Untreated Septic Systems
Learn About Untreated Wastewater
There are three general options for the treatment and dispersal of the wastewater from your home: untreated wastewater systems, pre-treatment systems, and full-treatment systems.
Option 1: Septic Tank with a Leach Field
If you have good soil depth and adequate area with the right soil grades and quality, you can choose to put in a septic tank with a leach field. This will disperse untreated wastewater into the soil on your property. The soil in the leach field helps beneficial bacteria break down the sewage while it is absorbed into the ground. There is no disinfection of the wastewater in this type of soil absorption treatment.
What is a leach field?
Also called a drain field, this is an underground disposal system for your home’s wastewater. The leach field usually consists of trenches and pipes installed underground that allow the wastewater to seep into the ground. The soil then absorbs and breaks down the contaminants over time. Eventually, the air pockets in this soil will become clogged and the leach field will need to be replaced.
A leach field and a replacement area must be set aside to be used only for wastewater treatment purposes. It can never be reused and will be difficult to use for other purposes.
Option 2: Septic Tank with a Mound
If you do not have enough flat area for a leach field, or if your soil is not up to par, you may need to use a mound system. This is done by adding up to three feet of sand to a large dispersal area. Basically, since you don’t have enough good soil in the ground, you’re adding more above ground to do the treatment. The untreated wastewater will seep first into the mounded sand and then into the ground.
What is a mound?
A mound is a mixture of sand, gravel, and soil that is hauled in and added on top of your existing soil. Pipes are placed near the top of the mound, which is also vented. Your home’s wastewater trickles through it and into the ground. Along the way, bacteria in the soil help break down the contaminants.
The mound area also must be set aside only to be used for wastewater treatment purposes.READ NEXT: Pre-Treatment Septic Systems