How Does A Septic Tank System Work On Mound? (Solution)

The mound is a drainfield that is raised above the natural soil surface in a specific sand fill material. Within the sand fill is a gravel-filled bed with a network of small diameter pipes. Septic tank effluent is pumped through the pipes in controlled doses to insure uniform distribution throughout the bed.

  • A mound system works very similarly to other septic systems. During the working of the mound septic system, firstly, the wastewater flows from your house into the septic tank. As the wastewater reaches into the septic tank, it traps the wastewater for a long time so that solid particles can settle down.

How often does a mound system need to be pumped?

The septic tank and dosing chamber should be pumped out at least once every three to five years. Depending on the size of the septic tank and the number of people in the household, the interval between pumpings may need to be shorter.

What is the difference between a septic system and a mound system?

Mound systems are an alternative to the traditional rural septic system drain field. They are used in areas where septic systems are prone to failure from extremely permeable or impermeable soils, soil with the shallow cover over porous bedrock, and terrain that features a high water table.

Is a mound system a septic system?

A mound septic system is an alternative to other septic tank systems. It rests near the top of the ground and does not use a container for the waste. This type of septic system disposes the waste through sand, and the ground will absorb the waste.

How long does a mound septic system last?

Mounds and septic systems designed and installed prior to the year 2000 AVERAGE 20 to 25 years of useful life prior to failing and needing to be replaced. Many systems fail sooner than 20 years, and many last well beyond 25 years, the AVERAGE is 20 to 25 years.

What are the signs that your septic tank is full?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you have a full septic tank:

  • Your Drains Are Taking Forever.
  • Standing Water Over Your Septic Tank.
  • Bad Smells Coming From Your Yard.
  • You Hear Gurgling Water.
  • You Have A Sewage Backup.
  • How often should you empty your septic tank?

Can I walk on my septic mound?

Low-maintenance perennial plants that minimize the need to walk on the mound are ideal. Walking compacts the soil and may interfere with the evaporation of effluents. Do as little digging as possible when planting to avoid disturbing the mound and be sure to wear gloves to minimize your physical contact with the soil.

Why are mound septic systems so expensive?

Mound septic systems are considerably more expensive than conventional septics because they require more sophisticated construction. The cost of the electric pump and sand also contributes to the total price. Mound septic systems have an average cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

Do mound septic systems smell?

The soil treatment area, or leach field, consists of an in-ground drain bed, field, or mound, and there should not be a strong septic odor unless there’s a problem.

How large is a mound septic system?

A common mound size is 34 feet by 93 feet, but shapes vary significantly with design because of the large size of the mound. Septic systems are sized according to the amount of waste they will be treating, usually estimated by the number of bedrooms in the home.

Do mound systems have drain fields?

Mound systems are an option in areas of shallow soil depth, high groundwater, or shallow bedrock. The constructed sand mound contains a drainfield trench. Effluent from the septic tank flows to a pump chamber where it is pumped to the mound in prescribed doses.

How do you landscape a mound septic system?

Plant shrubs or perennial plants on the berms around the mound or along the edges where the berms meet the flat part of your yard. Avoid planting shrubs or anything with deep roots on the mound itself.

What is a mound field?

Mound Septic Systems (also known as an Above Ground Septic System or a Sand Mound Septic System), is drain field that, true to its name, sits above ground in an engineered mound. A soil covering protects the mound from weather events and can be seeded with certain types of vegetation to prevent erosion.

Can a mound system freeze?

So far this winter, Litzau Excavating has had to defrost one mound-style septic system that was installed 15 to 20 years ago, and has had to thaw that system multiple times in the past, according to Litzau. The area in which the mound or drain-field begins is the most common site for freezing issues, he said.

How much does it cost to replace a mound system?

Mound Septic System Cost A mound septic system costs $10,000 to $20,000 to install. It’s the most expensive system to install but often necessary in areas with high water tables, shallow soil depth or shallow bedrock.

What are the pipes sticking out of my sand mound?

PVC Septic Tank System Inspection Pipes A narrow, white PVC pipe is usually part of the overall Sewage Treatment Design. The pipe is designed to stick up out of the ground for easy access when checking to see if the system is working properly and when the Septic Tank needs to be pumped out again.

