Mound Septic System Maintenance

open septic tank lid on a lawn

A mound septic system is a special septic system that places a sand mound over the area where wastewater is being drained into. The idea behind this system is that a sand mound must be used in areas where there is a shallow soil bed or a high-seasonal water table. The sand mound provides the additional depth in the soil for the wastewater to be drained into safely, allowing the water to be securely broken down by the use of filtration and micro-organisms.

Although the system is especially complex (more so than a typical septic tank), with proper maintenance, the system can last a long time with little or no repair costs.

1. Water Usage and Flow

Water usage should be your primary concern when managing a mound system (or really any septic system). One of the simplest reasons why a system leaks or fails is that too much water is being used by the home or facility. Placing simple restrictions on the amount of water that can be used monthly will help prevent the system from being overburdened. You can also prevent the overloading of the system by using water-heavy appliances (like the shower) during low-traffic times like the early morning or bedtime.

In addition, you should use “low flow” pipes for the drainage network inside the mound. Low flow pipes will further help to ensure that there isn’t too much water flowing into the mound.

2. Do Not Add Yeast or Commercial Products to Your System

bottles with blue and red lids

The title says it all. Adding yeast or other commercial products into the septic tank will not improve how well the system works. In fact, these additives may even cause the system to function worse. The reason is because the additives may disrupt the sludge at the bottom of the tank or the scum and the top of the tank, causing to be flushed from the baffle into the sand mound. Your body’s natural digestive bacteria will be more than enough to break down the sewage that passes through the system.

3. Tank Pumping

man pumping a septic tank

In a septic tank, the sludge and scum will eventually build up over time as the process is repeated. Eventually, the build-up will become so immense that sludge and scum particles will break off and enter the drain tiles, causing pollution, nasty odors, and serious health concerns. In general, you should have your system pumped every two to five years (depending on use) in order to prevent this from happening. Only licensed professionals should pump the septic tank, since working with raw sewage can be harmful or even fatal if done improperly.

4. Vegetation on Mound

Having vegetation is especially important when using a mound system, since the drainage distribution network is already a limited volume anyway. The vegetation will help with the absorption of water, further lowering the risk of over-saturation. The vegetation you use should be small. Trees or other large plants are impractical since their large roots may break the pipes.