Alternative Septic Systems 

If a conventional septic system doesn’t suit your property, there are plenty of other options designed for your lot. For your reference, we’ve provided three alternative septic systems for unique properties, both residential and commercial. While we recommend conventional septic systems for most properties, call us if you have questions about any of these.

Drip irrigation

A drip irrigation system is designed to water non-edible plants and lawns, which remove the nitrogen from wastewater. Using a pump connected to the septic tank, effluent is distributed through a filter to drip tubes that feed this vegetation. It is common to find these systems on steep slopes, with shallow soils and clays.

Drip irrigation systems were created as alternatives to some mound systems. While no mound is needed with these systems, a large dose tank is required to time dose delivery of wastewater. The hydraulic unit costs extra and regular maintenance is necessary.

Mound systems

These systems are designed for unsuitable conditions, such as permeable soil with high groundwater, by raising the drain field. Compared to conventional septic systems, a mound system has an extra chamber (called a dosing chamber or pump chamber) to collect wastewater from the septic tank. If this chamber becomes too full with water or the pump fails, most systems typically have an alarm to alert the owner.

Mound systems often cost two to three times more than a conventional septic system due to the additional equipment and the earthwork and materials needed to build the mound. These systems also require more maintenance because they’re more complex than conventional systems.

Constructed wetlands

A wetlands system is exactly what it sounds like, a man-made marsh. It’s not common to find these systems in Colorado in comparison to other parts of the country where natural wetlands are abundant. They are built on uplands and outside floodways to avoid damage to natural aquatic resources.These systems are aesthetically pleasing and generally less expensive to build, as they have lower operating and maintenance expenses and can easily handle fluctuating water levels.