Conventional Vs. Alternative Septic Systems

    In properties that don’t have full access to a large-scale sewerage system, septic tanks are used to deal with waste from the property. A septic tank is most commonly buried underground close to the property and fills with the sewage from a property, giving it time to break down. The remaining sludge and liquid can then be drained away through an outlet pipe. 

    If you’re thinking of getting a new septic tank, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration such as the size of your property and the number of people who live there. The size of the land, the slope of the site, and any local laws and regulations. 

    The technology and design of septic tanks can differ widely, so when getting a new septic tank, you need to know the types available before you make a choice. Consult a professional septic tank installer to help you make the right choice for your property. 

    Conventional septic tanks

    This consists of a basic septic tank, which leads to a trench or wastewater system. The waste leaves your home through the main pipe and into the septic tank. Once broken down, the wastewater then leaves to the septic tank and soaks into the drainfield. 

    In homes that are not connected to a sewage system, and cannot be sunk underground, then above-ground septic tanks can be installed, which are then emptied periodically by specialist companies. 

    Alternative septic systems

    Conventional systems can work very well for many types of property, but may not work for everyone. If the soil around the property is not suitable, for example, if it’s too shallow, then you will need to look at alternatives. 

    The main types of alternative septic systems include:

    Plastic leach field chamber

    These take up much less space than conventional systems and can last longer. These work by providing a continuous drainage system, rather than a convention type of pipe leach field. 

    Mound septic system

    In this type of system, the ground is first prepared to create the wastewater treatment area. Most commonly, it is lined with sand and then covered with a layer of gravel in which small outlet pipes are placed. The entire area is then covered with a layer of top soil, which forms a mound. 

    These systems also include an additional chamber that prevents the overloading of the leach field. 

    Drip distribution system

    Very similar to a conventional system, but with the addition of an aerobic chamber that pre-treats the waste and filters it. This water is then clean enough to use for watering plants and lawns. This system is good for properties with shallow soil but does run the risk of freezing in colder temperatures. 

    Media filtration system

    These types of systems are perfect for areas where other systems cannot be placed. They use a material such as peat of sand to filter the wastewater before it continues to the leach field. They can be built above ground if necessary. 


    There are many types of septic tanks to choose from that suit a range of property needs, budgets, and environmental considerations.