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What is a conventional septic system?

The Conventional Septic System is a decentralized system that is designed to treat wastewater from your home or office. This type of septic system is best suited for a single-family home or small business.

It consists of three parts- septic tank, drainfield and soil. The drainfield is made of gravel or stone. This type of material serves to protect the clean stone from the wastewater’s dirt.

The whole process of wastewater treatment begins in the septic tank. Then, it is directed to the drainage field, where the purification and destruction of all other harmful bacteria and viruses continues. When the water goes through the necessary treatment, it is directed to the groundwater.


How does it work?

All three parts of the Conventional Septic System work together. If one of the components does not work efficiently, the proper functioning of the other two elements is limited.

When the wastewater enters the septic tank, it is divided into three layers. The solids are directed to the bottom, where they form a sludge.

Lighter solids and fats are directed to the surface, where they form the so-called scum, and in the middle remains the liquid, known as effluent. From here begins the process of decomposition, which takes place thanks to the beneficial bacteria that live in the septic tank.

At some point, the liquids in the septic tank reach the level of the outlet baffle. Then they evenly enter the drain field. In it, the effluent will be further treated to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

When the effluent is ready, it is directed to the soil, where the microbes break down the remaining waste, and the liquid is filtered and absorbed.

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Types of conventional septic systems

There are different types of septic systems that have their specifics. To know how to properly care for your septic system, you need to know its characteristics.

The Conventional Septic Systems are divided into two main types. These are: 

  • Gravity Septic System
  • The Pressure Distribution Systems


Gravity Septic System

This type of system requires at least 3 feet of natural soil under the drain field. The Convention Gravity Septic System has three parts: 

  • Septic Tank
  • Drain field with its replacement area
  • Surrounding soil

The Septic Tank of the Conventional Gravity Septic System is a rectangular or cylindrical container. All wastewater coming from your home is first directed to the septic tank. There, it will be divided into three layers. 

All heavy solids settle to the bottom of the septic tank, forming a thick sludge. At the top of the surface remain light solids and the fat that forms the scum. The middle remains the thickest layer, which is the so-called effluent. 

Most septic tanks have one or two divisions. It is essential to know the divisions of your septic tank. In case you have two divisions, both must be pumped and cleaned. It will ensure the efficient operation of the entire septic system.

The drainage field is the other essential component of the septic system. It is made up of perforated pipes lain in channels filled with gravel. The size of the drainage field will be depends entirely on the amount of water that youl will consume per day. 

When the wastewater treatment in the septic tank is completed, the effluent is directed to the drainage field, where the water treatment procedures continue. The effluent then passes through the perforated pipes to reach the soil for final treatment.

As a third component of the Conventional Septic System, soil is located just below the drain field. It plays an essential role as it is the last step of wastewater. Thanks to the chemical and biological processes, wastewater is treated to destroy all harmful bacteria and viruses.

Once treated, part of the wastewater steams away, the plants root absorb another cut, and the rest is directed to the groundwater, which at some point reaches your home again in the form of drinking water. That is why it is essential to maintain regularly your Conventional Septic System.


Signs that you have a problem with your Conventional Gravity Septic System are:

  • Odors around the septic tank or drain field
  • Sewer backup
  • Slow draining
  • Bubbling sounds in the plumbing


In case you notice such or similar problems, do not hesitate to contact Fresh Clean Septic. Timely measures will certainly protect you from colossal damage.


The Pressure Distribution Systems

The Pressure Distribution System is the second type of Conventional Septic System. It provides dosing and resting cycles, uniform distribution of wastewater, and shallow placement of the drain field.

This type of system includes the following components:

  • Septic Tank
  • Pump Chamber with the pump
  • Drainfield with its replacement area.


The septic tank of the Conventional Pressure Distribution System operates on the same principle as that of the Conventional Gravity System. The wastewater into the septic tank is again divided into three layers – scum, effluent, and sludge.

Purification and destruction of harmful viruses and batteries begin in the septic tank. But once the effluent goes through the necessary treatment, it does not go directly into the drainage field but into the pump chamber. 

The pump chamber is a container made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic. It serves to collect wastewater from the septic tank and distribute it evenly in the drain field.

The pump chamber consists of a pump, pump control floats, and a high-water alarm float. The function of pump control floats is to control the pump. When the wastewater level rises to the preset level, the float turns on and distributes the wastewater evenly to the drain field.

If the pump is damaged or a large amount of wastewater enters, the alarm will turn on. In this case, you must turn off the alarm and contact licensed professionals to fix the problem.

The drainage field of the Pressure Distribution System has the same pipes as the Gravity Septic System. The wastewater coming from the pump chamber is pumped through the lines at specific doses to evenly distribute it in the drain field.

Here the soil begins to perform its task, namely to destroy all harmful bacteria and viruses. It is crucial to add that it is advisable to determine a free space for a second drainage field. It will be replaced when a problem arises with the old one, or it is time to replace it.


Elements/Components of the conventional septic system

As we shared above, each type of Conventional Septic System has three main components: the septic tank, the drain field, and the soil. Without them, no septic system can perform its primary task. 

The septic tank is the first component that collects wastewater from your house. If it works properly, it will prevent the possibility of water returning to your home, improper wastewater treatment, and flooding. 

The drain field is the second important element. Аfter the liquids are partially decomposed in the septic tank, and they are evenly distributed in the drain field. Here, the purification processes of the so-called effluent continue, as the main goal is to destroy all harmful bacteria and viruses. 

