solids, typically for effluent from domestic sources, but they are also suitable for other wastewater of similar properties (SASSE 1998).

How would you describe a septic tank?

The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum.

What are the two types of septic tanks?

There are two basic septic system types — conventional and alternative. Site and soil conditions generally determine the type of system that should be installed.

Is a septic tank a sewage treatment plant?

A sewage treatment plant provides treatment of the waste, whereas a septic tank simply separates it – this means that the waste water that leaves a sewage treatment plant is cleaner than what leaves a septic tank.

Is a septic tank metal?

A septic tank is a large, buried container that serves as the first part of an on-site sewage treatment system. The tank is a water-tight container made from concrete, steel, plastic, or fiberglass.

What is a aerobic septic system?

Aerobic septic systems are systems that use mechanical parts to treat wastewater and emit treated wastewater into the absorption field. Aerobic systems use aerobic bacteria that require pumped air to live, versus the oxygen depleted environment required for anaerobic bacteria.

Is a septic tank anaerobic?

Anaerobic septic systems involve the use of bacteria that don’t require oxygen to live. In an anaerobic system, you’ve got a septic tank with two main pipes. Inside the septic tank, solid waste settles and is eaten by the anaerobic bacteria. Liquid waste floats to the top.

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.

Why is it called a septic tank?

The term “septic” refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that develops in the tank that decomposes or mineralizes the waste discharged into the tank. The rate of accumulation of sludge—also called septage or fecal sludge—is faster than the rate of decomposition.

What is an unconventional septic system?

An alternative septic system is a system that is different from the common traditional style septic system. An alternative system is required when the site and soil conditions on a property are limiting, or when the wastewater strength is too strong for the receiving environment (i.e. restaurants).

What is a Class 5 septic system?

Class 5. A sewage system using a holding tank for the retention of on-site sewage and must be emptied by a licensed sewage hauler. A permit is required to install this type of septic system.

What is the most common type of septic system?

Gravity systems are one of the most common types of septic systems. Due to their simplicity, a conventional gravity system is a very affordable option for single-family homes or small businesses. This system transports wastewater through gravity into the septic tank.

What is the difference between sewage tank and septic tank?

Since the treated wastewater is not environment-friendly, it goes into a holding tank. The sewer lines in a sewer treatment plant carry the waste to a treatment facility. A septic system, typically for a 3-bedroom apartment, costs around Rs. The cost of a public sewer system varies according to the place.

What’s the difference between septic tank and sewer system?

The main difference between a septic system and a sewer system is, a septic system treats your wastewater on site. Usually, it’s placed underground on the land your house is built on. Sewer systems take the wastewater away from your home and route it underground to a treatment plant typically operated by the city.

Are septic tanks still legal?

Septic Tanks Explained… Septic tanks cannot discharge to surface water drains, rivers, canals, ditches, streams or any other type of waterway. you are required to upgrade or replace your septic tank treatment system to a full sewage treatment plant by 2020, or when you sell a property, if it’s prior to this date.

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.

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 comes into touch with the earth when it is contained within the chambers. 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.

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.

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.

5 Types of Septic Tanks

To view the infographic, please click on the banner picture. Submitted by: First Supply Modern plumbing contributes significantly to the improvement of our quality of life and the prevention of the spread of disease. Systematic delivery of safe drinking water as well as the removal of sewage and wastewater are provided by plumbing. When it comes to draining wastewater from residential and commercial buildings, there are two options. Structures will be connected to municipal sewer lines or will be equipped with a septic system.

Compared to rural homes, sewer lines are more widespread in urban areas, and septic tanks are more common outside of city borders on rural properties.

Parts of a Septic System

When it comes to making a septic system operate, there are two key components to consider: a septic tank and a drainfield. A septic tank is a waterproof box with inlet and exit pipes that is used to treat sewage. Wastewater is channeled into a septic tank, where it is allowed to sit for long enough for sediments and liquids to separate into three distinct levels. The top layer is generated when materials that are lighter than water (such as oil and grease) float to the surface and deposit a layer of scum on the surface.

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Sludge forms on the bottom of the tank when particles that are heavier than water sink to the bottom of the tank and combine to form a layer.

All of the solids in the tank that can’t be broken down any further remain in the tank until it is pumped out, lowering the amount of space available in the tank as a result.

