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How do septic system sand filters work?

Unlike conventional septic systems, sand filter septic systems are quite beneficial and can work well in areas with less soil or high groundwater. The main function of septic systems is to treat household wastewater. While conventional septic systems have their benefits, alternative systems like septic system sand filters are commonly used and have various benefits. So how does it work? In this article, we will discuss how septic system sand filters work, how to maintain them, and their benefits.

How do septic system sand filters actually work?

The septic system with sand filters has 5 components:

  1. Septic tank ( Primary Treatment Process)
  2. Pump Chamber
  3. Reserve Area
  4. Drain field
  5. Sand Filter (Secondary Treatment Process)
Septic system with sand filter diagram
Source: https://www.epa.gov/septic/types-septic-systems

The septic tank is the primary treatment method and collects the household wastewater and separates it into 3 layers.

  1. Sludge - It is the heavy solid layer that settles down at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Scum - The lighter solid layer (of grease, toilet paper, etc) that remains at the top of the tank.
  3. Effluent - The middle layer is the partially treated wastewater layer. The effluent flows from the tank outlets into the pump chamber.
  • The pump chamber is connected to the sand filter through a series of pipes with tiny holes.
  • The effluent is distributed evenly by the pump chamber over the surface of the sand filter.
  • The sand filter is the secondary treatment process. The sand acts as an excellent filtering agent and treats the wastewater to a higher standard.
  • The treated wastewater is collected into an underdrain and transferred to the drain field.
  • The Reserve area is used in case the drain field becomes full and can longer be used.
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How to maintain your septic system?

  • The system needs regular maintenance and it is recommended to have it checked annually by an experienced wastewater technician.
  • Conserve water by using full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher, and take shorter showers.
  • Inspect your plumbing fixtures regularly for any leaks or damages.
  • Avoid driving on the septic system.
  • Avoid using harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid discarding products like tampons, condoms, grease, and cigarette butts down the drain.
  • Avoid placing materials like concrete, brick, or plastic on the system as it will block the air supply.
  • Plant tall and hardy grass on the system.

Benefits of septic systems sand filters

  • They work well in areas with less soil, rocky area, and in areas where conventional systems cannot.
  • The system can be constructed above or below the ground.
  • It can remove nitrogen effectively and treats the wastewater efficiently as the microbes present in the sand are rich in oxygen.
  • The system is sustainable and eco-friendly as the treated wastewater is of better quality, and reduces contamination risk.
  • As the treated wastewater is of better quality, it can be used for irrigation.

Your local septic systems experts

With regular maintenance, your septic system can last longer. Express Wastewater are expert in septic system installations, repairs, and maintenance work throughout South East Queensland. Give us a call at 0488 843 272 and we would be happy to discuss your septic system needs.