Understanding and Maintaining Mound Systems

Many years have passed since septic tanks with gravity flow drainfields were first installed in places that were not served by municipal sewers. Not all soil and site conditions, however, are well suited for the use of these basic methods. Non-standard sewage treatment systems are frequently employed to preserve human health and water quality in regions where regular sewage treatment systems are unable to provide safe sewage treatment. A mound system is a form of non-standard system that delivers the following benefits:

  • Cycles for dosing and resting
  • Uniform dispersion of effluent a level of sewage treatment that is known
  • An increase in the distance that wastewater must travel before it reaches groundwater

The following information will assist you in better understanding your mound system and ensuring that it continues to operate properly and at the lowest feasible cost. A typical mound system is composed of three functional components:

  • The sewage treatment plant
  • The pump chamber as well as the pump
  • The mound, as well as the land designated for its replacement

The Septic Tank

A typical septic tank is a huge, dual-chambered subterranean container composed of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that collects and treats waste. All of the waste water from your home is channeled into the tank. Heavy materials sink to the bottom of the tank, where they are partially decomposed by bacterial activity. The majority of the lighter substances, such as grease and oils, rise to the surface and form a scum layer on the surface of the water. A liquid layer lies between the solid layers and travels from one chamber to another as it goes through the system.

Despite the fact that it has been partially treated, it still includes disease-causing germs as well as several other contaminants.

Proper Care Includes:

  1. Septic tank maintenance should include an inspection once a year and pumping it as necessary. Solids leaking from the septic tank will clog the pump and the mound if the tank is not pumped on a regular basis, which is recommended. Because it increases the quantity of particles entering the tank and necessitates more frequent pumping, the use of a trash disposal is strongly prohibited in order to avoid the flushing of dangerous materials into the septic tank. Grass, cooking oils, newspapers and paper towels, cigarette butts and coffee grounds are all prohibited from being disposed of in the tank. Also prohibited are chemicals such as solvents, oils and paint, pesticides and solvents. For information on the correct disposal of hazardous home waste, please contact the Humboldt Waste Management Authority. Avoiding the use of any sort of chemical or biological septic tank additive is strongly recommended. Such goods are not required for the effective operation of the system.

The Pump Chamber

The pump chamber is a container made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene that collects the effluent from the septic tank. A pump, pump control floats, and a high water warning float are all included within the chamber. Pump activity can be regulated either via the use of control floats or through the use of timed controls. A series of control floats is used to switch the pump “on” and “off” at different levels in order to pump a certain volume of effluent per dose of medication. Using the timer settings, you may create dosages that are both long and short in duration, as well as intervals or rest periods between doses.

If you employ pump timer controls, the alarm will also alert you if there is excessive water use in the home or if there is a leak into the home.

Proper Care Includes:

  1. Every year, inspecting the pump chamber, pump, and floats, and replacing or repairing any worn or broken parts is recommended. Pump maintenance should be performed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Corrosion should be checked on electrical components and conduits. If the alarm panel is equipped with a “push-to-test” button, it should be used on a regular basis. If your system does not already have one, you should consider installing a septic tank effluent filter or pump screen. Solids can block the pump and pipes in a septic tank, thus screening or filtering the effluent is an excellent method of avoiding this from happening. After a protracted power outage or pump failure, inspecting and cleaning the filter is quick and simple, and it helps to prevent costly damage from solids entering the system. Taking measures to protect the mound from overloading is also simple. The effluent will continue to gather in the pump chamber until the pump is turned off completely.

The Mound

The mound is a drainfield that has been elevated above the natural soil surface using a particular sand fill material to provide drainage. A gravel-filled bed is interspersed throughout the sand fill, which is connected by a network of tiny diameter pipes. It is necessary to pump septic tank waste into pipelines in regulated quantities to ensure equal distribution over the bed of septic tank waste. Through small diameter pores in the pipes, low-pressure wastewater trickles downhill and into the sand.

Treatment happens as a result of a fluid’s movement through the sand and into the surrounding natural soil. Every new mound must be accompanied by a replacement area that is clearly marked. It must be safeguarded in the event that an addition or repair to the current system is required.

Proper Care Includes:

  1. Knowing where your system and replacement area are, and making sure they are protected, are essential. Before you plant a garden, erect a structure, or install a pool, double-check the position of your system and the area designated for replacement
  2. Practicing water conservation and balancing your water consumption throughout the week will help to prevent the system from being overburdened. The greater the amount of wastewater produced, the greater the amount of wastewater that must be treated and disposed. Diversion of rainwater away from the mound and replacement area from surfaces such as roofs, driveways, patios, and sidewalks. The whole mound has been graded to allow for water drainage. Structures, ditches, and roadways should be placed far enough away from the mound so that water circulation from the mound is not impeded. Keeping traffic away from the mound and replacement area, including as automobiles, heavy equipment, and cattle is essential. The pressure might cause the material to contract.
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What If The Alarm Goes On?

