How Does a Mound Septic System Work?

A traditional septic system uses a drain or leach field that filters the effluent that comes from the septic tank before it enters the ground water. However, not all areas can facilitate a drain field, either due to the type of soil or environmental concerns. An alternative to a drain field is a mound system, a filtering element that is created above ground. If you are considering adding a septic system or need to replace a drain field, here is what you need to know about mound septic systems.

Mound System Basics

Mound septic systems work similar to a traditional system but are a bit more complicated. As wastewater or effluent exits the tank, it is sent to a dosing chamber instead of a gravity distribution box. The dosing or pumping chamber regulates how much effluent is allowed to the enter the mound filter to ensure it is not overloaded. The mound is built with a network of pipes that transport wastewater from the dosing chamber. Wastewater filters down through the mound sand, removing contaminants before it reaches the ground surface underneath.

Mound systems offer a way to install a septic system in almost any area, even when a leach or drain field is not possible. They are more expensive to install, but if maintained correctly, they can last for decades. Although they do require a large mound to be in your yard, it can and should be planted with grass or small plants.

If you need to use a mound septic system, it is vital to stay on top of maintenance and use preventive septic care habits. Routine inspections and pumping the tank can help prevent issues that can damage your mound system and protect your investment.

Posted on behalf of:
Septic Service Pro, LLC
Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30334
(678) 292-8728

How Does a Septic Mound System Work

There are some areas and even entire states where new septic systems must use a mound system for their effluent purification. Unlike traditional trench systems that use the soil in the ground to purify waste water that comes from the septic tank, mound systems are built above the ground. These systems tend to be slightly more expensive to build and maintain, yet are required by law in many areas.

Function of a Mound System

Both mound and trench systems do the same job; they remove pollutants from the waste water or effluent that comes from the septic tank before the water is allowed to be absorbed back into the earth. The biggest difference is that a mound system must be built, usually using sand and gravel to create a filter for the effluent.

In a mound system, the effluent is pumped from the septic tank to the top area of the mound a few times a day through small pipes. The water saturates the sand layer which is above the gravel layer. Oxygen from the air feeds aerobic bacteria which help remove pollutants from the effluent, along with the filtering effects as the water passes through the sand and gravel layers. The purified water then enters the ground at the bottom of the mound, clean and safe to enter back into the groundwater.

Mound systems are usually required due to concerns for the surrounding environment or soil concentrations. If you are considering building a home that will need a septic system or replacing an old system, you will need to know whether you will need to build a mound system or whether a trench or drain field system can be used. Your local septic professional will be able to discuss what the requirements are and give you options for your new septic system.

Posted on behalf of:
Kiddco Plumbing Inc
Sterling, VA
(703) 435-4441

Considerations for Mound Septic Systems

Raised sand mound drainage systems are sometimes required when the soil conditions are not adequate for a conventional gravel drain field. The mound system creates a raised area in the landscape of the home. It is natural for homeowners to attempt diminish the visual presence of the mound through landscaping efforts. There are several considerations that should be kept in mind as you plan your landscaping around this type of drainage system.

Trees or shrubs should never be planted on the mound itself. Most trees should be a minimum of 20 feet away and some that have water-seeking roots should be 50 feet or more away from the mound. Wildflowers and grasses are great choices for plant cover for a mound system. Edible plants such as vegetables should not be planted over or near your mound system.

Although you want minimal traffic on a mound system, mowing the grass planted on your mound is not only acceptable but actually beneficial for your mound system. Keeping the grass shorter allows for better evaporation.

The mound area should not be irrigated with a lawn sprinkler system. Low maintenance grasses and plants that can handle dry weather should be chosen. The mound area should also not be fertilized when you fertilize other parts of the lawn.

In summary, you can screen your mound by planting trees or shrubs at a distance, but not too close. You can plant grass or wild flowers as cover for the mound, but make sure it’s a hardy variety that can handle dry periods without extra watering.