How a Conventional Septic System Works

Your Conventional Septic System

Conventional septic systems are simple devices for processing domestic sewage, yet they are poorly understood by many owners. Sewage flows from the building, by gravity, into the first chamber of a two-chamber tank where solids settle, fats, oils and grease float and microbes slowly break down the waste.

Further settling takes place in a second chamber. Effluent liquid from the settled sewage is then discharged through perforated pipes into a designated portion of the yard or drain field/leach field, where biological breakdown continues, as the effluent leaches through the soil to eventually joins the water table.

Even when working perfectly, older conventional septic systems that were designed to lesser requirements, can still pollute by releasing high levels of nitrogen and harmful pathogens into the drain field, soil and local water sources.

Even if designed to today’s standards, a failing or underperforming system can send under processed sewage into the yard. Across the U.S., millions of conventional septic systems are failing or not meeting more stringent discharge limits.

During periods of heavy water use, sewage does not have time to fully settle and will overflow into the drain field where the effluent can find its way to the lawn surface. Over time, the solids from this overflow plug the perforations in the leach field piping and cause irreversible failure requiring the leach field to be replaced at a cost exceeding $10,000. This type of over flow is a primary reason that conventional septic systems fail public health inspections that are mandatory when a owner is selling a property.

More recently some conventional septic systems have begun to incorporate an aeration device to increase treatment to meet more stringent health department or EPA standards. These air pumps add oxygen to help populations of microorganisms break down more of the sewage before it is released. In both conventional septic systems and those that utilize aeration, filters are rarely used to capture solids and bacteria and prevent them from entering the distribution system.

Tangent’s Solution – Membrane Technology

Tangent Company’s LandSaver® MBR septic system is uniquely designed to equalize high flow events and consistently prevent contaminants from overflowing into the dispersal system and yard. The LandSaver® MBR incorporates a state–of-the-art membrane Ultrafiltration Barrier to produce a bacteria free effluent. When combined with UV light disinfection, exposure to high levels of viruses that can be present in domestic wastewater is prevented.