Alternative Septic Systems: What Are They and Why Do They Require a Contract?

Alternative Septic Systems: What Are They and Why Do They Require a Contract?

Published on January 4, 2017

 Did You Know?

Virginia Health Department Law Requires

All Virginia residents to have an annual contract with a licensed service provider
You have a alternative septic system

What Is an Alternative Septic System?

There are two types of septic systems: A traditional septic system, and an alternative treatment septic system.Traditional Septic System

An alternative septic system is a system that is different from the common traditional style septic system. An alternative system is required when the site and soil conditions on a property are limiting, or when the wastewater strength is too strong for the receiving environment (i.e. restaurants).

Alternative systems “clean” the wastewater (reducing the organic load, nutrients , and pathogens) before dispersal to the receiving environment.  Alternative systems require less soil.  In other words, the drainfields are smaller, and the standoffs to water table and soil restrictions are reduced.

With conventional systems, the soil is “cleaning” the wastewater just as much as the septic tank. With alternative systems, most of the “cleaning” is taking place in the advanced treatment unit, which is a tank or container with a blower and/or filtering media.


All Septic Systems Require Maintenance

Alternative systems require MORE maintenance because they are more advanced.  More equipment, different processes.  They are sufficiently complex systems in a sensitive environment.  Improperly functioning alternative systems affect public health and welfare.  The risk of failure is high if they are not properly maintained.

Routine maintenance by a licensed operator (or service provider) optimizes treatment and dispersal, reduces the likelihood of costly repairs, and protects the environment (surface water and ground water).  The Virginia Department of Health has performance requirements for alternative systems. The owner must follow the system’s Operation and Maintenance Manual, and have the system inspected by a licensed operator at least annually.


What Is an Alternative Septic System Contract?

A contract for an alternative septic system is an annually signed contract between the septic system owner and a licensed system maintenance professional. The licensece professional routinely cares for your system basedupon manufacturers specifications.

The reasons stated above in “All Septic Systems Require Maintenace,” are behind the health departments rational in requiring contracts. Alternative systems are more complicated with more chances for failure, which poses a greater risk to public health and the environment. Having your system monitored by a licensed professional reduces risk for potential system failures. This in turn saves you money by reducing the risk for large costly problems, and protects the environment from potential harm.

A Contract from Stamie E. Lyttle Co. entitles you to:

Peace of mind- our 24 hour – 365 response will leave you with the comfort of knowing that you won’t ever be caught in a pickle. Your problems are OUR problems.