Call us: (510) 886-4455 | Serving East Bay, North Bay, South Bay, West Bay & The Greater San Francisco Bay Area

FAQs About Types of Septic Systems

When building a new home, the type of septic system you’ll have installed is a crucial decision. The right type of septic system for your home in San Francisco depends on factors like the soil and water table. Septic systems on shoreline properties are particularly tricky to install properly, so be sure to choose a reputable company with plenty of experience in this area.

Are there restrictions on the type of septic system I can choose?

Counties can establish their own restrictions regarding the types of septic systems allowed in their jurisdictions. Since these regulations are subject to change over time, it’s advisable to consult professional septic tank installers.

What is a gravity system?

Gravity septic systems have 3 main components: The tank, leach field, and soil beneath the leach field. A pipe carries all the wastewater from the house out to the septic tank. Solids settle on the bottom of the tank, and lighter “scum” materials float to the top. The wastewater liquid flows out the outlet baffle into a graveled trench, where it’s treated before it enters the soil.

Are there any special considerations for owners of shoreline properties?

Traditional systems, such as gravity and pressure distribution systems, may not be appropriate for shoreline properties because of the high water table, and because the soil is less likely to be effective at treating the wastewater. Furthermore, septic systems on shoreline properties are fairly close to both groundwater and surface water. When the leach field becomes saturated, the wastewater that hasn’t been fully treated may pollute nearby bodies of water. To reduce the risk of problems, the system should be situated as far away from the shoreline as possible.

What type of septic system is best for shoreline properties?

Alternative or advanced septic systems are suitable for shoreline properties. These include mound systems, sand filter systems, and aerobic treatment units. Aerobic treatment units are wastewater pretreatment devices that can have disinfectant features, such as UV or chlorine treatment. A sand filter system uses sand fill material to treat the wastewater before it’s released into the leach field. Lastly, a mound system is raised above the normal level of the soil. It features an inner chamber bed topped by sand fill material. Small diameter pipes remove the treated wastewater from the chamber out into the natural soil.

Scroll to Top