As an alternative to a conventional septic
field, you may want to consider a sub-surface flow wetland. This is
a much more environmentally sound approach to handling waste water
than a septic field.
The constructed wetland actually CLEANS the
waste water before releasing it to a drain field. There is no odor
or open water. In fact, the treatment area looks like a garden
space filled with water loving perennials.
The principle is very simple. The waste water
flows horizontally through a gravel bed with plants growing in it.
The plant roots filter the water and remove the nutrients. The
plants also help support the growth of beneficial bacteria. The
bacteria break down the waste products into a form that the plants
Covering this gravel bed is an insulating
blanket of peat moss. The peat moss keeps the bed warm enough
during the winter that it still works effectively. It also keeps
any odors from escaping.
You will still need a septic tank and drain
field, but this drain field will be half the normal size. Unlike
other engineered systems, there is no mechanical equipment to
operate or maintain. The costs are similar to other engineered
waste water disposal systems.