What type septic system do I have?
We are going to discuss the commonly found systems in our region.
First is the basic septic system, which consists of a septic tank and a leach, drain or absorption field. (All three are the same thing, just different terminology) The septic tank is made of a waterproof material, concrete or plastic most commonly. The household waste enters the tank and the function of the tank is to allow bacteria to break the waste down and allow the solids to fall to the bottom and then the effluent (liquid) will gravity flow into a drain field. For this system you need soil that is absorbent and ground that lends to a gravity system.
So maybe you have absorbent soil but not an area that will permit gravity fed system. So next we will discuss a dosing system. A dosing system starts with the septic tank; from there the effluent (liquid) goes to a dosing tank that houses an effluent pump. The pump forces effluent to the drain field. Dosing systems also allow for absorption fields to be located uphill from the septic tank.
When your soil is not absorbent chances are you may have a mound system; Easily identified with a mound on your property. This system also starts with a septic & dosing tank, but the drain field is built above ground. The mound is built with layers of soil, sand and gravel that contain strategically places pipe; the effluent is pumped from dosing chamber into the mound. The effluent is spread throughout the layers of sand, gravel and soil being naturally filtered and returned to the environment.
No matter the style of system you have, maintenance is important.When septic tanks get too many solids in them, it leaves nowhere for the waste to go.That being said, the waste either backs up in the lines or can cause issues beyond the tank. If Solids are forced into the dosing tank, this can cause premature failure of effluent pumps.