If the effluent level within the pump chamber reaches the alarm float for any reason (faulty pump, floats, circuit, excessive water usage, or another problem), the alarm light and buzzer will illuminate. By conserving water (avoid baths, showers, and clothes washing), the reserve storage in the pump chamber should provide you with enough time to have the problem resolved before the next water bill arrives. To turn off the alarm, press the reset button on the alarm panel’s front panel. Before contacting a service or repair company, determine whether the problem might be caused by:

  1. A tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse are examples of this. The pump should be on a separate circuit with its own circuit breaker or fuse to prevent overloading. A piece of equipment can cause the breakers to trip if it’s connected to the same circuit as another piece of equipment
  2. A power cord that has become disconnected from a pump or float switch. Ensure that the switch and pump connectors make excellent contact with their respective outlets if the electrical connection is of the plug-in variety. Affixed to other chamber components such as the electric power wire, hoisting rope, or pump screen, the control floats become entangled. Make certain that the floats are free to move about in the chamber. Debris on the floats and support cable is causing the pump to trip the circuit breaker. Remove the floats from the chamber and thoroughly clean them.

CAUTION: Before touching the pump or floats, always switch off the power at the circuit breaker and unhook any power cables from the system. Entering the pump room is strictly prohibited. The gases that build up inside pump chambers are toxic, and a shortage of oxygen can be deadly. After completing the measures outlined above, contact your pump service person or on-site system contractor for assistance in locating the source of the problem. Pumps and other electrical equipment should only be serviced or repaired by someone who has previous experience.

Types of Septic Systems

Septic system design and size can differ significantly from one neighborhood to the next, as well as throughout the country, due to a variety of variables. Household size, soil type, slope of the site, lot size, closeness to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, and even municipal ordinances are all considerations to take into consideration. The following are 10 of the most often encountered septic system configurations. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list; there are several additional types of septic systems.

  • Septic Tank, Conventional System, Chamber System, Drip Distribution System, Aerobic Treatment Unit, Mound Systems, Recirculating Sand Filter System, Evapotranspiration System, Constructed Wetland System, Cluster / Community System, etc.

Septic Tank

This tank is underground and waterproof, and it was designed and built specifically for receiving and partially treating raw home sanitary wastewater. Generally speaking, heavy materials settle at or near the bottom of the tank, whereas greases and lighter solids float to the surface. The sediments are retained in the tank, while the wastewater is sent to the drainfield for further treatment and dispersion once it has been treated.

Conventional System

Septic tanks and trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration systems are two types of decentralized wastewater treatment systems (drainfield). When it comes to single-family homes and small businesses, a conventional septic system is the most common type of system. For decades, people have used a gravel/stone drainfield as a method of water drainage. The name is derived from the process of constructing the drainfield. A shallow underground trench made of stone or gravel collects effluent from the septic tank in this design, which is commonly used.

Effluent filters through the stone and is further treated by microbes once it reaches the soil below the gravel/stone trench, which is located below the trench. Gravel/stone systems have a large overall footprint and require a lot of maintenance.

Chamber System

Gravelless drainfields have been regularly utilized in various states for more than 30 years and have evolved into a standard technology that has mostly replaced gravel systems. Various configurations are possible, including open-bottom chambers, pipe that has been clothed, and synthetic materials such as expanded polystyrene media. Gravelless systems can be constructed entirely of recycled materials, resulting in considerable reductions in carbon dioxide emissions during their lifetime. The chamber system is a type of gravelless system that can be used as an example.

The key advantage of the chamber system is the enhanced simplicity with which it can be delivered and built.

Drip Distribution System

An effluent dispersal system such as the drip distribution system may be employed in a variety of drainfield configurations and is very versatile. In comparison to other distribution systems, the drip distribution system does not require a vast mound of dirt because the drip laterals are only placed into the top 6 to 12 inches of soil. In addition to requiring a big dosage tank after the sewage treatment plant to handle scheduled dose delivery of wastewater to drip absorption areas, the drip distribution system has one major disadvantage: it is more expensive.

Aerobic Treatment Unit

Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUs) are small-scale wastewater treatment facilities that employ many of the same procedures as a municipal sewage plant. An aerobic system adds oxygen to the treatment tank using a pump. When there is an increase in oxygen in the system, there is an increase in natural bacterial activity, which then offers extra treatment for nutrients in the effluent. It is possible that certain aerobic systems may additionally include a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank that will include disinfection in order to further lower pathogen levels.

