If you are building a new home or experiencing issues with your current septic system, you may have heard of a mound septic system. But what exactly is a mound septic system, and when do you need one?
A mound septic system is a type of septic system designed for areas where the soil is unable to support a conventional septic system. This can occur due to a high-water table, shallow soil depth, poor soil absorption or poor bedrock that is near to the surface, extremely permeable or impermeable soils, soil with shallow cover over porous bedrock, and terrain that features a high water table.
In this article, we will discuss when you may need a mound septic system, how it works, and the benefits of installing one.
Understanding a Mound Septic System
A mound septic system is essentially an elevated drain field built above the natural soil. This type of system is designed to treat wastewater that is unable to be absorbed by the natural soil due to its inability to hold or filter the water properly.
The mound septic system consists of three primary components:
- A septic tank to collect and hold the wastewater
- A pump chamber to distribute the wastewater to the drain field
- A raised bed of sand and gravel, which serves as the drain field
The effluent is pumped from the septic tank into the pump chamber, which then distributes the water evenly over the raised bed of sand and gravel. The water is then filtered through the sand and gravel before being absorbed by the natural soil.
When Do You Need a Mound Septic System?
Several factors determine when a mound system is needed. These include:
1. High Water Table
If you live in an area with a high water table, a mound system may be necessary. A high water table occurs when the natural water level is close to the surface of the soil, making it difficult for the soil to properly filter or treat the effluent.
2. Shallow Soil Depth
If the natural soil depth is shallow, a mound septic system may be necessary. A shallow soil depth can prevent the natural soil from effectively absorbing the wastewater, causing the water to pool on the surface.
3. Poor Soil Absorption Or Poor Bedrock
If the natural soil is unable to absorb the wastewater properly due to poor soil absorption or poor bedrock that is near the surface, a mound septic system may be necessary. Poor soil absorption can occur due to a lack of organic matter in the soil or a high clay content.
4. Extremely Permeable Or Impermeable Soils
If the natural soil is extremely permeable or impermeable, a mound septic system may be necessary. Extremely permeable soils allow the water to pass through too quickly, while impermeable soils prevent the water from passing through at all.
Benefits of a Mound Septic System
There are several pros of installing a mound septic system, including:
Improved Effluent Treatment
One of the primary benefits of a mound septic is improved effluent treatment. Mound systems are designed to ensure that the effluent is properly treated before being released into the environment. The sand and gravel layers in the mound system filter out impurities and bacteria, resulting in cleaner effluent.
Mound systems are built to last longer than traditional septic systems. With proper maintenance and care, a mound system can last for up to 40 years. In contrast, traditional septic systems may require replacement every 10-15 years.
Mound systems can be installed on properties with poor soil conditions that prevent the installation of traditional septic systems. Additionally, they can be designed to fit the specific needs of a property, making them a flexible option for homeowners.
Mound systems are designed to protect the environment by treating wastewater before it is released into the soil. The sand and gravel layers in the mound system filter out impurities and bacteria, preventing them from contaminating the groundwater.
While mound systems may have a higher initial cost than traditional septic systems, they can be more cost-effective in the long run. With proper maintenance and care, a mound system can last for up to 30 years, reducing the need for costly replacements.
Compliance with Regulations
In some areas, mound systems may be required to comply with local regulations. Installing a mound system can ensure that a property is in compliance with these regulations, avoiding potential fines and legal issues.
Increased Property Value
A properly installed and maintained septic mound can increase the value of a property. Buyers are often willing to pay more for a property with a mound system, as it indicates that the property has been properly maintained and cared for.
When Do You Need A Mound Septic System: FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about when a mound septic system may be necessary:
Do mound septic systems smell?
Mound septic systems should not produce any noticeable odors if they are properly installed and maintained. The treatment process in a septic mound involves filtering wastewater through layers of sand and gravel, which effectively removes impurities and odor-causing bacteria. However, if the system is not properly installed or maintained, or if it becomes overloaded with wastewater, it may produce unpleasant odors.
What is the lifespan of a septic mound?
The lifespan of a septic mound depends on various factors such as the quality of the system components, the frequency of maintenance, and the amount of usage. Typically, a well-designed and properly maintained septic mound can last up to 40 years or more. However, if the system is not maintained or serviced regularly, it may experience premature failure and require replacement sooner.
Can you walk on a septic mound
Walking on a septic mound is generally not recommended as it may damage the system and disrupt the treatment process. The mound is designed to be a raised bed of sand and gravel, which allows for the proper treatment and filtration of wastewater. Walking on the mound can compact the soil and gravel layers, which can interfere with the treatment process and potentially lead to system failure. It is best to avoid walking on the septic mound and to ensure that any landscaping or planting near the mound is done carefully to avoid damaging the system.
In conclusion, a mound septic system offers several benefits, including improved effluent treatment, increased longevity, flexibility, environmental protection, cost-effectiveness, compliance with regulations, and increased property value. If your property has specific soil conditions that prevent the installation of a traditional septic tank, a septic mound may be the right choice for you.