Mound Septic Systems Explained

Among alternative, domestic sewage systems, mound septic systems have been engaging a lot of attention. The increasing preference for mound septic systems is due to the fact that many homes don’t have the ideal conditions needed for installing a conventional septic system. Further, unlike the common septic systems, mound septic systems can be customized, making them ideally suited for homes with a space crunch.

Why Choose Mound Septic systems?

Most contemporary septic systems can be installed only in areas that have compatible soil conditions. This means soils with excessive sand or homes with rocky soil-beds aren’t suited for such installations. Again, due to urban expansion, homes have been built in areas with higher-than-average water table levels. All such landscapes are ill-suited for conventional septic system installation. The only solution to such problems is installing a mound septic system. Other demanding conditions for which mound septic systems are recommended include:

  • Extremely porous or permeable soils
  • Soft bedrock

Working of Mound Septic Systems

This system is comprised of three main components:

  1. Septic tank that is called the pre-treatment unit
  2. Pump chamber that is called the dosing chamber
  3. Slightly-elevated mound

Understand Septic Tank Working

This part of the mound septic system is buried under the soil. The tank is like a huge container, made of durable materials like fiberglass or vinyl. All the waste-water or sewage water from the home is directed into the septic tank. The sewage is allowed to settle and segregate itself. Within a few hours, the sludge or heavier part of the sewage settles to the bottom. The sludge is acted upon by a certain kind of bacteria that thrive within a septic tank. These bacteria decompose the sludge. The lighter part of the sewage, called scum, rises to the surface. Eventually, the decomposed sludge turns into smaller bits of sewage that can be easily directed towards the dosing chamber along with the scum.

Understand Dosing Chamber Working

From the tank, the waste-water is directed towards the pump chamber. The water sourced from the septic tank is called effluent. The pump chamber contains an alarm-type system that is used to ensure that the chamber is not flooded, often called the alarm-float.

Understand Working of Mound

This is the externally-located, visible part of mound septic systems. It is usually installed a few feet above the ground, in the backyard of homes. The mound is responsible for the core of the sewage-treatment activities. It consists of a landfill/sand-fill, a gravel bed and a network of pipes. The sewage water fed through the dosing chamber is put through the gravel bed for basic filtration and eventually, the thicker parts are directed into the sand-fill.

Some Considerations for Homeowners Contemplating Mound Septic Systems

Homeowners contemplating a mound septic system should consider a few factors. The mound of such a system is easily visible, even if it is installed in the backyard. The mound can be nearly four-feet high. This might not be pleasing from an aesthetic perspective. However, there are some solutions for this issue also. Homeowners can grow some specific plants or maintain a shrub cover around the mound to camouflage it. However, this requires a certain degree of attention-to-detail since plants with an extensive root system should not be planted close to the mound. This essentially means a small-but-additional expenditure in the form of slow-spreading, dwarf grasses that are ideal for camouflaging the mound.