Three Basic Types of Systems

     Conventional-Gravity Flow System- These are the most basis and typically also the oldest.  They consist of tank(s), disposal field(s) and piping that connect the two as well as to the structure.  Basic function is separating out the solids in the tank(s) with minimal disinfection then moving the effluent liquids by gravity to the disposal field(s).


     Low Pressure Dosing System or “LPD”- These are engineered systems that are designed with multiple chambers in the tank or tanks that separate the solids from liquids.  The last chamber has a small electrical system typically with an alarm box, pump(s) and on/off float switches for pump(s) and alarm(s).  The pump(s) function is to eject the effluent liquids through PVC drip lines that are buried in the ground in a series of multiple trenches or fields.  These systems can have fields close to or far away from, as well as above or below the grade of the tank. These are medium disinfection systems.


     Aerobic and Anaerobic Systems-  These systems approach to treating septic effluence are opposite of one another but basic functions are similar.  Aerobic meaning requiring air and Anaerobic meaning absence of air.  In these systems you will find tanks, PVC parts, electrical control panels with alarms, timers and sensors that regulate the overall function of the system, water and or air pumps, valves or switches and back-flow controls, drip or sprinkler field(s), filters and or filtration devices.  These systems main objective is disinfecting the effluent before it reaches the drip or sprinkler fields(s).  The three most common effluent disinfection methods are, tablet, or liquid chlorinators and uv light. 


     Keep in mind Texas is not limited to just these systems.  This is just a list of the more common types of septic systems and even they have hybrid forms and configurations.  Central Texas is one of best places in the country to live, therefor is also dense in the number of active septic systems both urban and rural.  They all have to with stand the test of time and Texas’s extreme outdoor elements.  By not maintaining your system properly the results could be costly and or devastating.  Preventive maintenance is the cheapest and most effective way insure longevity in the life of any septic system.


     A common concern of owners of onsite aerobic waste treatment septic systems is why they should not use pool chlorine tablets for their systems instead of the proper chemical, calcium hypochlorite. There are three primary reasons pool chlorine tablets should not be used for this purpose - legal requirements, safety issues, and environmental issues.


     It is a violation of federal law to use swimming pool products for the "treatment" of septic effluent in aerobic septic systems. Environmental Protection Agency personnel are targeting the misapplication of chlorine products for more stringent enforcement.


     According to the EPA. spokesman, use of swimming pool chlorine products in the treatment of wastewater effluent is a violation of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Sections 136a-2g and 136j(a)2g. The FIFRA regulations essentially state anyone who is using a chlorine product for applications other than those stated on the product's labeling is potentially subject to a fine and/or imprisonment.


     Individual users can be fined $500 or first offenses and $2000 for subsequent violations. Suppliers, dealers, distributors and manufacturers are subject to much more severe penalties - up to $25,000 in fines. Prison sentences can vary from 30 days to a maximum of one year.