Basic Septic System Types
Building a new home, particularly in a rural area, usually means putting in a septic system. There are several different types of systems available.
A type 1 septic system is the simplest, and therefore most cost-effective, type of septic system that you can install. It isn't suitable for every build site. Most municipalities have strict rules on the size of the building that feeds into the septic system. The reason is that type 1 systems do not utilize any type of pump, so they are completely gravity-fed and must be designed so that gravity keeps everything moving. An overly large system won't operate well without a pump, nor will one with a lot of waste coming into it from a larger building. For this reason, type 1 systems are usually only installed for small cabins and recreational properties.
Single pump systems use a gravity-fed system to move sewage into the first holding tank of the system. Unlike type 1 systems, the single pump system then has a second tank where the effluent is separated from the raw sewage. This effluent is then pumped into a drain field where it can finish being cleaned via natural processes before re-entering the water stream. Single pump systems are the most common, particularly for smaller residential homes.
In areas with frequent flooding, high water tables, or more soil absorption, the sand mound system will be the most common type of septic for residential use. These systems are very similar to a traditional single pump system, but instead of pumping effluent into a drain field, it is pumped into a raised sand mound that acts like a drain field. The purpose of the mound is to allow percolation of the effluent properly back into the groundwater, which wouldn't be possible in the saturated native soil.
Some properties are simply not suitable for any type of traditional septic system. For example, small lots may not have room for traditional drain fields and holding tanks, so stacked tanks may be necessary. You may need a system with additional pumps if you are on a steep slope and must place the house below the septic system. Custom systems can be the most expensive option, but they may be the only option on a challenging property.
Contact a septic installation service to find out which type of system is best for your home.