ATUs should be maintained on a regular basis during their service life.

Mound Systems

Using mound systems in regions with short soil depth, high groundwater levels, or shallow bedrock might be a good alternative. A drainfield trench has been dug through the sand mound that was erected. The effluent from the septic tank runs into a pump chamber, where it is pumped to the mound in the amounts recommended.

During its release to the trench, the effluent filters through the sand and is dispersed into the native soil, where it continues to be treated. However, while mound systems can be an effective solution for some soil conditions, they demand a significant amount of land and require regular care.

Recirculating Sand Filter System

Sand filter systems can be built either above or below ground, depending on the use. The effluent is discharged from the septic tank into a pump compartment. Afterwards, it is pushed into the sand filter. The sand filter is often made of PVC or a concrete box that is filled with a sand-like substance. The effluent is pushed through the pipes at the top of the filter under low pressure to the drain. As the effluent exits the pipelines, it is treated as it passes through the sand filtering system.

However, sand filters are more costly than a standard septic system because they provide a higher level of nutrient treatment and are thus better suited for areas with high water tables or that are adjacent to bodies of water.

Evapotranspiration System

Evaporative cooling systems feature drainfields that are one-of-a-kind. It is necessary to line the drainfield at the base of the evapotranspiration system with a waterproof material. Following the entry of the effluent into the drainfield, it evaporates into the atmosphere. At the same time, the sewage never filters into the soil and never enters groundwater, unlike other septic system designs. It is only in particular climatic circumstances that evapotranspiration systems are effective. The environment must be desert, with plenty of heat and sunshine, and no precipitation.

Constructed Wetland System

Construction of a manufactured wetland is intended to simulate the treatment processes that occur in natural wetland areas. Wastewater goes from the septic tank and into the wetland cell, where it is treated. Afterwards, the wastewater goes into the media, where it is cleaned by microorganisms, plants, and other media that eliminate pathogens and nutrients. Typically, a wetland cell is constructed with an impermeable liner, gravel and sand fill, and the necessary wetland plants, all of which must be capable of withstanding the constant saturation of the surrounding environment.

As wastewater travels through the wetland, it may escape the wetland and flow onto a drainfield, where it will undergo more wastewater treatment before being absorbed into the soil by bacteria.

Cluster / Community System

In certain cases, a decentralized wastewater treatment system is owned by a group of people and is responsible for collecting wastewater from two or more residences or buildings and transporting it to a treatment and dispersal system placed on a suitable location near the dwellings or buildings. Cluster systems are widespread in settings like rural subdivisions, where they may be found in large numbers.

What is a Mound Septic System?

Sewage treatment systems are underground wastewater treatment systems that are most typically seen in rural regions. These systems are the most widely utilized systems around the globe.

It is necessary to employ septic systems in locations that do not have a link to the municipal sewage system. It is possible to have various types of septic systems, and the mound septic system is one of those options. The mound septic system will be the primary topic of discussion in this essay.

What is a Mound Septic System?

Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures that are used to treat wastewater in regions where multi-stage wastewater treatment systems are not available or are not available in sufficient numbers. These systems are intended to provide a replacement for the drainage field of typical rural sewage disposal systems. The mound septic system is used in places where septic tank systems are prone to failure owing to the presence of extremely impermeable or permeable soils, shallow-pored bedrock soils, and a high groundwater terrain level, among other factors.

The University of Wisconsin investigated the construction of a mound system in the 1970s as part of the university’s waste management initiative.

In the early 2000s, a revised handbook was issued.

How does aMoundSeptic System work?

It is necessary to employ a mound septic system in regions where traditional septic tank systems are not appropriate for installation. Depending on the soil type, there may be too much clay present to allow water to penetrate at a sufficient pace, or the water table may be too near to the surface to be effective. In addition to the absorption mound, the system includes a dosing chamber and a septic tank. The operation of a mound system is basically similar to that of other septic systems. To begin, the wastewater from your home runs into the septic tank, where it continues to work its way down the pipe to the drain field.

In the following step, the wastewater passes through the septic tank and into the dosing chamber.

Components of Mound Septic System

The mound septic system is composed mostly of the following key elements:

1) Septic Tank

A septic tank is a waterproof chamber that is buried underground. It is made of polyethylene, fiberglass, or concrete, among other materials. Because septic tanks are designed to hold sewer water for an extended period of time, the solid particles in the sewer water settle to the bottom of the tank over time. As it traps wastewater, sludge, greases, and oils float to the surface of the water, where they are collected. It also makes it possible to decompose solid particles in a fractional fashion.