Between the sludge and scum layers lies a layer of cleared liquid that acts as a sandwich. Upon leaving the tank, this liquid is transported to a drainfield (also known as a soil absorption field), where it is filtered via gravel and dirt.

Septic System Advantages

Septic systems may be preferred for a variety of reasons by certain people. Given the fact that septic systems process and dispose of residential waste water on-site, they are a more cost-effective choice in rural locations where properties are often bigger and residences are more widely spaced apart. Because septic systems do not necessitate the construction of miles of sewage lines, they are less expensive to build than conventional systems. Septic systems, on the other hand, need regular maintenance and a dedication to their optimal operation.

Septic Tank Types

Septic tanks constructed from a variety of materials have differing degrees of strength and longevity. Here is a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of the most prevalent types of septic tanks.

A Clear Choice?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a septic tank that is one size fits all in the world. The best type of septic tank for one circumstance may not be the best type of septic tank for another one. The pros and drawbacks described in this article should assist anybody contemplating a septic system in making an educated decision about their options. For dependable information, tools, and supplies, go no farther than First Supply.

What Are The Different Types of Septic Systems, Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 System

The following things must be considered while selecting the appropriate septic system type: First and foremost, it is critical to choose the most appropriate septic system for your soil conditions; second, the system must be large enough to accommodate your household needs; and third, the wastewater must be sufficiently treated to ensure that the effluent discharged complies with local environmental health standards.

With so many various types of septic systems available, selecting the right one for your house may be a difficult endeavor.

Different Types of Septic Systems

It is possible to have three different kinds of septic systems, which are differentiated by the way they handle the wastewater that enters the system. The three types are as follows:

  • In a Type 1 Septic System, sewage is simply treated inside the confines of a septic tank before being evacuated to a drain field, where additional treatment happens naturally. Type 2 Septic System: treatment takes place in a septic tank, followed by an extra aerobic secondary treatment stage, which is often contained within a small size on-site mechanical biological packaged treatment plant, before being released to a drain field
  • And In a Type 3 septic system, sewage is treated in order to produce effluent of a higher quality standard, which is then discharged into the environment via the drain field. Type 3 septic systems are specially designed to treat sewage in order to produce effluent of a higher quality standard, which is achieved by including a disinfection process before being discharged into the environment via the drain field. An innovative on-site mechanical biological packaged treatment plant is used for the treatment process.

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Let’s take a deeper look at the distinctions between each type of septic system in order to assist you determine which is the best solution for your particular circumstance.

Type 1 Septic System (Septic Tank System)

Septic systems classified as Type 1 are those installed on-site and in which the principal method of treating waste water is a septic tank or septic tank with leach field. A drainage field, which can be comprised of seepage beds, subsurface trenches, or aboveground sand mounds, can be used to dispose of the treated effluent once it has been treated. Effluent can either flow to the drain field by gravity or be pumped to the drain field under pressure, depending on the circumstances. Gravity system in the conventional sense ” data-image-caption=”Gravity septic system in the conventional manner” In both cases, the data-medium-file attribute is set to 1 and the data-large-file attribute is set to 1.

  • They are made up of a septic tank that is built underground and that collects the wastewater.
  • Because the tank is devoid of oxygen, it creates an environment conducive to the growth of anaerobic bacteria in it.
  • Tank effluent drains out of the tank through a drain field and onto the surrounding soil.
  • Normally occurring microorganisms that reside in the soil continue to break down the effluent, eradicating any hazardous bacteria and pathogens from the effluent before it reaches the groundwater.

Type 2 Septic System (Septic Tank + Secondary Treatment)

Septic systems are classified into two types: type 1, type 2, and type 3. Type 2 septic systems have an extra secondary wastewater treatment step, which is the most significant distinction between the two. As with a Type 1 system, the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank break down the particles, which is done in the absence of oxygen.

Typically, stage oxygen is supplied to the wastewater during the secondary treatment process, allowing aerobic microorganisms to grow in the system. Bacteria that are aerobic in nature break down any suspended particulates that may be present in the wastewater during treatment.

Extending Drain Field Life with Aerobic Septic Systems

Experimental evidence suggests that adding an aerobic septic system to an existing conventional gravity system may help to renew or prolong the life expectancy of the system in question. Aeration or oxygen introduced into an existing septic system may increase aerobic bacterial activity in the biomass, which may help to enhance the septic field’s performance if it is in a malfunctioning state. Although it is not quite that straightforward. Because the agitation caused by the aerating can drive suspended materials out into the septic field, a settling compartment or an extra tank may be necessary in conjunction with an effluent filter.

