What Are The Two Main Types of Conventional Septic Systems

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Taking care of your home’s septic system is essential if you want to have a proper functioning septic system for many years to come. It’s always good to be informed about the different types of septic systems, so you can take proper care.

The conventional one consists of a septic tank and a drainage field and is used in single-family homes and other small buildings. Among these systems, there are two main types we will talk about in this article – gravity septic systems and pressure distribution systems.

Main Types of Conventional Septic Systems

Gravity Septic System

The gravity septic system is a type of conventional septic system that relies on natural soil depth. It requires at least 3 feet of soil beneath the drain field. 

This system has three key components:

  • Septic Tank: Acting as the initial treatment chamber, the septic tank separates wastewater into layers of sludge, scum, and effluent.
  • Drain Field: This component, typically composed of gravel-filled trenches, facilitates further effluent treatment as it percolates through the soil.
  • Soil: Beneath the drain field, soil plays a crucial role in the final treatment of wastewater, utilizing chemical and biological processes to eliminate harmful pathogens.

Knowing how to recognize signs of issues with your gravity septic system is important so that you can act quickly. 

Some signs to watch out for include:

  • Backups of sewage;
  • Unpleasant odors near the drain field or around the tank;
  • Bubbling sounds in your plumbing;
  • Slow drainage.

Pressure Distribution System

The pressure distribution system is designed to evenly distribute wastewater and keep the drain field superficial. It achieves this through dosing and resting cycles, which differ from the previous system. By using this system, the wastewater is distributed more uniformly and the drain field is kept shallower. 

When discussing this type of conventional septic system, it is important to keep in mind its components. These include:

  • Septic Tank: Similar to the gravity system, the septic tank separates wastewater into layers of effluent, scum and sludge, initiating the treatment process.
  • Pump Chamber: Serving as an intermediary between the septic tank and drain field, the pump chamber collects effluent and distributes it evenly through the drain field.
  • Drain Field: Equipped with perforated pipes, the drain field receives dosed effluent from the pump chamber, allowing for efficient filtration of the soil and treatment.

To ensure that your septic system runs smoothly, it’s important to keep an eye on its pressure distribution components. The pump control floats manage effluent distribution, while the alarm lets you know if there are any pump malfunctions or excessive wastewater. 

Regular maintenance is key to keeping both gravity and pressure distribution systems working well. To make sure your septic system lasts long and works efficiently, it’s important to have professionals inspect it, get it pumped regularly, and fix any issues promptly.

You, as homeowners,  can make an informed decision when you have a better understanding of the conventional septic system and its different types. This knowledge can save you from potential septic system issues which are not only expensive but also a health hazard. Be sure to always call a professional, who can help you with maintaining your septic system.

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