2) Dosing or Distribution chamber

The dosing chamber is responsible for removing wastewater from your septic tank and transporting it to the drain field. The component of the mound septic system that ensures that wastewater is distributed uniformly in the drainage area is known as the distribution component.

It is equipped with several septic tank openings that go to the drain field. It is possible that the septic system dosing chamber will not function properly, resulting in uneven water distribution and ineffective drainage.

3) Leach field or drain field

After passing through the septic tank, the wastewater is discharged into the leach field or drain field for further soil treatment before being reused. Every time new sewer water is introduced into the septic tank, some previously treated sewer water is forced onto the leaching/drainage point for further treatment and clarification. Many drain fields are known for their sequence of ditches that are bordered by gravel or rock and include perforated pipes that are covered with soil and mesh. All of the drainage that makes its way into the drain field is partly evaporated and partly absorbed by the ground.

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4) Soil

Septic tank wastewater is channeled into the drainage system, where it seeps into the groundwater table. To prepare for ultimate cleaning, this soil eliminates unwanted nutrients, viruses, and germs from the environment. In order for wastewater treatment to be successful, it is critical that there be adequate soil available.

How much does a Mound Septic System cost

A mound septic system is more expensive than a normal septic system because it necessitates a more complicated design than a typical septic system. The price of the sand and the electric pump both have an impact on the overall cost of this system as well. It is possible to spend anywhere from $9000 to $20,100 on a mound septic tank system on average. Septic tank systems that are often used, on the other hand, are quite affordable, ranging in price from $2900 to $15,000.

  • The typical cost of mound septic systems is from $9000 to $20,000, although the prices can be quite expensive, particularly for big systems. A wastewater treatment plant’s regular maintenance is critical, and the cost of pumping and maintenance is around $500 per year on average.

Mound Septic System problems

The following are some of the most typical issues that mound septic systems encounter:

1) Failure due to poor design or siting

  • In order for the mound to be placed on the soil, it must be at least one foot above the occasionally saturated soils. Lack of sufficient sand to neutralize sewage contaminants prior to their entry into native soils (toes)
  • The mound septic system is placed on compacted or disturbed soil (toe/top)
  • It is designed to handle high water pressure. Nowhere on the contour lines can you find a soil remediation system. The soil treatment system is positioned in the drainage channel of the plateau/swales
  • Improper calculations of soil permeability, structure, and texture
  • Incline calculation error (a system developed for flat fields, not slope fields) (toes)
  • Incline calculation error (a system designed for flat fields, not slope fields) (toes)
  • Error in the calculation absorption area/lower area: the region where wastewater enters the original soil (toe/top) and absorbs. This difficulty might arise as a result of the use of heavy clays, which need vast absorption surfaces and low counter loads. When piling various mounds on the slope, be sure to use a level.

2) Failure due to construction faults

The following are examples of installation-related building errors:

  • Due to the fact that extra growth is not separated (toe), the penetration of the plant mat is reduced. When the wastewater receiving area is squeezed during construction, intrusion (toe) can be reduced significantly. When the water freezes in loose pipes during the winter session (pump tank or side difficulties), the water remains in the pipes. Because the soil moisture has surpassed the plastic confine (toe) during the scarification or drilling operation, the manure receiving area becomes polluted. Pump selection or float setting (toe or side/top) that is not appropriate. Parts of the water tank (toe) that are leaking
  • Pipe that has been broken or detached (at the tip or on the side)

3) Failure due to system misuse by homeowners

  • (top/side) Septic tank overturned as a result of excessive use of detergents, chemicals, and medications (top/side)
  • Leaky joints or excessive usage of water (toe) are two examples of this. Water sources related to the mound septic system, such as sink pumps (Toes) and wells
  • Water that drains from a roof, the impermeable region of a septic tank, or the system area (toe)
  • Solids from septic tanks or other heavy waste are not being properly pumped out (from the top or side). Compaction of the system’s surrounds (toe) occurs as a result of insufficient landscaping.