  • In comparison to Type 1 septic systems, Type 2 septic systems are more efficient in treating wastewater.
  • The depth between the surface and the confining layer or water table, as well as the quality of the soils on a land, are all essential considerations for treating wastewater.
  • These characteristics make them particularly suitable for usage on homes with limited area.
  • The only disadvantage is that the treatment expenses associated with a Kind 2 septic system will be greater than those associated with a Type 1 septic system, which is the most common type of septic system.
As per our Standards Practice, here is a subsection of our code: III- Type 2 effluent hydraulic loading rate and vertical separation

(I) Vertical separation for hydraulic loading rates of Type 2. Although the employment of a Type 2 treatment method is a realistic choice for many projects and locations (especially if available space is restricted), this will not always be the only viable alternative available. In some circumstances, according to the Volume II regulations, a greater vertical separation is required for Type 2 effluent hydraulic loading rates (HLR), notably for gravity distribution and demand dosing. Because Type 2 wastewater may have pathogen levels that are almost as high as those seen in Type 1 effluent, a deeper soil depth is required in order to offer sufficient soil-based treatment (especially pathogen elimination) in these situations.

  1. If multiple doses are applied in a short period of time, the risk of soil saturation is higher, and the total number of pathogens applied will be proportionally higher at the higher HLR.
  2. Because Type 2 treatment systems are frequently utilized as a solution for small sites, the requirements in this handbook allow for a high HLR with Type 2 effluent, which is consistent with industry practice.
  3. As a result, larger HLR for Type 2 is given precedence over smaller VS in the standards.
  4. This is due to the fact that at a lower HLR, the shallower VS will be sufficient for treating patients.
  5. The type 2 wastewater has a consistent distribution and is ii) When timed or micro-dosing options are utilized in conjunction with Type 2 HLR, the Volume II standards allow for a narrower vertical separation.
  6. They also reduce the likelihood of soil saturation by distributing dosages more evenly.
  7. For further information on the hydraulic application rate, see Section III- (HAR).
  8. As a result, on some soils, the standards provide a somewhat greater VS for Type 2 HLR with timed dosing than what is specified on others.

High HLR are permitted in sandmound and sandlined trench or bed systems when Type 2 effluent is utilized, and as a result, micro-dosing is necessary in these applications when high HLR are permitted.

How do Aerobic Septic Treatment Units Work?

In essence, an aerobictreatment unit is a type of “oxidizer,” which utilises excess oxygen present in waste water in order to sustain aerobic microorganisms, which in turn breakdown dissolved organic and nitrogen molecules to simple CO2 or inorganic compounds. As bacteria die off, they collect as a sludge of biological material, some of which is used to enable the production of new cells or microbes, which is essential for the system to continue to function. In the “trashtank,” ATUs separate solid waste from liquid waste.

(See the drawing at the top of this page for an illustration.) “Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, urea, soaps, and detergents are examples of organic compounds that can be found in residential household wastewater.

Domestic wastewater contains biologically bound nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus as well as other elements.

Wastewater fermentation produces two byproducts: methane and carbon dioxide.” — According to InspectApedia (Guide to Aerobic Septic Systems)

Type 3 Septic System (Septic Tank + Secondary Treatment + Disinfection/Filtration)

In contrast to Type 1 and 2 systems, Type 3 septic systems are custom-designed, high-capacity sewage treatment facilities that are capable of treating wastewater to a very high level, generating clear, odorless effluent with far greater water quality than Type 1 and 2 systems. It is necessary that a Type 3 septic system contain a technique of disinfection that is capable of eliminating harmful organisms from the effluent before it is released to the drain field. A Type 3 septic system is composed of the following components, which are frequently found together: Anaerobic bacteria break down waste in an oxygen-free environment in the septic tank; aerobic bacteria break down waste in an oxygen-containing environment in the second stage of a Type 2 septic system; and disinfection takes place in the third stage of a Type 1 or Type 2 septic system after the second stage.

The disinfection process might involve chemical treatment with chlorine, as well as disinfection with ozone or UV radiation.

Finally, the treated effluent is released to a drain field, where it is often subjected to pressure (i.e.

