Blocked By Boulders? What To Know About Your Septic System Options

In order to work correctly, the average septic system covers a broad area, with all of the components encased into the soil of the lawn.  In fact, the average length of each leach line in most septic system drain fields typically measures 100 feet in length.

When a septic installer encounters large rocks or other obstructions and soil conditions in the area in which the septic system is to be located, an alternate plan is sometimes required. If you are preparing to have a septic system installed in an area where these issues may make it difficult or impossible, this information can help you understand the process and your available options. 

Raise bed or mound septic systems

When soil conditions prevent the installation of a conventional buried septic system, a raised bed or mound septic system may be the answer. These systems place many of the components above ground level and then cover them with a mound of soil or other suitable material. Because these systems perform most of their processing tasks within the mound, they may require additional maintenance, such as more frequent pumping, to maintain their efficiency. 

In addition to being useful when the soil is too rocky for a conventional installation, mound-type systems are also a good choice for areas in which the soil fails the percolation test and is not capable of processing the effluent safely. 

Installing a septic tank partially above ground can also be done in some instances if it is not possible to bury it normally. When this is done in areas where the temperatures are below freezing during the winter, the tank will need to be properly covered with soil or other material to provide insulation and prevent freeze damage. As with other unconventional systems, design approval and special permits often apply. 

Unconventional drain fields 

The sand filter is another possible option for homeowners who are struggling to find a suitable substitute for areas that are not amenable to the conventional septic system or drain field design. Some sand filters are essentially a large box of sand that uses a protective liner to prevent the waste from soaking into the soil. The effluent can be pumped back through the sand multiple times to aid in processing. This type is often used in areas where environmental concerns prevent septic waste from being processed normally in the soil or areas where water contamination are major concerns, such as lake or seafront properties. 

Sand filters can also be used without a liner, if located in an area where the effluent can be safely passed into the soil under current regulations. 

To learn more about alternative solutions for your septic system, take time to discuss your situation and concerns with a reputable septic system construction service like Hastings Construction INC.

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