With conventional septic systems, the property and soil conditions are ideal for a typical septic tank and either gravel drain field or chamber system to distribute water into the ground.
An engineered septic system is a solution to conditions that may not warrant a conventional system due to a variety of factors. Fortunately, current technology provides multiple options when it comes to engineered septic systems.
If your home or business requires an engineered system, we will work closely with engineers to design something that fits your needs.
Depending on the type of soil on your property, wastewater will drain at specific rates based on the permeability of the soil.
Gravel (1 meter deep): 2 minutes
Sand (1 meter deep): 20 minutes
Silt (1 meter deep): 2 hours
Clay (1 meter deep): 2 Days
Percolation tests will be performed to determine the permeability and porosity of your soil, which will impact which type of septic system is installed.
There are seemingly endless options for your septic needs, no matter what the environment is like. The types below are a few of the most commonly installed systems when conventional septic isn’t appropriate.
In this type of system, a typical septic tank is used, but the leach field is made up of polyethylene arches that interlock and provide an area of uninterrupted drainage. Gravel is not needed but can be added to extend the life of the chambers.
This option has a similar function to that of conventional municipal sewage systems, as waste runs through most of the same steps found in urban waste treatment plants. The system is made up of a pre-treatment tank, unstabilized chlorine tank, sprinklers, and absorption field. Oxygen is added to one of the tanks to facilitate efficient consumption of waste.
This type of unit adds air to break down organic matter more effectively when pre-treating wastewater. ATUs achieve quicker decompensation of solid waste and reduces the pathogens present in the waste.
When there is little soil available to treat wastewater, the drain field is moved above ground in order to treat effluent properly.
This type of system is similar to a conventional septic system except an added chamber with a pump is installed right after the tank. It kicks on a couple of times per day to move effluent to the drain field.
Evapotranspiration systems work by utilizing natural evaporation and are typically only used in dry environments. An ET system uses a normal septic tank but a different kind of absorption field. An impervious barrier lines a trench in the drain field. Perforated drain pipes with gravel surrounding them are covered by sand to help with the evaporation.
In spaces where soil is lacking, a sand filter system is a great solution, utilizing a normal tank, pump chamber, sand barrier/filter, and leach field.
This option is essentially a normal gravity system with an added pump to use the drain field more effectively.
Despite listing quite a few options here, there are even more to choose from. A licensed septic company can help you determine what will work best for you.
To see illustrations of alternative septic systems, visit epa.gov/septic/types-septic-systems.
Yes, you can expect 20-40 years just like a normal septic tank and drain field.
As with most things, the more complicated and involved a system is, the more complex and high maintenance it can be. Your engineered system may require more monitoring and maintenance, and we can advise you on the proper service intervals for that.
You can expect to pay as much or more for an engineered septic system vs. a conventional one. Factors like size, complexity, and materials will impact pricing.
Yes, we generally recommend the same frequency of pumping on engineered units. Our experts will let you know the manufacturer’s outlined recommendations are.
With years of experience and expertise under our belt, Septic & Drainfield Depot will help you with all your septic needs. We use advanced equipment and keep up with the latest techniques in order to provide our customers with the best service possible. We guarantee you’ll be happy with our professional technicians no matter what service they are providing.