About one in every five Arizona homeowners uses an onsite septic system for wastewater treatment and disposal, but it may come as a surprise to learn that not all of those systems are the same.
Whether you’re installing a brand new septic system or buying a home and curious about the existing system, it helps to understand something about the different types that are available. We’ve put together a brief overview to help you get started.
DIFFERENT SYSTEMS FOR DIFFERENT CONDITIONS
Septic systems fall into one of two main categories: conventional systems and alternative systems. Installing the right one has a lot to do with the location of the home (or business) and the surrounding soil and environmental conditions.
With conventional septic systems, also called standard or basic systems, the treatment process begins in the septic tank, where the wastewater is separated into layers. Solids fall to the bottom where they are broken down by the bacteria in your tank, and the partially treated wastewater is dispersed, with the help of gravity or a pump, to the drainfield.
WHY USE AN ALTERNATIVE SEPTIC SYSTEM?
Alternative septic systems are typically used in areas where conditions are not conducive to efficient drainage with a conventional system—such as a high water table or problems with soil type or depth—or in areas where advanced treatment is necessary. While most of these systems still make use of a septic tank, they also incorporate other methods to further treat the filtered wastewater and produce a cleaner end result.
For example, a sand filter system can be used in an area where there is not enough soil. The sand takes the place of the soil to complete the process of breaking down and dispersing the treated wastewater.
According to the Arizona Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association, there are 20 different kinds of alternative septic systems approved for use in Arizona. These include sand filter systems, mound systems, evapotranspiration systems and aerobic systems, in which oxygen is used to ensure cleaner wastewater.
Something to keep in mind about alternative septic systems is the potential expense involved. Because of their advanced technology, these systems may be double or triple the cost of a conventional septic system. They will also have different maintenance requirements, so be sure to talk to a professional before making a decision.
GOT QUESTIONS? GIVE US A CALL
The experienced technicians at Paradise Valley Septic look forward to answering all of your questions about conventional vs. alternative septic systems, from price and installation to maintenance and repair. Call or send us a message today to get the information you need and the personalized service you deserve.