Septic Systems in SC

By Robert Jones Jan17,2023

Are you looking for information on septic systems in South Carolina? Whether you’re a homeowner, contractor, or real estate agent, understanding the types of septic systems used in SC is important. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of the most common septic systems used in South Carolina and what to consider when selecting one.

Overview of Septic Systems

Septic systems are used in areas without a centralized sewer system. They are a type of decentralized wastewater system, and typically consist of three components: the tank, the drain lines or discharge lines, and the soil treatment area. Septic tanks are designed to collect, treat, and dispose of domestic wastewater in a combination of natural and mechanical processes. Soil permeability is an important factor when designing a septic system, as it affects the vertical and horizontal movement of liquid wastewater. Having a soil assessor and engineer consult on the project is advantageous to ensure the septic system is properly designed.

Types of Septic Systems

There are several types of septic systems used in SC. The most commonly used is the conventional gravity septic system, which consists of a septic tank and a drainfield. This type of system is most suitable for areas with good soil permeability, as it relies on gravity to move the wastewater through the tank and into the drainfield. Other types of systems include evapotranspiration septic systems, which use an impermeable barrier rather than a porous surface, and plastic chamber leach fields, which require less space than traditional septic systems. All septic systems need proper maintenance and regular service to ensure that they operate at peak efficiency.

Conventional Gravity Septic System

Conventional gravity septic systems are the most common type of septic systems used in South Carolina. The system consists of a septic tank and a trench or bed subsurface wastewater infiltration system, where wastewater is separated into layers and solid waste is separated from liquid effluent. Gravity then carries the wastewater from the tank to the drainfield. This type of system is typically preferred as it is more efficient than other types of systems and is relatively cheaper than other options available. As an added benefit, a soil assessor and engineer should be consulted before construction to ensure the system is properly sited and will function optimally in its designated area.

Advantages of Having a Soil Assessor and Engineer Consult with You

Having a soil assessor and engineer consult with you to design a septic system can have many advantages. They can help you obtain a septic permit and construction authorization, and advise you on alternative systems which use newer technology such as sand, peat or plastic instead of soil to treat wastewater or wetlands, lagoons, aerators, or other methods. Additionally, they can provide insight into the two main tests used to determine a site’s suitability for a septic system – a perc test and visual observation of the soil in a test pit. A professional can also help you decide which septic system is best for your needs. Knight’s Companies has been providing services in this area for more than 50 years, so you can be sure that you’re getting top-notch advice for your septic system project.

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Septic Tank Styles

Septic tanks come in a variety of styles, from single structure concrete tanks to all-in-one systems. Each type of tank has its own advantages and costs, so it is important to consult with a soil assessor and engineer to determine which system is best for the location and size of your property. Single structure tanks are the most common, but all-in-one systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their compact design and ease of installation. These systems are typically composed of multiple chambers to ensure proper wastewater treatment, with the effluent being discharged into a leach


How Septic Systems Work

Septic systems are a kind of decentralized wastewater system commonly used in areas without a centralized sewer system. Conventional septic systems usually consist of a septic tank and a leach or drainfield. The tank is fed by a pipe which connects the building it is being used for, and water fills up inside the tank. This water is then broken down by anaerobic bacteria, which separates solid matter from liquid, and the liquid effluent is then released into the drainfield. From there, the water is further filtered through the soil and eventually released back into the environment. Different types of septic systems are available, such as gravity systems, drip distribution systems, aerobic treatment units, mound systems, recirculating sand filter systems, and evapotranspiration systems. Each type has its own advantages, and it’s important to consult with a soil assessor or engineer to determine which type would be best for you.

Typical Cost for a 4-Bedroom System

Installing a septic system is a big investment, so it’s important to understand the typical costs associated with different types of septic systems. A conventional gravity septic system for a four-bedroom house typically costs between $4,000 and $5,000. Septic tank costs are driven by a number of factors including house size, soil permeability, and preferred waste breakdown system. Chamber septic systems are becoming increasingly popular due to their cost-efficiency; they use plastic chambers instead of gravel, and the cost for a four-bedroom system is typically between $7,000 and $12,000. Enhanced, engineered or alternative septic systems that use mounds, sand/peat filters, aerobic systems and/or constructed wetlands can cost up to $20,000 on average. It’s important to consult with a soil assessor and engineer when making decisions about which type of septic system is right for your property.

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EPA Estimates on Failure Rate

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10 percent of septic systems fail in any given year. In South Carolina, that means that in any given year upwards of 36,000 septic systems may be failing. The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) estimates that no state has directly measured its septic systems failure rate and definitions vary from state to state. To help with this issue, the USEPA is currently using injection wells to develop background information the Agency can use to better inform septic system regulations and policies for both large and small septic systems be based on wastewater flow rate or septic tank size. Estimated onsite treatment system failure rates in surveyed states range from 30% in New England to 13% in the Pacific Northwest.

Septic System Installation as a Common Solution

Septic systems are a common solution for wastewater management in South Carolina. Installing a septic system is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to deal with wastewater, as it treats the wastewater on-site and helps reduce the stress on public sewage treatment centers. It is important, however, to make sure that the system is installed properly by a professional in order to prevent costly repairs or environmental damage. By having a soil assessor and engineer consult with you during installation, you can ensure that your system will be installed correctly and function efficiently.

Benefits of Installing a Septic System

One of the most important benefits of installing a septic system is that it is an environmentally friendly solution. The waste is treated and disposed of naturally, without the need for harsh chemicals or other pollutants. Additionally, because septic systems are decentralized, they don’t require the same level of infrastructure as larger sewer systems. This can reduce the cost of installation and maintenance. Finally, septic systems are a more affordable option when compared to traditional sewer systems. In Oconee County, SC, for example, it costs an average of $7,000 to install a 4-bedroom septic system. This is much lower than traditional sewer installation costs.

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