So, you have a septic system but you’re not sure what type you have. Why does it matter? Because each septic system has different maintenance needs, so you want to be sure you are maintaining it properly, as it should be. You definitely want to prevent unnecessary “blowouts” at all costs!

So what type of septic system do you have?  For starters, you may have either a conventional type or an alternative type. The type you have generally relies on the location of your home and the type of soil conditions of your land. Read on to discover the 5 most popular tanks and their system types.



1. Gravity System (Conventional)

This is your standard, which relies on gravity to move your waste to drain out. This system requires at least three feet of good soil. The tank is buried directly into the soil near your home and drains through pipes that extend to a distribution box that evenly distributes the wastewater into a drain field underground, using gravity. Each time the pump turns on, water is sent through the system to allow your waste to spread to a larger area for better treatment.

2. Pressure Distribution System (Conventional)

This system relies on a pump to move your waste to drain out. This system requires at least two feet of good soil. This system is similar to the gravity system only it uses a pump to process the waste to the drain field. The pump ensures that the wastewater is distributed evenly, in doses.

3. Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU) (Alternative)

This system uses oxygen to break down waste, so the draining wastewater is cleaner and safer for the environment. This kind of system is especially important for homes in areas that are environmentally sensitive and need more care when it comes to waste drainage. This system usually requires chlorine or UV treatment before the waste gets to the drain field. This system usually requires more frequent inspections than the other types to ensure it meets local health laws.

4. Mound System (Alternative)

This system is used when less soil is in the home location is available for wastewater draining, so the drain field is a mound, raised above ground level. Your waste is always evenly pumped to this mound to control the amount of waste that is released.

5. Sand Filter System (Alternative)

This system is also used when there is a limited amount of soil available for wastewater draining. This tank (sand filter box) is usually a concrete one, filled with a type of sand. Small pipes are inserted into a bed of gravel on top of the sand. The waste is pumped in an even amount to control the flow of waste, running into the gravel and through the sand below. Once the waste reaches the lowest level in the tank, it is sent to a drain field, with a second pump or to a gravity flow drain field.

Other systems exist, but the above five systems are the most common. It’s important to get your tank inspected frequently to avoid contamination or costly mishaps that could be prevented. If you are still unsure of what type of septic system you have or you need septic pumping service, contact us today!