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The Pros and Cons of Different Septic System Designs: A comparison of different types of septic systems and their benefits and drawbacks.

When it comes to managing liquid and solid waste from residential or commercial properties, septic systems provide a reliable and efficient solution. Septic systems function by collecting wastewater in a large tank where solids settle at the bottom and bacteria break down the organic matter. The resulting effluent is then drained into the drain field, where it is absorbed into the soil to complete the treatment process. However, not all septic systems are created equal, and each design has its own benefits and drawbacks. In this blog post, we’ll compare different types of septic system designs and explore their pros and cons.

Conventional Septic Tank Systems

Conventional septic tank systems are the most common type of septic system installed in the United States. They consist of a large concrete or plastic tank that collects the wastewater and separates solids from liquids. The effluent is then distributed to the drain field for further treatment.


Simple design and easy installation process.
Low maintenance requirements and low operational cost.
Suitable for small residential properties and light commercial use.


Limited treatment capability and may require frequent pumping.
Vulnerable to clogging caused by non-biodegradable wastes such as plastics and chemicals.
May emit foul odors if not properly maintained.

Mound System

A mound system is designed for properties with limited space or soil conditions that cannot accommodate a traditional septic system. It consists of a raised bed filled with sand and gravel that functions as a drain field. The wastewater is pumped to the mound through pressurized pipes.


Suitable for areas with high groundwater levels or shallow bedrock.
Provides an additional layer of treatment to the effluent before it reaches the soil.
Requires less land area than conventional septic systems.


Higher installation and maintenance costs than conventional systems.
Requires a pump for effluent distribution which can be costly to repair or replace.
May require additional permits and inspections from local authorities.

Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU)

An aerobic treatment unit is a system that provides oxygen to bacteria to enhance the breakdown of organic matter in wastewater. It consists of a pump chamber, aeration tank, and clarifier where the effluent is further treated before discharging into the drain field.


Provides higher treatment capacity than conventional septic systems.
Treats wastewater more thoroughly and produces cleaner effluent.
Suitable for large residential properties or light commercial use.


Higher installation and maintenance costs than conventional systems.
Requires a reliable source of electricity to operate the aeration system.
May require frequent maintenance and replacement of mechanical components.

Drip Irrigation SystemSeptic Systems Portland Company

A drip irrigation system is a type of drain field that distributes effluent through a network of pipes with small holes or emitters. The effluent is slowly released into the soil, providing a high level of treatment before it reaches the groundwater.


Provides higher treatment capacity than conventional septic systems.
Reduces the risk of surface water contamination.
Suitable for areas with poor soil conditions or limited space.


Higher installation and maintenance costs than conventional systems.
Requires regular inspection and cleaning to prevent clogging of emitters.
May require additional permits and inspections from local authorities.

Chamber System

A chamber system is a type of drain field that uses pre-manufactured plastic chambers to distribute effluent evenly into the soil. The chambers are lightweight and easy to install, making them a popular choice for residential properties.


Easy installation process and low cost compared to other types of drain fields.
Provides a high level of treatment before effluent reaches the groundwater.
Suitable for small residential properties.


Limited treatment capacity compared to other types of septic systems.
May be susceptible to damage caused by heavy equipment or vehicles.
Requires regular inspection and cleaning to prevent clogging.

In conclusion, choosing the right septic system design for your property requires careful consideration of several factors, such as soil conditions, available space, and treatment requirements. It is essential to work with a qualified professional to evaluate your needs and recommend the most suitable system for your property to avoid costly repairs and ensure long-term performance.

Your Local Septic Systems Specialists in  Portland

At The Excavators LLC, we recognize that there are other players in the market, and for this reason, we are dedicated to ensuring every customer we serve is satisfied. When choosing us for your septic system repairs or installations, you can expect to enjoy the following perks:

  • DEQ licenses our team of experts and specializes in both the installation and repair of septic systems.
  • Our team stays updated with the latest technologies in the industry, such as directional drilling, so we can resolve any challenging situation.
  • We provide a range of sand filter replacement choices aimed at revitalizing your system.
  • We utilize Delta Environment and Norweco products to provide high-quality service.
  • Our systems surpass older models in cleanliness and are more environmentally friendly.
  • Specializing in Septic Systems Portland and Sewer Repair, we also travel to nearby areas outside of the Portland Metro to meet our customers’ needs.

We pride ourselves on providing exceptional services that satisfy our client’s demands, which is why we prioritize staying informed on cutting-edge technologies, using eco-friendly products, and delivering top-notch solutions.

We offer comprehensive solutions for septic system installations and repairs. Our commitment to providing top-notch services to our customers is unwavering, and we aim to exceed their expectations every time. With advancements in technology, we can offer the best possible septic systems Portland has to offer. For unparalleled system quality and reliability, contact us today.

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