The use of Type 3 septic systems is an excellent option for properties with poor soil conditions and situations that are not appropriate for the installation of a Type 1 or Type 2 sewage system. Sites having the following characteristics are included in this category:

  • The soil depth is less than 0.5 feet (15 cm)
  • The percolation rates of the soil are either extremely slow or extremely quick
  • A lack of soil structure
  • There is insufficient room to establish a more typical septic system

The use of a Type 3 system may be preferable in situations when the circumstances are suitable for a Type 1 or 2 system, but space is severely restricted. This is because a smaller drain field is required owing to the excellent quality of the effluent released by the Type 3 system. ‘Why do we need different types of septic systems since they all fulfill the same function?’ one could wonder. Generally speaking, this is correct to a certain extent; nevertheless, the treatment efficiency as well as the water quality of the effluent released at the conclusion of the treatment process are greater in Type 2 systems than they are in Type 1 systems, and much higher still in Type 3 systems.

If possible, it is advisable to have an authorized competent expert do a full site investigation in order for them to examine the circumstances on site and calculate how much wastewater is likely to be generated by the home on a daily basis.

The Sewerage System Regulation Process:

The use of a Type 3 system may be preferable in situations when the circumstances are suitable for a Type 1 or 2 system, but space is severely restricted. This is because a smaller drain field is required owing to the high quality of the effluent released. ‘Why do we need different types of septic systems since they all serve the same job?’ one would reasonably wonder. However, the efficiency of treatment and the water quality of the effluent released at the conclusion of the treatment process are both greater in a Type 2 system than they are in a Type 1 system, and they are even higher in a Type 3 system than they are in a Type 1.

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In order to analyze the circumstances on site and calculate the quantity of wastewater that the home is expected to create each day, it is best to have an authorized certified expert conduct a full site investigation.

Standards for Seasonal use as per Standards Practice Manual: III- 2.2.1 SEASONAL USESeasonal use systems should be installed in compliance with the Sewerage System Standard Practice Manual.

The usage of type 2 or type 3 systems in seasonal residences, such as a holiday cottage, may not be appropriate since these treatment systems are often powered by electricity and may rely on biological processes that are not capable of being sustained under seasonal conditions. In the specification of a treatment system for a seasonal home, include steps to ensure the system’s operation during periods of intermittent power supply and low water use. From the state of Washington, here is an educational film on the many types of septic systems available.

After everything is said and done, some of these systems are unquestionably more complex than others; therefore, a more comprehensive examination should be performed in order to be confident of the sort of septic system you may require for your property.

Make sure to get in touch with us. We’d be delighted to assist you: Contact information: [email protected], 250-768-0056

Types of Septic Systems

When used properly, a septic tank can offer initial treatment for wastewater by trapping and preventing the movement of soil clogging elements (such as solid waste or fats, oils, and grease, among other things) to the drainfield. Septic tanks create an environment in which some elements can be lowered even more by microbial breakdown, which occurs in the tank itself. It is advised that you pump out your septic tank at least once every 2 – 5 years. There are one or more drainlines connected to a distribution device (distribution box or D-Box, pressure manifold) and a distribution device.

When compared to a gravel drainline, certain gravel-less ditches allow for a 25 percent reduction in overall drainline length, which can result in a reduction in the size of the septic system’s drainfield.

Conventional Gravity Septic System

It is the most basic type of onsite wastewater system and requires deep useable soil depths to be installed in order to function properly (30 inches). A traditional gravel system is made up of two components: a septic tank and a drainfield. The system is installed in such a way that wastewater may be moved throughout the system with the help of gravity. Gravity systems that are conventional in design are always the top choice because to their reduced cost and minimal maintenance needs. Almost any sort of gravel or gravel-less drainline can be used in the drainfield.

Conventional-Pump Septic System

These systems make use of a separate pump tank and pump to ensure that wastewater is correctly distributed to the drainlines. They are most commonly employed when the drainfield is located uphill from the residence. Almost any sort of gravel or gravel-less drainline can be used in the drainfield. The average cost of a 4-bedroom system is between $5,000 and $6,000.

Pressure Distribution Systems

Pressure distribution systems are intended to improve the distribution of wastewater throughout the whole drainfield by increasing the pressure in the system. These systems are often employed in situations where soil conditions are less than ideal, and steep slopes or a limited amount of accessible area are present. The following are examples of pressure distribution systems:

Pressure Manifold Septic System

The average cost of a 4-bedroom system is between $6,000 and $8,000.