Maintenance of Mound Septic System

  • It is recommended that you link your mound septic system with observation pipes as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Observation Pipes eliminate the need for excavation and the need for access ports to examine the septic tank, resulting in significant cost savings. By using an observation tube, you may encourage regular checks of the dosage chamber and prevent contamination. Water depth that is progressively growing indicates a problem
  • The dosing chamber and septic tank must be drained every 3-5 years, or sooner if necessary. The intervals between tank pumpings may vary depending on the size of the septic tank and the number of residents in the area. The septic tank should be inspected at least once a year to identify the rate at which sludge is accumulating. You will be able to pump your septic tank before it reaches critical levels in this manner. Plant grass and other types of vegetative material.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Mound Septic System

Advantages Disadvantages
It can be installed anywhere. This system has a high installation cost.
It doesn’t have container. It can’t install the areas which has limited space.
These systems have an easy installation than other types of systems. It has high price than a conventional septic system.
The area of the mound septic system doesn’t require much excavation. If there will be any leakage then you will need to rebuild the mound partially or fully.

FAQ Section

Jean-Louis Mouras was the inventor of the septic system, which was developed in the 1860s.

Is a mound septic system bad?

  • An expensive installation fee is required for a mound system. It cannot be used in regions where there is a lack of available space. In addition, it lacks a container for the storage of sewage water. Therefore, a huge amount of space is required for the trench.

How long does a mound septic system last?

A mound septic system has a service life of 15 to 40 years, depending on the conditions.

Can a mound system be put anywhere?

Yes, these systems may be put almost anyplace, however the installation costs are rather costly for these systems. These systems, on the other hand, cannot be implemented in sites with restricted space. Likewise, see: 1) What is the operation of an Aerobic Septic System? 2)Can you explain how a septic tank pump works?

Septic Tank: Mound System

Karen Mancl is a Professor of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Brian Slater is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. Peg Cashell, On-site Educator in Logan, Utah, is an example of this. Septic tank-leach field systems, which require 36 inches of acceptable soil before reaching a limiting layer, are ineffective in significant parts of Ohio due to the shallowness of the soils.

Approximately 53% of Ohio’s soils contain limiting layers at shallow levels that do not supply the 36 inches of appropriate soil required by the state, as seen in Figure 1.

When it comes to protecting the public health and the environment, mound systems are frequently employed in these regions to remove toxins from wastewater. These methods can be employed in soils that have a limiting layer that is between 12 and 18 inches thick.

  • Every one to five years, have the septic and dosing tanks pumped out. water usage should be minimized, and water-saving devices should be installed in the residence The soil downslope of a mound should never be compacted by pavement, construction of a structure, or parking of automobiles. By avoiding growing trees or plants on the mound, you may prevent roots from blocking the pipes.

Guide To Understanding Mound Septic Systems, Sand Filtering Low Down

Is it a burrow? Is there a hidden treasure? Is that a crypt from the past? Mounds, or to put it another way, mound septic systems, aren’t quite as enticing as our imagination would have us believe. We, at GroundStone Wastewater Services, are quite familiar with mound septic systems since we have installed a large number of them beside houses, schools, and businesses throughout British Columbia. Our mounds do not hold treasure (sorry, guys), but they do contain a significant 1940s invention: the Mound Septic System, which was called after the mounds on which it was built.

Although this is often the case, it is not always the case.

And that’s OK since there are several advantages to installing a mound (also known as a “above ground” septic system) rather than a subterranean counterpart.

What are Mound Septic Systems?

Septic systems on mounds (also known as above-ground septic systems or sand mound septic systems) are a type of drain field that is elevated above ground in an artificial mound, as the name implies. Mound Septic Systems, which were developed in the 1940s at the North Dakota College of Agriculture and were initially known as the “NODAK disposal system” after the location where they were developed, were a revolutionary alternative to typical subterranean septic systems and drain fields. To combat three environmental problems, the system was developed: (1) soil permeability that is either too slow or too rapid, (2) a shallow soil cover that soon gives way to creviced or porous bedrock, and (3) a high water table.

So, let us go to the Mound.

How does a Mound Septic System work?

As a result, we know what many of the mounds in and around British Columbia are made of. Now, let’s take a look inside to observe how a Mound Septic System is put together. It is possible to install an Above-Ground or Mound Septic System, which is composed of three components: a septic tank, a dosing chamber, and a mound. When you flush the toilet or drain the kitchen sink, the waste makes its way into your septic tank, which is normally located beneath your home’s foundation. Solids (or “sludge”) sink to the bottom of the tank, while the effluent travels through to a second tank – the dosing chamber – where it is treated further.

Into the pile it goes.

When would you use a Mound Septic System?

