There are two main septic system types, conventional and aerobic. Both systems produce the same result by different methods. Here is a summary of how these systems work and how a homeowner can identify each system.
Conventional Septic System
All water runs out of your house from one main drainage pipe into a septic tank. Solids settle down to the bottom, while oil and grease floats to the top. The liquid wastewater then exits the tank into the drainfield where the soil naturally filters harmful substances.
A conventional septic tank is located at least 5 feet from your house and should follow the main drain pipe out. There are no sprinklers.
Aerobic Septic Systems
Aerobic systems typically involve three compartments: a trash tank, treatment tank and pump tank. Water enters the trash tank and settles into layers, just like conventional septic systems.
Wastewater travels to the treatment tank, where an aerator circulates oxygen bubbles throughout. The added oxygen is necessary for aerobic microbes, which break down waste fast and effectively.
Then the wastewater travels into the pump tank for one last treatment with some form of disinfectant to eliminate remaining pathogens. From here, it is pumped through a sprinkler system on your property.
An aerobic system can be identified by three tanks and a sprinkler system.
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