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How do septic system sand filters work?

Unlike conventional septic systems, sand filters 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 the 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 the septic system sand filters work, how to maintain it, and its 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)

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 under drain and transferred to the drain field. 
  • The Reserve area is used in case the drain field becomes full and can longer be used. 
Looking to install a Sand Filter Septic System? Let our septic system experts help you.

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, 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, 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 experts in septic system installations, repairs, and maintenance work throughout South East Queensland. Give us a call on 0488 843 272 and we would be happy to discuss your septic system needs.

Find out more about how long septic system sand filters last.


How do septic system sand filters work? Let our experts help you.

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Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.