For many people, the septic system is one of the most important features of their homes. If you have a conventional septic system, you have a separate tank from your main water supply. This allows wastewater to be processed and drained away from your home.
Conventional septic systems are the most common type of system in the United States. They are not as expensive or complicated as other types of systems, like alternative water treatment systems and centralized treatment plants. These systems require less maintenance than other systems and they can be installed almost anywhere there’s an adequate amount of space for a tank and drain field.
How Does a Conventional Septic System Work?
A conventional septic tank works by filtering wastewater through a series of pipes and chambers in the tank. The four basic components are:
- Septic tank – This is a partially buried concrete or plastic container that holds wastewater long enough for solids to settle out so they can be removed from the liquid by percolating through the soil into the drain field.
- Pump chamber – A small chamber located above the outlet of the septic tank that allows air into the liquid. This makes it so it can flow out of this part of the system without splashing onto its walls.
- Drainage field – A field of perforated pipes placed at least six inches below ground level and connected by open trenches . Or it can be above-ground piping to carry sewage from the septic tank to an absorption area (drainage field). From here it filters through native soil and rock layers before entering groundwater aquifers or streams.
- Absorption field system – The absorption field system contains gravel or sand through which waste water flows. This system allows solid matter to settle out and also absorbs excess liquid. This reduces the amount that reaches the drain field.
What are the two types of Septic Systems
There are two types of septic systems:
- Conventional. Conventional septic systems use a leach field to process waste water, while alternative systems use an aerobic treatment unit (ATU) or high rate aeration system (HRAS). The most common alternative system is called the leachless system.
- Alternative. The alternative septic system uses no buried components at all. Instead, it uses above-ground tanks or filters to treat wastewater. This prevents it from draining into a natural area such as a waterway or wetland. This type of system is more expensive than conventional systems because it requires more maintenance. But it also reduces the risk of contamination to nearby groundwater supplies.
Conventional vs Alternative Systems: Which is Best?
Both conventional and alternative septic systems are treated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as acceptable treatment methods for wastewater. However, there are some differences that make one system more suitable for a project than another. The primary difference between conventional and alternative septic systems is in their design. Conventional septic systems use a standard 1-to-6 ratio of water to solids. Whereas alternative systems use a 1-to-1 ratio or even 1-to-2 ratio. This allows an alternative system to handle more solids than a conventional system. Additionally, the use of chemical oxidants can be omitted with an alternative system, because liquid effluent is not produced with this type of septic system.
The Difference Between a Conventional and an Aerobic Septic System
The most important thing to know about an aerobic septic system is that it relies on aerobic bacteria, or microorganisms that thrive in the presence of oxygen, to treat the wastewater. This is in contrast to conventional septic systems, which rely on anaerobic bacteria, or microorganisms that thrive in environments with no oxygen.
The aerobic system goes through a similar process as the conventional septic system. However, instead of using anaerobic bacteria, the aerobic septic system uses aerobic bacteria to convert sludge into a less toxic substance.
Conventional Septic Tank Maintenance in Broken Arrow Oklahoma
Proper care and maintenance is important for conventional septic systems. Septic systems are a great alternative to the traditional sewer system, but proper care and maintenance is critical to their performance. Many homeowners don’t realize that the septic tank needs regular maintenance. This is necessary to prevent it from failing or backing up into the house.