Technology has brought use many changes with the way our sewage waste is treated. We are far away from the days of simply digging a hole and burying our waste. Environmental laws have gotten stricter for the protection of our very important groundwater supply. There are several different systems in use today, and probably more being designed each year. Discussing your options with a qualified and experienced septic system company like Santa Maria, CA Septic Systems, will show you what septic system designs fall within your budget and are appropriate to your property. Below, we've compiled a list with a short description of each available design today so you can have an understanding of each design type when discussing with your contractor.
Conventional Septic System
Sometimes referred to as a traditional septic system, this design includes a sewer main coming from the house, to a septic tank for treatment, then discharging into a leach field for further treatment and disposal. An economical design in most instances, but needs to pass a perc test and have the room for a leach field. System only relies on gravity to function.
Aerobic Septic System
Designed in much the same way as a conventional septic system, but relies on a blower or bubbler to force air into the sewage. This functionality produces a much cleaner wastewater for the leach field to treat and dispose of. Electricity for the blower or bubbler is required for this system.
Sand Mound System
Designed like the aforementioned two septic systems, the only difference in the sand mound system is in the leach field design. Instead of having trenches dug and filled with a sand and gravel mix for filtration, a mound of sand is formed and the wastewater is pumped to the top of the mound. Simple gravity pulls the wastewater down through the sand mound for treatment and disposal. This septic system is ideal in areas where the soil failed the percolation test and a traditional leach field design wouldn't be beneficial. Electricity is required for the pump that pushes the wastewater to the top of the mound.
Private Water Treatment Plants
This is designed as an all-inclusive unit that your sewer main is directly hooked to. In a conventional septic system, the main portion of treatment takes place within an underground septic tank. The private water treatment plant performs the treatment within the housing of the unit, so a septic tank isn't required. The wastewater is then discharged into a leach field or in a series of filters within the unit itself. If the filter housing is utilized, the wastewater may be discharged directly onto the soil. This system relies heavily on electricity as all components are mechanically driven.
Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
The design offers highly advanced wastewater treatment to produce a very clean wastewater. Large municipalities use this type of system, but this particular design is smaller for your personal use. Commonly found in commercial applications, the design can handle heavy amounts of usage with minimal effort. It requires regular maintenance, filter changes, and regular supervision to ensure it's releasing highly-treated wastewater that is safe for the environment. No leach field is required for this unit.
Advanced Septic Systems for Small Lots
Built in much the same way as a private water treatment plant, this unit is ideal for limited space areas that have minimal usage requirements. When wastewater flows into the system, a series of treatment processes take place and clean wastewater is discharged. The requirements for the wastewater are very strict because it is allowed to discharge directly into a waterway, ditch, or on top of soil. Electricity is required for the treatment and discharge process as well as a strict maintenance routine to ensure clean wastewater is being discharge. You may find these units attached to hunting cabins or rest area bathrooms that have minimal usage.
Advanced Septic System
The size and usage of this design falls somewhere between the private water treatment plant and the larger advanced wastewater treatment plant. As with the two references designs, the advanced septic system treats wastewater to below secondary treatment standards, which are even below the environmental standards that are required. The wastewater is very clean and can be handled without the need of a leach field.
Common Septic System Questions
How long will my concrete septic tank last before I need to replace it?
The typical life of a concrete septic tank is 40 plus years, if given proper maintenance and is inspected regularly.
I can't remember how long ago I had my septic tank pumped out. How often should I have it done?
You should at least have your septic tank inspected once very 3 years at the minimum. It's actually recommended to have it inspected annually, with a pump out done every 3 to 5 years.
It looks like the ground where my septic tank is located is starting to cave in. Should I go see if my septic tank is causing this?
Do not go anywhere near where the septic tank is located if the ground is starting to cave in. This is a very dangerous situation and you need to contact a septic tank repair company immediately. Deadly toxic gases and liquids are inside your septic tank and if you fall through the hole, you can land inside your septic tank and suffocate. Rope off the area and keep everyone, including animals, away from the area until the repair company arrives.