Brantley Septic has installed septic tanks for many years, and we have seen many different types. Basically, septic system types boil down to four specific types. As a homeowner, you may not be free to choose, because local codes may not allow the installation of conventional systems, where soil absorption or drain field space is limited. Every septic system type has advantages and disadvantages. Most city ordinances require an engineer to perform a site evaluation, which will determine options for the homeowner. Each system has a different level of frequency of required attention either by the homeowner or a professional. Additionally, costs vary per system. Which septic system type is right for your home? Call today to find out (919) 404-9511


Conventional septic systems are what is often thought of when hearing the term. Two types, in general, exist of conventional septic systems: those that use gravel in the drain field and those that use some form of chamber system. The older style graveled system involves a layer of gravel in the drainfield. During construction, a drainfield ditch 1 to 3 feet below ground level is constructed, where its length is determined by the projected flow of effluent into the system and the soil's ability to absorb water. Graveled septic systems have potential negatives. The effluent may have limited access to soil for successful filtration. Graveled systems have the potential to become overloaded when the water table rises causing a backup. Overload damages often culminate in replacement.

Conventional systems without gravel overcome some of the negatives of graveled systems. The drainfield systems consist of a series of connected chambers that are typically 15 to 40 inches in width. Typically, these chambers are manufactured of molded high-density plastic 10' to 12' foot in length. Wastewater is carried by pipe from the septic tank to the chamber then flows directly against the soil. This system is good when there are fluctuations in the water table and increased usage when guests are in the home. Overloading over time can hurt the system due to oxygen deprivation to the parasites that make the system work.


Low-pressure dose septic systems (also known as low-pressure pipe systems) may offer an alternate option in homes residing where soil and topographical conditions do not permit placement of a conventional septic system. Typically, this system is used when the topography requires the drainfield to be located up-hill from the septic tank or there is uneven terrain. Low-Pressure Dose Septic Systems (LPDs) use a low-pressure pump to force wastewater to pass from the chamber to the drainfield. The topography will dictate how the system is setup for effluent to disperse. Positive attributes: less land needed for absorption and uniform usage of drainfield. Negative attributes: potential for clogging from roots, possible wastewater accumulation in trenches, and requires regular maintenance. LPDs are required to have annual or semi-annual inspections by licensed septic professionals per local regulations.


Evapotranspiration Systems (ETs) are feasible only in arid and semi-arid regions. Primarily used for high rainfall locations. ET septic systems rely on natural evaporation of wastewater through a sand barrier and simultaneous transpiration of water via the leaves of plants and grasses planted above the drainfield. The drainfield trench is lined with an impervious barrier. 100% of all wastewater is absorbed into the atmosphere via evaporation through the sand and transpiration of plants and grasses. Positive attributes: great application for areas with shallow soil depths and impermeable rock layers, no moving parts, and has less frequent maintenance demands than LPD or Aerobic Systems. Negative attributes: potential exists for overloading the system due to extraordinary precipitation, possible buildup of salt on the surface, and requires more land mass for use.


Aerobic septic systems are the one system that can be applied in almost any situation where septic systems are required. An aerobic septic system is basically a small version of a municipal sewage plant. Aerobic systems are similar to conventional septic tank systems in that both treat wastewater using natural processes. However, unlike the aerobic system injects oxygen via a pump into the tank. Oxygen increases the natural bacterial consumption of waste within the system. The best aerobic systems provide a pretreatment tank as well as a final treatment tank with chlorine. In the end, discharge water is clean enough and pure enough to be discharged via sprinklers directly over the absorption field. Aerobic septic systems are becoming a favorite of local authorities due to their reduction in pollution potential. Maintenance contracts help maintain the operation of this system.

We understand the deciding which septic system type to go with can be overwhelming. Brantley Septic can work with you to assist in determining which solution is optimal for your home or office. Contact our staff today at (252) 478-3721.