There two basic types of septic systems: a conventional system that consists of a tank with a drain field and an advanced system, like an aerobic system that adds air to the tank, creating a highly oxygenated environment in which bacteria work. Aerobic systems break down organic matter rapidly. The effluent from an aerobic system is usually chlorinated and then sprayed on the surface of the ground or may be dripped subsurface into the lawn.
Conventional systems are relatively inexpensive to operate; the only expense is pumping out the tank every three to five years. Pumping a 500-gallon tank costs from $150 to $200. Advanced system costs vary widely from little to a lot.
Aerobic systems use energy constantly, and owners of these systems are required by the state to maintain them in proper working order. Homeowners can either be trained to maintain the system or they can sign a maintenance contract with an approved contractor. Maintenance contract costs vary widely from $150 to $450 per year, generally representing ranges in service from none to extensive.
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