Purdue Residential Onsite Wastewater Disposal:  Septic system information to protect your family and the environment

System Alternatives

Most septic systems are conventional systems--they have a septic tank with absorption trenches. However, there are several types of alternative systems. (Click each for an example. NOTE: no endorsement or discrimination of products or companies is intended.) These alternative systems are not widely used at this time. One reason is that more research is needed to better understand the conditions that make these systems safe and effective. Such research is underway at Purdue's Throckmorton Farm.

Another reason these alternatives are not widely used is that you have to go through the State. Often there is red-tape involved. For instance, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) requires monthly monitoring for 3 years following installation.

Educational Tutorials

Purdue Extension Publications

The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service has published a booklet on the proper design and construction of the home wastewater wetland. This publication is available from the Farm Building Plan Service and are also available in pdf format:

Other Resources