Low-Pressure Pipe (LPP) Septic System

The average cost of a 4-bedroom system is between $12,000 and $15,000.

Drip Disposal Septic Systems

The use of drip disposal systems is typically reserved for locations with useable soil depths ranging from 18 to 24 inches. A septic tank, a pump tank, a hydraulic unit, and a drip tubing drainfield are all components of the system. The average cost of a 4-bedroom system is between $17,000 and $25,000 dollars.

Drip Disposal Systems – Aerobic Treatment

They are identical to anaerobic systems, with the exception that they feature an aerobic pre-treatment unit that processes the wastewater before it is discharged. These methods are used on the most marginal soils, with acceptable soil depths ranging from 13 to 18 inches on these soils.

Septic tanks, a pump tank/aerobic pre-treatment unit, a hydraulic unit/filter module, and drip tubing drainfields are all components of the overall system. The average cost of a four-bedroom system is $40,000 per system.

Learn more about Septic Systems and Soils Testing

Even if your septic system is in excellent condition, it is dependent on the correct type of soil to finish the process of purifying the wastewater from your home. Depending on the soil type in the drainfield region, how well the effluent is filtered and whether or not the water that is returned to the water cycle is good enough will be determined. As a result, while installing a septic system, it is critical to have a thorough grasp of the soil makeup. Soil is composed of a variety of layers that are divided into four major categories: surface soil, subsurface soil, subsoil, and substratum.

  • Surface soil– also known as topsoil, this type of soil is generally black in color due to the high concentration of organic materials present due to the decaying organisms.
  • Typically, this is where the drain field is located.
  • Subsoil is the layer of soil that lies beneath the subsurface soil and is composed of a mixture of small particles of clay, silt, and sand, but it contains less organic matter than the surface soil.
  • Due to its composition of either unconsolidated sediment or bedrock, the substratum is sometimes referred to as a non-soil layer.

Morphological characteristics of soil

For your septic system to function properly and to fully cleanse your home’s wastewater, the correct sort of soil must be present in order to do so. The soil type in the drainfield region will impact how successfully the effluent is filtered and whether or not the water that is returned to the water cycle is suitable for re-use in agriculture. As a result, when installing a septic system, it is critical to comprehend the soil makeup. It is divided into four major categories, namely, surface soil, subsurface soil, subsoil, and substratum.

Surface soil– also known as topsoil, this type of soil is generally black in color due to the presence of organic materials from decaying organisms in the soil.

Drain fields are typically placed at this location.

Surface soil contains more organic matter than subsoil, which is a layer of soil that is located beneath the subsurface soil.

Subsurface soil is made up of small particles of clay, silt, and sand. Due to its composition of either unconsolidated sediment or bedrock, the substratum is sometimes referred to as a non-soil layer.

Soil texture

The relative proportions of the various soil particles in the soil are referred to as the texture of the soil. The texture of the soil can have a negative impact on a soil’s capacity to process and safely dispose of wastewater, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The porosity, hydraulic conductivity, and structure of the soil are all influenced by the texture of the soil. Soils with a heavy texture, such as clay soils, have poor drainage characteristics. As a result, water does not pass through them quickly enough to dispose of the necessary amount of wastewater.

When it comes to septic system design, soils are divided into four major groups based on the texture of the soil.

  • Sandy textured soils are classified into four groups: Group I
  • Group II
  • Coarse Loamy Textured Soils
  • Group III
  • Fine Loamy Textured Soils
  • And Group IV
  • Clayey Textured Soils.

Soils in Group I and Group II are the most suitable for use with traditional septic systems. Group III and Group IV soil textures may need the construction of more sophisticated sewage treatment systems.

Soil structure

Soil structure is concerned with how individual soil particles are grouped together to produce bigger groupings of particles, which are referred to as aggregates in the scientific community. As a result of its structure, soil has an influence on water percolation, the capacity of soil to handle wastewater, and the quantity of air that may be introduced into the soil. There are five distinct approaches to characterize soil structure, which are as follows:

  • Absence of structure (e.g. single grain or massive)
  • Crumb and granular
  • Block-like
  • Platy
  • Prismatic
  • Absence of structure (e.g. single grain or massive)

Septic systems benefit from granular soil structure because it increases soil separation and internal drainage, which is perfect for septic systems. On the other hand, soil types with a platy, prismatic, or massive structure are not recommended for use with traditional septic systems. The huge and platy structures hinder aeration as well as internal drainage, whereas prismatic structures allow untreated wastewater to flow directly into the water table without being treated first.

