What is an alternative septic system?
Alternative systems generally treat septic waste more effectively, before the liquid effluent enters the soil absorption system or tiled leaching bed. These advanced treatment systems are recommended where waste is disposed near drinking water supplies, or where there is insufficient depth, or a limited area of absorbing soil to accomodate a conventional septic tile bed. This includes sloping sites, high groundwater, fast or slow percolating soils and proximity to wetland or other resource areas areas.
When properly engineered, installed, and maintained, the overall system (i.e. tank and treatment zone) should last indefinitely. Individual components such as pumps, electrical components, and filter media may require eventual replacement.
Advanced waste systems must be installed and maintained by trained and qualified persons. Failure to properly install and maintain a septic systems can result in system failure, contamination of private and public water supplies, and possibly serious legal liabilities.
All good reasons why a thorough septic inspection and evaluation is a very important step for anyone purchasing a rural property, whether you think there is a traditional or advanced sytem installed!
Read more about alternative systems.
Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre: Conventional vs. Alternative Systems
Understanding Septic Systems - Nottawasaga Valley Conservation
Advanced Treatment Systems - Nottawasaga Valley Conservation
Septic Systems: The Inside Story
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.