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Traditional Septic Systems: When to Repair or Replace

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Many people ask us if they can repair their traditional septic system’s lateral lines and if they are required to install an aerobic system for their next septic system replacement. There are a couple factors that play into each scenario, so let’s take a look.

Opportunities for Repair

If your system has absorption problems or issues with the lateral lines, your first instinct may be to repair the lateral lines. In order to do this, your system must meet current regulations and have an identified, specific area that requires repair.
Examples of potential specific repairs include:

  • Blockages found at an exact location
  • Specific parts of the system broken by a vehicle or machine
  • Separation of pipes or a belly in a pipe

When to Replace Your Septic System

If the system is old or is having a general absorption issue, replacement is probably the best route. If you believe you require a septic system replacement, you may be wondering if you are required to install an aerobic system. The answer depends mostly on the soil and site conditions. If your property has good absorptive soil, it may be possible to install a new drain field or lateral system while meeting the current regulations. Here in Texas, if the property is rocky or contains a high amount of clay, you will likely require an aerobic system. Although the old system may have been “grandfathered in,” the new system must meet current regulations.


For 86+ years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has withstood the test of time as the leading Wastewater System company, providing San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can count on now and in the future. 

Call us for any of your wastewater systems needs and let our professionals help you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Boerne).