Clay mineralogy

Clay mineralogy is concerned with the quantity of clay present in a soil, and this will have an impact on the percolation rate of the soil as a result. Generally speaking, there are two sorts of clays: 2:1 and 1:1. A 2:1 clay is one that expands significantly when wet, whereas a 1:1 clay just barely expands when wet. Clays with a 2:1 mineralogy (for example, montmorillonite) shrink when they are dry and expand when they are wet, as seen in the diagram. As the soil swells, the particles of the soil expand into the structural spaces, reducing the porosity of the soil in the process.

Consequently, soils with a 2:1 clay mineralogy are ineligible for the installation of traditional septic tanks.

That a result, they do not limit the flow of water to the same extent as their 2:1 counterparts do. They are capable of assisting with the installation of septic systems.

Soil consistency

The consistency of a soil is assessed by testing how well a certain soil can adhere to other things or how well it can form forms when pressed between two surfaces. When the soil is dry, damp, or even wet, it is possible to identify the consistency of the soil. Firmness, friability, and looseness are the characteristics that influence the consistency of most soils. It is possible that the soil may be particularly solid when wet, indicating that it contains expansive mineralogy, and it will be rated as unsuitable for septic systems.

It is possible to determine how effectively dirt adheres to other things by pushing the soil between two fingers: the thumb and forefinger.

To determine the flexibility of the soil, roll a small amount of it between your thumb and forefinger.

Organic soils

Organic soils are defined as soils that contain 20 percent or more organic matter to a depth of at least 18 inches and are rich in organic matter. If your soil falls within this category, you should avoid installing septic systems. Organic soils, on the other hand, tend to remain moist throughout the year because they drain too slowly. Organic soils are particularly susceptible to subsidence, which can cause damage to the septic system.

Soil wetness

Wastewater treatment cannot take place adequately in soils that are not sufficiently aerated. As soon as soils become saturated with water, the spaces are filled with water, leaving little or no space for air to circulate. Because moist soils lack adequate air circulation, they are unable to maintain a septic system. The color of the soil may be used to determine the amount of moisture in the soil. The term “chroma” refers to the relative purity, strength, and saturation of a soil’s color in terms of its color.

For example, moist soils have a chroma value of two.

When the water table is high during a certain season, the soil may become wetter than usual at regular times.

Constituents of wastewater and how they react with various soil types

Various elements of wastewater can have varied effects on the soil depending on their concentration. Check out the following examples of wastewater ingredients to see how they could react in different soils.

Organic substances

BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) are all metrics used to assess the concentrations of synthetic and natural organic chemicals in wastewater (COD). Ideal conditions exist when a well designed and maintained septic system can remove the majority of these components through the liquefaction process initiated by the bacteria. The leach field, on the other hand, continues to receive certain organic compounds that have gone through the septic tank.

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Organic compounds are removed from the soil via a variety of processes, including filtering and decomposition, that occur naturally.

The bacteria in the effluent store polysaccharides in the form of slime capsules, which coat the soil particles and reduce the soil’s ability to percolate water through the soil.

When building a septic system, it is important to consider adequate size in order to avoid an excess of effluent in the leach field, which might worsen the biomat problem.


Ammonia, ammonium, ammonium nitrate, nitrite, and organic nitrogen are all found in the effluent from septic tanks, as is nitrate and nitrite. Anaerobic bacteria produce these as by-products of the sewage treatment process, which is why they are called anaerobic bacteria. Even effluent from aerobic tanks, on the other hand, contains nitrogen in the form of nitrate. Nitrogen removal through sludge accounts for around 10% of total nitrogen removal; the remainder is removed by the soil through processes such as denitrification, volatilization, plant uptake, and adsorption, among others.

In aerobic circumstances, nitrate is mostly soluble and does not interact with the soil components in a positive manner.


When it comes to phosphorus in septic tank effluent, there are two primary sources: washing detergents and human feces. Fortunately, anaerobic bacteria are capable of turning the majority of this phosphorus into soluble orthophosphates. To the contrary of nitrogen compounds, soluble phosphates react with diverse soil types and result in the removal of phosphate ions through numerous processes such as soil-plant interaction, plant uptake, precipitation, and biological immobilization (bio-immobilization).

