(Applicable to Texas Systems)

Most Common Types of Septic Systems in Texas

The following information can be found at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality website along with various information concerning septic systems and other educational materials concerning water systems.

Conventional septic systems have traditionally been the most commonly used technology for treating wastewater. These systems use gravity to treat and distribute wastewater in the soil. They have the lowest cost and require the least amount of maintenance, which is generally limited to periodic pumping of the septic tank.

A conventional gravity flow septic system consists of a series of tanks or a compartmented tank followed by a distribution system. The septic tanks are used to settle out solids and partially treat wastewater before it reaches the distribution system. The distribution system can be one of the standard subsurface drain field options.

They consist of gravel-filled trenches, plastic chambers or plastic pipe installed underground to hold the wastewater leaving the tanks until it can seep into surrounding soil. The soil provides most of the wastewater treatment. Soil particles filter solids and organic matter from the wastewater. Microbes living in the soil break down the solids and kill the bacteria and pathogens in the wastewater. The size of the tanks and distribution system are based on the number of bedrooms in the house and the type of soil where the distribution system is installed.


The conventional gravity flow septic system is usually the most inexpensive system to install and operate for on-site wastewater disposal.


Conventional gravity flow septic systems cannot be installed in clay soils, shallow soils, rock, soils that become saturated during wet periods of the year, or soils with a high water table. A 2-foot separation must be maintained between the bottom of the distribution system and saturated soils or restrictive soils such as heavy clay or rock.

How to keep it working

The septic tank needs to be pumped a minimum of every 3 to 5 years. How often the tanks should be pumped depends on their size, the number of people living in the house and their waste management habits. The distribution systems need limited maintenance:

Generally, the distribution area should be protected from excessive rainwater runoff so it can accept wastewater from the house. Maintaining a grass cover over the soil distribution system will help remove water from the soil.

Maintaining Your Septic System

Watch this video for some easy tips to keep your septic system functioning right. If all this seems overwhelming to you, call Jim at Carnes Enterprise and he can help you.



Call Jim now at 210-884-0814 for an estimate!