Understanding the High Water Table
A high water table happens when the level of the groundwater is close to or above the start of the surface soil. Those situations pose a unique set of challenges for septic systems.
Typically, wastewater from a household flows into a septic tank, where solid waste settles at the bottom, and the liquid waste, known as effluent, flows into a drain field for further treatment and disposal. Once in the drain field, the wastewater filters through the soil for it’s final treatment before entering the groundwater. However, in areas with a high water table, the effluent may not be able to percolate into the soil effectively due to the close proximity of groundwater. Meaning contaminated water could enter your community’s water table.
Percolation and Absorption Challenges
In a conventional drain field, the effluent is gradually absorbed and filtered by the soil as it percolates downward. This process helps to remove harmful bacteria and contaminants before the wastewater reaches the groundwater. When that process cannot happen, it stops that final filtration. Luckily, there are ways to make septic systems and high water tables work together.
Solutions for Septic Systems and High Water Tables
Elevated Drain Field
One possible solution is to raise the drain field above the level of the water table. By creating an elevated mound or using specialized components, such as pressure distribution systems or sand filters, the effluent can be dispersed over a larger area, giving it more time to infiltrate the soil properly.
A mound system is specifically designed for areas with high water tables. It involves constructing an artificial mound of soil above the natural ground level to create a suitable environment for wastewater treatment. The effluent is distributed through pipes embedded in the mound, allowing it to percolate effectively.
In cases where the high water table persists or the soil is not suitable for traditional septic systems, alternative systems may be considered. These include aerobic treatment units (ATUs) or advanced treatment systems, which use additional mechanisms to further treat the effluent before it is discharged into the environment.
Professional Assessment and Permits
When dealing with a high water table, it is essential to seek professional guidance and a company that understands your local area’s geography and soil.
Local regulations and permits may also have specific requirements for septic systems in areas with high water tables, and it is crucial to comply with them to ensure environmental protection and public health.
Maintenance and Monitoring
Once a septic system is installed in an area with a high water table, regular maintenance and monitoring become even more critical. Homeowners should have their systems inspected more frequently than in areas with lower water tables. Regular monitoring helps identify potential issues, such as effluent backup or system failure, and allows for timely repairs or modifications.
Making Your Florida Septic System Work for You
While having a high water table presents challenges when installing a septic system, it does not necessarily mean that a septic system is out of the question. Through proper planning, specialized designs, and alternative systems, it is possible to accommodate a septic system in areas with high water tables. However, it is crucial to work with professionals, adhere to local regulations, and commit to regular maintenance and monitoring to ensure the system’s proper functioning and protect the environment and public health.
Have questions about installing a septic system for your Florida home? Call Advanced Septic Services of Florida today at 352-242-6100.