Soil is the third principal component of the Conventional Septic System. Once the wastewater is treated in the drain field, it is taken up by the soil, where it undergoes final treatment before being directed to groundwater. It is important to note that the soil must also be of good quality because it plays the role of a wastewater treatment plant.


Why do we need it?

Many of the less populated areas in the United States are not served by public sewers. In these cases, it is necessary to have septic systems installed to treat wastewater. Although they are expensive, if you take proper care of them and maintain them regularly, they will serve you for many years. 

If you live in a town with no public sewer, and you are a small household or business, then the Conventional Septic System is just for you.


What kind of problems can occur? 

Owning a Conventional Septic System carries its risks. The problems that can arise depending on many factors, such as: 

  • the frequency of pumping and cleaning of the septic tank;
  • the way you take care of your septic system;
  • do you use appropriate detergents and toilet paper;
  • the type of your Conventional Septic System, and more.


In most cases, the problems are related to the malfunction of the septic tank and the drain field.  

Signs of malfunction of the Conventional Septic System are: 

  • Unpleasant odors, wet spots, and overgrowth around the septic tank and drain field;
  • Slow draining of water;
  • Bubbling sounds in the plumbing system;
  • Clogs the pipes, etc.


Whatever problem you notice with your Conventional Septic System, contact us for Septic System Inspection and Maintenance. We at Fresh Clean Septic have professional equipment and machinery, and we are always ready to help you.


What type of service do we need according to the issue we have?

Like any septic system, the Conventional Septic System needs regular professional care to ensure its proper functioning. 

  • The Conventional Septic System needs regular inspections. They should be performed each year by licensed inspectors to examine your septic system and determine its condition. Regular inspections would protect from any problems that may occur with your Conventional Septic System, save you money, and protect you from colossal damage;
  • The regular Septic Tank Pumping of your Conventional Septic System is one of the most important things. Irregular pumping can lead to malfunction of your septic system, return of water back through the pipes to your home, overflow, as well as harm your health, and cause environmental pollution. Usually, pumping is done every 3 to 5 years. It depends on the size of your septic tank, the number of inhabitants, and the amount of water you use.

Some types of septic systems may need to be pumped more often. That is why it is necessary to contact a professional company to inspect your Conventional Septic System and assess the frequency of pumping; 

  • The Septic Tank Cleaning is just as necessary as pumping. Cleaning, unlike pumping, is not just about removing some of the floating solids and scum on the surface. It is a complete cleaning of the septic tank, which eliminates wastewater and thickened sludge from the bottom of the septic tank. Irregular cleaning can lead to clogging of the pipes, delayed operation of the drain field, and incorrect function of the entire Conventional Septic System;
  • The Septic System Repair is also part of the mandatory maintenance of your Conventional Septic System. At the first sign of problems with your system, you need to contact a professional, licensed company to inspect your Conventional Septic System. Neglecting issues can have catastrophic consequences, as well as costing you a lot of money;

The Maintenance of your Conventional Septic System includes inspection, pumping, cleaning, and repairing your septic system. Owning a Conventional Septic System is a responsibility that every owner must take on. Irregular maintenance endangers your health and may have adverse effects on the environment.


What kind of expert do we need and why?

When you have a Conventional Septic System, you need to pay special attention to its maintenance and any problems that may arise. Our customers often ask if they can take care of the septic system themselves by pumping and cleaning it. We answer that we do not recommend it, as you risk damaging some part of it and causing additional problems. 

A licensed professional company must perform the maintenance of the Conventional Septic System. We at Fresh Clean Septic have high-quality equipment. Our team consists of specialized inspectors and technicians who have many years of experience in maintaining various types of septic systems, including the Conventional Septic System. 

If you want to make an appointment or have additional questions, you can contact us by phone or through the contact form here. We will help you by inspecting your Conventional Septic System and performing all the necessary procedures. 


How to find the right company for conventional septic systems? 

When it comes to maintaining a Conventional Septic System, оne of the most essential things in choosing the right company, it should be licensed and have the necessary knowledge and experience in maintaining septic systems. It is also necessary to serve your area so that it can respond to emergencies. 

Fresh Clean Septic serves Woodinville County. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals who meet your needs. If you are in Woodinville County and need services related to your Conventional Septic System, do not hesitate to contact us.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is an As-Built necessary for septic inspection of my Conventional Septic System?

The As-Built is necessary for inspection of your Conventional Septic System because it contains information about where your septic system is located.

Do you offer regular septic service and maintenance services? 

Yes, we offer you Regular Woodinville Septic Services, which include regular septic system inspection, septic tank pumping, cleaning, and maintenance.

How do I know if my Conventional Septic System needs to be pumped?

Usually, septic pumping is done every 3-5 years. It depends on the size of the septic tank and the number of people living in the house. In case you are not sure whether it is time to pump, you can contact us to make an inspection and determine the condition of your septic tank.

What are the signs that my Conventional Septic System is failing?

The most common signs are bad odors, bubbling sounds, wet spots, and overgrowth around the septic tank and drain field.

How do I know where my Conventional Septic System is located?

You can check the location of your septic tank according to the drawing of the septic system, the so-called As-Built.

I’m experiencing liquids bubbling up. What do I do? 

If you’re experiencing liquids bubbling up, then your septic tank is full. In this case, you need to contact us immediately to avoid possible unpleasant consequences.