Wait… Is that really even a thing?
I DON’T THINK ITS EVEN A WORD.
Shockingly, yes. Evapotranspiration (also known as an ET system) is an ACTUAL thing and one that is actually very important to the world of wastewater. It may not seem like a real thing, but we promise – it is… So instead of it being a word with too many letters, what is it exactly?
Well, an evapotranspiration bed treats wastewater by using the loss of water from the soil (evaporation) and the loss of water from the plants growing there (transpiration). Simple? It kind of is, actually, even though the name won’t make you think it is. And the whole point of an ET bed is to give the homeowner an alternate way of dealing with the filtered wastewater.
There is a lot that goes into the design of an ET system (frequency of rain, type of soil, space available on the property to build, etc.). But that isn’t really something you need to worry about; those are the types of things that a qualified wastewater company can design and figure out for your home. The main thing to know is ET beds still use a standard septic system to treat the water, they only differ on HOW the wastewater is taken care of after it’s treated.
One of the great things about the ET system is that it can be used in clay soil. And since we are in Central Texas, an area with abundant clay soils, an ET system could be an alternate option to an aerobic system. When you’re dealing with heavy clay soils, this system can be adapted to a wide-variety of property types. However, there is a catch. If you have an ET system, you must maintain your system by pumping and manually alternating the flow of waste to fields periodically via a manual valve.
How does the water get treated? Well it is designed to treat your wastewater like a conventional system but it just uses a unique, natural way of dealing with the sanitized wastewater. As well, like a conventional system, the ET system does not require a maintenance contract.