Détergent surfactants

Surfactants, in general, can have an impact on the water retention and water transportation characteristics of soil. When the surfactant concentrations in the septic system exceed 30 mg/l, they have the potential to limit the hydraulic conductivity of the soil, which means that the wastewater will not be able to pass freely through the soil. The overall consequence will be that the water levels in the septic tank will increase over what is considered to be optimal. As a result of adsorption, anionic surfactants begin to build in the soil as detergent surfactants are removed from the environment.

This may be accomplished with relative ease by refraining from the use of detergents that include surfactants.

Toxic organic compounds

Toxic organic substances like as trichloroethylene (TCE), chlorinated hydrocarbons (MC), methyl chloroform, and others are widely found in chemical septic additives and cleansers. Trichloroethylene (TCE), chlorinated hydrocarbons (MC), methyl chloroform, and others are toxic organic compounds. If they reach the saturated zone, MC and TCE will sink to the bottom of the water phase, since they are denser than water and will sink to the bottom of the water phase. Several of these organic molecules remain in the sludge as a result of their inability to decompose, while others end up in the drain field and end up poisoning groundwater.

As a result, owners of septic systems should avoid the use of these compounds altogether. Biological additives, such as those manufactured from bacteria and enzymes and sold by Bio-Sol, are recommended for cleaning septic systems.


As single-celled creatures, bacteria are frequently found stuck in the pore spaces of soil particles, where they can cause significant damage. This is, in fact, an essential process since it aids in the removal of enteric bacteria from the effluent in the leach field, which is beneficial for the environment. This process also leads in the development of biomat, which aids in the entrapment of bacteria in the system. The attenuation of bacteria contributes to the prevention of groundwater contamination with disease-causing germs.

Furthermore, the attenuation of bacteria is controlled by the amount of bacteria present in the effluent, soil texture, loading rate, kind of bacteria present, soil moisture, and temperature.


Viruses are not only smaller in size than bacteria, but they also function in a distinct manner in the environment. Natural die-off and enzyme assault are among the methods used to inactivate or remove viruses from the soil. Precipitation, adsorption, filtration, and natural die-off are among those employed. In fact, many of the same variables that influence the adsorption of bacteria by soil also influence the adsorption of viruses by the soil. There are several critical soil factors that influence viral adsorption.

How the soil type and its percolation impacts the performance of the septic system

The behavior of effluent is influenced not only by the element in question, but also by the state and composition of the soil underneath it. The degree of wetness is governed by a number of factors, one of which is the distance between the surface and the water table. Depending on rainfall patterns and human activities such as irrigation and stormwater management, the depth of the water table can change significantly. When building a septic system, it is critical to consider how much vertical separation there should be between the water table and the bottom of the drain field.

  1. It is more difficult for water to move through unsaturated soil than it is for water to go through more saturated soil in the same area.
  2. When building a septic system, it is vital to consider the depth of the water table during the rainy season, which is measured in feet.
  3. When the wet season arrives, soils with impermeable horizons are more likely to create perched water levels.
  4. In the course of the site research, it is critical to take note of several significant soil features such as the texture of the soil, the presence or absence of cemented layers, the degree of aggregation of soil particles, and the level of the water table during the rainy seasons.
  5. For example, it may be necessary to create alternative systems such as mounds in order to increase the distance between the rainy season water table and the bottom of the system during the dry season.

The same procedure may be required in the case of cemented soil, clay soil, or in the case of any other unacceptable conditions that may be discovered during the site assessment.


There are some soils that are not suited for typical septic systems, and installing septic systems on these soils without taking the proper precautions can result in a variety of problems, including water pollution. Clay soil is extremely compact and does not allow for the passage of wastewater through it to occur. As a result, clay soils have the potential to cause blockages in the leach field. The optimal soil for a septic system is one that is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between gravel and clay.

This soil offers the ideal characteristics for filtering wastewater while yet enabling it to soak through and into the surrounding environment.

4 Types of Septic Tank Materials

1 minute is allotted for reading A septic tank is a tank that collects sewage and treats it through bacterial decomposition. Septic tanks are often buried underground. A decent septic tank is essential for a successful septic system, and the quality of the tank is determined by the type of material utilized in its construction. To choose a decent septic tank, it is necessary to be familiar with the many types of septic tank materials, as well as their pros and disadvantages, which are briefly discussed below.

