A mound septic system: Everything you need to know.

A septic system is used to process wastewater in rural areas. It is often required to have one in certain areas. A mound septic system differs from traditional systems as you have a hill in your garden. This hill replaces the leach field as we know it.

The water starts out in a septic tank as well but instead of being sprayed in the ground, it is sprayed above ground. To avoid smells, the soil is added over this. A mound septic system is often used when there is clay in the soil as this doesn’t drain well below the ground. It is also possible that the groundwater is quite high and this system keeps sewage away from it.


  This can require a bigger garden as it is wider and less deep. The mound is filled with sand and then gravel so that the processed water can spread. A filter screen is placed on top of this and then the soil is added. Plastic tubes with holes are used to spread the effluent out. These tubes can be broken if you place heavy items on them so you have to be careful. The goal is to make sure that the water doesn’t flow too fast or too slow. Too fast can make it leak in the ground. Too slow can lead to a buildup of sludge. 

A study needs to be done to check if you need this system. Given that it is more expensive than a traditional system, it should be avoided if possible. 

The sewage water that gets into the mound is called effluent. It is spread over the field with a distribution box. The goal is to make sure that the whole mound gets affluent so that it can get processed. If everything would arrive at one location, the system would get overwhelmed and things wouldn’t process properly. 

Given that the water has to go higher, there is often a pump tank needed as well to push the water up. This requires more space and once again indicates that a mound system requires quite some space in a garden.

This pump requires electricity and is quite expensive to install. The pump works when the effluent is going high enough; it is not working continuously. Pumps typically have an alarm for when there is too much effluent. This can show that the tank needs pumping and cleaning. You still have to let your tank get pumped every 2-5 years.

There is also a drain that keeps the surface water away from the mound. This is essential to keep the ground- and well water clean. If this breaks, you can have big problems as the soil needs to be cleaned. To avoid this, regular inspections are needed. You should also have cleanouts and observation holes in the mound. These make it easier to maintain this.

You can grow grass on it but don’t plant trees nearby. You can cut the grass. This can be challenging with a traditional machine as the slope can be quite big. It is also not possible to build things on top of it or to park or ride over it.

Mounds are typically a few feet high so they can be seen from the home. It can be difficult to make them beautiful in a garden as you can’t plant anything in it. For this reason, some people consider it to be an eyesore.

There are not a lot of things that can be done about this though. It is something that you will have to learn to live with. You are losing a big part of your garden as well if you don’t have a lot of space. In bigger gardens, this doesn’t matter that much as you can plant trees to cover it. In rural areas, people generally have a bigger garden so they try to find a way to hide the mount by placing it at the back of the garden. 

The same limitations apply to the traditional septic systems: don’t use a garbage disposal or chemicals to clean, and don’t use your washing machine or dishwasher too frequently. Don’t pour cooking oils into your sink. 

A swimming pool or hot tub shouldn’t be drained into your sewage system. A failing septic system can be expensive. It generally gets inspected before the house is sold so it can reduce the value of your home if you don’t take care of it. Sewage can also back up and go back to your home if there is a problem. A leaking septic system can lead to big problems and fines. 

Some cities require that you create reserve areas in your garden. These can be used when your mound is failing. This allows you to install a new mound without too much hassle. You need a big garden to be able to do this. It can be a challenge to install a mound in a small garden.

Getting close to the property line can be risky as the neighbor might complain. Each location has a unique code so check what is required in your area. 

To conclude, we can state that a mound septic tank has another leach field. The drains are placed on the ground instead of under the ground. This needs to be topped off with soil so that the water can process and we don’t have a nasty smell in the garden.

This gives a small hill. This system is more expensive and is commonly installed when the soil in the garden doesn’t drain well enough. A study has to show that this system is required. A mound requires a big garden and takes up a lot of space. It is generally only used if the traditional system or other alternatives don’t work. It is more expensive to install than a traditional system as you need the pump as well. 

There are a lot of types of septic systems. From concrete tanks to PVC. From having a pump to having a mound. A specialized company will have to check your garden to see what system will work for you. This can take a lot of work as the soil has to be analyzed and the garden has to be measured.

The number of people that will live in a house will have to be taken into account as well. All of this will make sure that your system works well so that you don’t have to add enzymes or other items.