Understanding the Different Types of Septic Systems

November 30, 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

Undenground,Water,Tank,And,House,With,Clipping,Of,Ground,,3dWhen it comes to sewage treatment for properties not connected to a municipal sewer system, septic systems are often the go-to solution. Septic systems are efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly, making them a popular choice for homeowners in rural areas. However, not all septic systems are the same. In fact, there are several different types of septic systems available, each with its own unique features and benefits. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common types of septic systems and help you understand which one might be the best fit for your property.

1. Conventional Septic System:

The conventional septic system is the most basic and commonly used type of septic system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainfield. The septic tank is responsible for the primary treatment of wastewater, while the drainfield allows for the secondary treatment and dispersal of the effluent into the surrounding soil. Conventional septic systems are suitable for most properties, as long as the soil and site conditions are favorable.

2. Chamber Septic System:

Chamber septic systems are an alternative to traditional gravel-based drainfields. Instead of using gravel, these systems utilize perforated plastic chambers to hold the effluent and allow for the infiltration into the soil. Chamber septic systems offer improved efficiency and ease of installation compared to conventional systems. They are ideal for properties with limited space or poor soil conditions that hinder the installation of a traditional drainfield.

3. Mound Septic System:

Mound septic systems are designed for properties with high groundwater tables or soils that are not suitable for conventional drainfields. As the name suggests, these systems create an elevated mound or raised bed filled with sand or gravel. The effluent is pumped into the mound and is then distributed throughout the bed, allowing for natural treatment before it percolates into the ground.

4. Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU):

ATUs are advanced septic systems that use aerobic bacteria to treat wastewater more effectively compared to conventional systems. These systems introduce air into the treatment process, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria that breakdown solids more efficiently. ATUs are a good option for properties with insufficient soil or in sensitive environmental areas. However, they do require regular maintenance and may have higher operational costs compared to standard septic systems.

5. Drip Irrigation Septic System:

Drip irrigation septic systems, also known as low-pressure pipe distribution systems, are designed for properties with limited space or an unsuitable soil profile. These systems use drip emitters or small tubing to distribute the effluent evenly over a large area. The effluent is then absorbed into the soil, undergoing microbial treatment as it filters through. Drip irrigation septic systems provide an efficient and even distribution of effluent, reducing the risk of saturation and potential environmental contamination.


Septic systems are an integral part of wastewater management for properties without access to municipal sewer systems. Understanding the different types of septic systems is crucial for homeowners to make informed decisions when it comes to installation or replacement. Whether you have ample space, challenging soil conditions, or environmental restrictions, there is a septic system that will meet your specific needs. Consulting with a septic system professional can help you determine the most suitable option for your property, ensuring proper wastewater treatment while preserving the environment. Remember, regular maintenance and proper usage of your septic system are essential to ensure its longevity and efficiency, so be sure to adhere to recommended guidelines and schedule routine inspections as needed.

Got Questions About Your Septic System? Let Us Help!

The Macken family has been serving western New York since 1968. Our company specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of septic systems. We can also help you deal with your restaurant grease trap. We have acquired a decade’s worth of experience and know all the ins and outs of keeping your septic system worry-free. The key to a well-functioning septic system is regular maintenance. While it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security, make no mistake: eventually, a neglected septic system will require attention. So be proactive and give us a call today before you have a stinky situation to deal with.

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