According to your geographic location, the soil structure around your property, home, or company will differ from one region to another. When it comes to particular places and circumstances, a regular conventional septic system just will not function. Instead, you’ll need to think about switching to a different kind of septic system. When it comes to septic systems, mound or sand mound systems are the best choice when: The soil’s permeability is either too sluggish or too fast: If the wastewater is not thoroughly purified before reaching the water table line, high permeability soils will be unable to effectively treat it.

Soils with limited permeability, on the other hand, will not be able to absorb wastewater as quickly as they should. Using the incorrect septic system in this situation frequently results in

How do you maintainMound Septic Systems?

Avoid flushing non-biodegradable materials down the toilet or pouring oil, grease, and chemicals down the sink at the most fundamental level (and this applies to virtually every type of septic system). These substances or items have the potential to clog or harm your septic tank. When it comes to potentially hazardous compounds, they might interfere with the natural breakdown of sludge and effluent in your septic system. It is possible that these chemicals will destroy the grass on top of your mound, as well as poisoning animals and humans that get too close to your mound.

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These types of operations can result in soil erosion and compaction, as well as the potential for damage to your septic system.

What are the advantages of a Mound Septic System?

  • The soil absorption levels of your Mound Septic System will have no effect on its performance, which means you may install this sort of system on a land that would be unable to sustain a conventional septic system.
  • It is possible to use Mound Septic Systems in regions where the water table is particularly high and where conventional systems would normally fail.
  • With a Mound Septic System, a greater volume of effluent may be processed without requiring additional room.
  • Because a Mound Septic System requires only a little amount of room to be installed, these systems are ideal for sites with limited space.
  • Because a Mound Septic System requires less area than a conventional septic system, it is typically easier to comply with building laws and health department restrictions.

What about the disadvantages of mound septic systems?

  • In addition to being more expensive and taking longer to establish than a regular septic system or any above-ground solution due to the engineering and materials needed, mound septic systems are also more difficult to maintain.
  • Due to the fact that mound septic systems are more sophisticated than conventional systems, they necessitate additional attention, regular maintenance, and may necessitate more frequent repairs.
  • When installing your septic system, be sure that the mound is positioned on level ground or a low sloping grade, since a steep slope might result in effluent runoff during periods of high discharge.
  • When incorporating a mound into your landscape, it is important to avoid making it ugly or attracting unwanted attention.
  • In addition, because a Mound Septic System is not gravity-fed, if any of its components fail, you will almost certainly experience overspill, blockages, and other problems.
  • Once the system has been established, care must be taken not to harm the mound, crush the soil, or uproot the surrounding flora.

How much does a MoundSeptic System cost?

Pricing can vary greatly based on a variety of criteria, including soil conditions, lot size, home size, the permeability of the soil, the cost of sand, and the distance traveled (often very rural lots can be long distances from quarries and trucking costs can easily run high).

Summarizing Video of the Sand Mound System

For a more in-depth investigation, Please provide us with your feedback and ask any questions you may have:

Pros and Cons of Mound Septic Systems

Posted on Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Joseph Coupal Septic mound systems are an alternative to various septic tank systems in use today. It is situated near the surface of the earth and does not make use of a container to collect garbage. This sort of septic system disposes of waste by use of sand, and the waste is then absorbed by the ground surface. There are several advantages and disadvantages to using a mound septic system. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of using a mound septic system.

Protecting the Water Table

In order to keep the waste product away from the water table, a mound septic system is installed. It is necessary to preserve the water table, and a broken septic tank is a rapid method to pollute the water table. Water table protection is excellent with a mound septic system, and in certain cases, it is even better than conventional septic tank protection techniques.


The installation of a mound septic system is less difficult than the installation of other types of septic systems. Excavating the area and installing pipes and filters are the most difficult aspects of building a mound septic system. Holding tanks for other types of septic systems will be cast from concrete or metal, depending on the system. Once the holding tanks have been completely full, a professional must be called in to empty them. A mound septic system, on the other hand, does not have this problem since the waste leaches into the sand.

For the mound septic system to function properly again, the land just has to be turned over and then dug out once more.

The Mound

In terms of what it is, a mound septic system is extremely descriptive of what it is. As soon as your mound septic system has been completed, you will be left with a mound of earth that can be clearly seen from any location where it has been put.

The mound can reach a height of up to five feet. Although it is feasible to landscape the mound, you will still be left with a mound to cope with in the end.

Space Limitations

One of the most significant drawbacks of using a mound septic system is the amount of area required to properly dispose of the waste. Other types of septic systems entail the installation of a big container underground and burial of the container. These systems are quite expensive to build, yet they can be installed almost anywhere without causing damage. A mound septic system does not have a container, and digging too far into the ground brings you dangerously near to the water table. As a result, rather than digging down, you will have to dig out.

