There are two types of septic systems:
Standard Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS)
A type of OWTS consisting of a septic tank for primary treatment of sewage, followed by a system of drainfield trenches for subsurface dispersal of effluent into the soil. A standard OWTS may utilize gravity flow or a pump system to convey effluent from the septic tank to the drainfield.
Non-standard Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
A type of OWTS that utilizes a method of wastewater treatment that may or may not include a conventional septic tank and/or method of wastewater dispersal other than a conventional drainfield for the purpose of producing an equal to or greater quality wastewater effluent and improved performance of and siting for effluent dispersal than a standard OWTS. There are two types of non-standard systems. There are two types of non-standard OWTS:
- Alternative OWTS: an approved non-standard OWTS that has demonstrated in the non-standard Experimental phase to function in such a manner as to protect water quality, preclude health hazards and nuisance conditions and capable of producing an equal to or greater quality wastewater effluent and improved performance of and siting for effluent dispersal than a standard OWTS. Examples of these are pretreatment units, mound OWTS, shallow trench pressure distribution OWTS, at-grade OWTS, shallow in ground OWTS, bottomless sand filter OWTS, and subsurface drip dispersal OWTS.
- Experimental OWTS: a non-standard OWTS deemed conditionally acceptable by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, subject to increased performance monitoring and evaluation, prior to acceptance as an approved non-standard Alternative OWTS. Examples of these are bottomless sand filter OWTS and gravel-less pressurized dispersal channels.