  1. Septic tanks are available in a variety of materials, including concrete, steel, plastic, and fiberglass.

1. Concrete Septic Tank

Concrete septic tanks are large and heavy, and they are often pre-cast to make installation easier. The specific gravity of these precast concrete tanks is around 2.40, which makes them sturdy enough to withstand the buoyant forces that occur when they are put in the ground. In addition, their strength progressively grows over time. Concrete septic tanks are classified into two varieties depending on their structural configuration: single structure tanks and all-in-one systems. Single structure tanks are the most common form of concrete septic tank.

Some of the benefits and drawbacks of precast concrete septic tanks are discussed in further detail below.


  • The enormous weight of concrete septic tanks means that they will not float if the water table is close to the tank level. Concrete septic tanks have a very long life cycle, and they may last for several decades if properly maintained. They are sturdy enough to withstand heavy machinery and are not readily destroyed. They are resistant to corrosion.


  • When compared to other types of tank materials, it is more expensive. When something is damaged, it is difficult to fix. The transportation and installation of pre-cast concrete septic tanks necessitates the use of large equipment, making the process more complicated. The use of a low-quality concrete mix results in the formation of fissures, which allow the effluent to escape.

2. Steel Septic Tanks

Steel septic tanks are constructed of steel and are the least common nowadays due to the high cost and short lifespan of the tanks. Compared to other types of materials, steel septic tanks have the greatest potential for deterioration, which makes them the most problematic. If the top section of a steel septic tank becomes rusted, it will be unable to withstand any weights placed on top of it and will collapse at any time without warning.

As a result, caution should be exercised when checking steel septic tanks. Modern septic systems do not encourage the use of these types of tanks. Fig. 2: Septic Tank Made of Steel


  • The considerable weight of steel septic tanks ensures that they will not float when the water table is close to the tank. In addition, they have strong resistance to buoyant forces


  • Due to the ease with which steel corrodes, the lifespan of steel tanks is significantly reduced when compared to alternative septic tank materials. A high price for a low level of durability The removal of rusted steel septic tanks from the earth is a difficult task. Their deteriorating condition may put them in potentially unsafe circumstances.

Fig. 3: Corroded steel sewage treatment tank

3. Plastic Septic Tanks

They are also known as poly septic tanks since they are made of polyethylene plastic, which is the material from which they are composed of. Because they are lighter in weight and rustproof than concrete and steel septic tanks, they are an excellent alternative to these materials. Plastic septic tanks are less cumbersome to carry and install because of their reduced weight. Plastic septic tanks have specific gravities in the range of 0.97 to 0.98, which is lower than the specific gravity of water, causing the tank to float when the water table is close to it.

The following are some of the pros and downsides of using plastic septic tanks.


  • When compared to other types of septic tank materials, plastic septic tanks are more cost-effective. They are simple to handle and install
  • They are chemically resistant
  • And they are lightweight. Abrasion and corrosion resistance
  • Good resistance to breaking


  • When the water table is close to the tank bottom, it may push the tank higher, causing plastic septic tanks to float as a result of the weight of the water in the tank. They are susceptible to harm when exposed to extreme circumstances
  • Heavy weights should not be placed or moved over the plastic septic tank since this may cause it to distort and change its shape, which may eventually result in the tank exploding owing to the high pressure within.

4. Fiberglass Septic Tank

Using fiber reinforced polymers, fiberglass septic tanks are manufactured (FRP). They are similar in appearance to plastic septic tanks, but the addition of glass fiber reinforcement makes them far stronger than plastic tanks. They are also rather light in weight and simple to move around. A consequence of the tank’s decreased weight is the possibility of it floating or moving, which may be avoided by properly securing the tank to the ground. Some of the pros and disadvantages of fiberglass septic tanks are as follows: They are lightweight, durable, and cost-effective.

5: Septic Tank Made of Fiberglass


  • Septic tanks made of concrete and steel are more expensive. When opposed to plastic septic tanks, concrete septic tanks have more robustness. High durability
  • Corrosion resistance
  • And watertightness.


  • In the same way that plastic septic tanks are unable to withstand buoyant pressures, fiberglass septic tanks will float or move when the water table is brought closer to them.

More information may be found at:Septic Tank – Components and Design of Septic Tank Depending on the Number of People

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