This severely restricts the location of a mound septic system, much alone the possibility of having one at all.


Because most septic systems do not smell, you will not be aware that they are there in your home. While it is possible for the regular septic system container to overflow, such an occurrence is not common. Due to the fact that the mound septic system is installed on the surface, you will not be far from the sewage. If the trash does not seep through the earth quickly enough, it will eventually make its way to the surface. Morse Engineering and Construction can provide you with further information on septic system design.

What is a Sand Mound?

Septic systems are widespread in more rural locations, where they may be found in abundance. Septic systems are used to treat and dispose of wastewater in these residences since they are often located in areas where municipal sewage systems are difficult to reach or do not exist. A standard septic system, on the other hand, may not be a practical solution based on the geography and the unique demands of the family. Sand mounds are one method of addressing some of the issues that homeowners may have while installing a septic system.

Basics of a Septic System

A classic septic system relies on gravity to completely cleanse wastewater before discharging it into the surrounding groundwater supply. Our septic tanks collect the wastewater that exits our homes once it has been directed into them. In this tank, which is separated into two portions, the first breakdown of dangerous bacteria takes place in the first area. Heavy solid matter, referred to as sludge, sinks to the bottom of the tank, while lighter solid matter, referred to as scum, floats to the surface of the tank.

Following this, the effluent is routed into the second part of the tank, where the cycle is repeated.

Typically, the drain field is comprised of a number of pipes.

When a Septic System Doesn’t Work

Despite the fact that septic systems are an excellent method of disposing of wastewater, they are not always a choice in some situations.

When it comes to building and maintaining a septic system, factors such as rocky terrain, shallow bedrock levels, and high groundwater levels can all provide difficulties for homeowners. Installing a septic system with a sand mound is one method of dealing with these issues effectively.

Sand Mounds

A sand mound can be used to aid with a variety of difficulties that may arise with a septic system. A specific mound made of gravel and sand is constructed in order to provide extra distance between the drain lines and bedrock or groundwater, which helps to prevent flooding. To bring sewage up to the higher levels of the drain field, these systems require the employment of a pump to circulate the effluent. In order for the effluent to be adequately filtered into the groundwater, the pump is precisely constructed to release a specified volume of sewage into the drain field at a given time.

How to Care for a Sand Mound

With any septic system, you must be aware of the correct maintenance procedures to keep it working properly, but with a sand mound, there are a few additional considerations that must be taken into consideration.

Know its Location

Knowing where your septic tank, plumbing lines, and sand mound are located may seem like a no-brainer, but it is critical to know where everything is. It is essential that you maintain these places free after you have identified where they are. Planting trees, building decks, and driving over these places should be avoided since these activities might cause damage to the lines and result in costly repairs.

Balance Water Usage

In most cases, sand mounds are employed when there isn’t enough soil available to appropriately filter pollutants out of the water being discharged. This means that it is preferable to spread out your water consumption over the course of a week. Therefore, running the dishwasher and doing five loads of laundry at the same time is not a good idea if you have sand in your basement. By spreading out water consumption, the sand mound will not be overburdened with too much water, making it unable to efficiently filter any leftover pollutants.

Divert Surface Water

Again, in order to avoid flooding the sand mound with water, we must ensure that surface water drains away from this region of the site. Although sand mounds are intended to shed water, it is critical to prevent water runoff from roads, roofs, and other surfaces from accumulating near the base of the mound in order to maintain its effectiveness.


If you notice any standing water or the stench of sewage in the area around your septic system, you should get it checked. This would imply that there is a problem with your system that needs to be addressed immediately before a more serious problem arises. In addition, it is a good idea to have us evaluate your septic tank, pump, and sand mound on a regular basis to verify that everything is operating properly and efficiently. Posts from the recent past

Mound Septic Systems – What Are They?

Have you ever observed that certain houses, possibly even those in your neighborhood, have a mound in the yard or on their property? Occasionally, pipes may be seen poking out of the top of these mounds. It turns out that these mounds are really part of the septic system for this particular residence. What is the purpose of the mound? What is the procedure? Let’s take a look at these questions and explain why you could be seeing them, as well as how mound septic systems truly function. The soil must absorb water from your septic system at a specific pace in order for the waste water to be adequately biodegraded by the soil, as we discussed in a previous post regarding percolation testing.

If the earth absorbs water too slowly, it can eventually overflow and flood your yard. In this case, it signifies that it is moving too quickly.

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