What Is A Type 2 Septic System? A Comprehensive Guide

by Anna

Septic systems play a crucial role in managing wastewater in areas without access to centralized sewage treatment facilities. Among the various types of septic systems, Type 2 septic systems stand out as a reliable and efficient solution for wastewater treatment. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of Type 2 septic systems, exploring their components, functioning, advantages, and considerations.


Overview of Septic Systems:

Before delving into the specifics of Type 2 septic systems, it’s essential to understand the basic principles of septic systems. Septic systems are on-site wastewater treatment setups commonly used in rural and suburban areas. They consist of a septic tank and a drain field, working together to treat and disperse wastewater from households.


Components of a Type 2 Septic System:

A. Septic Tank:

The heart of any septic system, including Type 2, is the septic tank. This underground chamber is typically made of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic and is responsible for separating solids from the incoming wastewater. In Type 2 septic systems, the septic tank undergoes additional treatment processes compared to traditional septic systems.

B. Treatment Unit:

Type 2 septic systems incorporate a specialized treatment unit that follows the septic tank. This unit introduces secondary treatment mechanisms to further purify the wastewater. Common secondary treatment methods include aerobic treatment units, media filtration, and other advanced treatment technologies.

C. Distribution System:

After the wastewater undergoes treatment in the specialized unit, it is distributed to the drain field. The distribution system ensures even dispersal of treated effluent over the drain field area, promoting efficient absorption into the soil.

D. Drain Field:

The drain field, also known as leach field, receives the treated wastewater from the septic tank and distribution system. The soil in the drain field acts as a natural filter, further treating the effluent before it returns to the groundwater system.

Functioning of Type 2 Septic Systems:

Type 2 septic systems go beyond the basic functions of conventional systems by incorporating additional treatment steps. The process can be broken down into the following key stages:

A. Primary Treatment in the Septic Tank:

In the initial stage, raw wastewater from a household enters the septic tank, where solids settle at the bottom as sludge, and lighter particles float as scum. The remaining liquid undergoes partial treatment before moving to the next stage.

B. Secondary Treatment in the Treatment Unit:

Type 2 systems introduce secondary treatment processes to further purify the liquid effluent. This stage may involve aerobic bacteria, media filtration, or other advanced technologies that enhance the removal of impurities, ensuring a higher quality of treated water.

C. Distribution to the Drain Field:

The treated effluent is then distributed evenly across the drain field through the distribution system. Soil in the drain field acts as a natural filter, providing the final polishing treatment to the wastewater before it re-enters the groundwater system.

Advantages of Type 2 Septic Systems:

A. Enhanced Treatment Efficiency:

One of the primary advantages of Type 2 septic systems is their superior treatment efficiency compared to traditional systems. The incorporation of advanced treatment technologies ensures a higher level of pollutant removal, contributing to better environmental protection.

B. Smaller Footprint:

Type 2 septic systems often have a smaller physical footprint compared to conventional systems. This can be particularly advantageous in areas with limited space or challenging soil conditions.

C. Flexibility in Site Conditions:

Unlike some septic systems that may be restricted by soil conditions, Type 2 systems are designed to be more adaptable. This flexibility allows for installation in a wider range of environments, making them suitable for various geographical locations.

Considerations for Type 2 Septic Systems:

A. Maintenance Requirements:

While Type 2 septic systems offer advanced treatment capabilities, they also require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Homeowners should adhere to recommended maintenance schedules, including periodic inspections and tank pumping, to prevent system failures.

B. Installation by Professionals:

Due to the complexity of Type 2 septic systems, it is crucial to have them installed and maintained by qualified professionals. Professional installation ensures compliance with local regulations and standards, minimizing the risk of malfunctions or environmental harm.

C. Regulatory Compliance:

Before opting for a Type 2 septic system, homeowners should check local regulations and obtain the necessary permits. Compliance with regulatory requirements is essential to ensure the system’s legality and environmental sustainability.


Type 2 septic systems represent a significant advancement in on-site wastewater treatment, offering enhanced efficiency and adaptability. Understanding their components, functioning, advantages, and considerations is crucial for homeowners considering this technology. As populations grow and environmental awareness increases, the role of advanced septic systems like Type 2 becomes increasingly important in maintaining water quality and safeguarding public health.


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