Mound Versus Conventional Septic Systems

May 25, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

Septic system size and design can vary greatly due to several factors. Such factors include soil type, site slope, household size, lot size, proximity to water bodies, weather conditions, and local regulations. Here is a list of the most common septic systems used.

  • Mound system
  • Conventional system
  • Drip distribution system
  • Septic tank system
  • Recirculating system
  • Aerobic treatment unit
  • Community or luster system
  • Constructed wetland system
  • Evapotranspiration system

Your septic system allows you and your loved ones to live in a healthy and clean environment. Thus, consider the type of septic system you’d require to use as a replacement should the existing one malfunction. In his article, we are going to consider the mound septic system and the conventional septic system.

Mound Septic Systems: How do above ground septic tanks work?                                                         

Installation of a mound system involves making an above-ground mass of gravel or sand to conceal the system’s components. The absorption area of this system is above ground: thus, it uses a pump to deliver the waste into the mound to be treated.

Mound systems are appropriate in zones with a high bedrock or water table. But due to the amount of work necessary to put up a mound, mound systems are more costly. Moreover, they need yearly cleaning to ensure they work efficiently. The mound system technology is used for domestic wastewater treatment and disposal in areas not suitable for conventional septic tank systems.


  • Mound systems enable the use of land that might otherwise be inappropriate for at-grade onsite systems.
  •  You can use mounds in most climates.
  • The topsoil utilized in this system is the most permeable.
  • The system is not a threat to water bodies.
  • If you take care, you can minimize construction damage since there is little excavation required in the mound area.


  • Construction costs are higher than those of conventional systems.
  • If leakage occurs, you have to partly rebuild the mound.
  • The location may affect drainage patterns limiting land use.
  • The system requires siphons or pumps.
  • They are not aesthetically pleasing.

Conventional Septic Systems

If the soil is deep enough and there is no high-water level, a conventional septic system becomes the best alternative to mound septic system. Like the mound system, conventional septic system installation requires a tank and a drain field. Nevertheless, unlike the mound system, there is no need for a pump because all components are underground.  


  • Less costly
  • No pumps clog up or burn out
  • Many contractors are familiar with septic design


  • Not all areas are appropriate for these septic systems due to high water table, lack of drain field, proximity to sensitive water bodies, etc.

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