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How do Ecoflo biofilter septic systems work?

Premier Tech Water and Environment technician checking that the Ecoflo compact biofilter works properly.

Building or renovating your home is exciting. But if your project includes a new septic system, especially in a tight space or tricky soil, you may start to feel overwhelmed.

Enter Ecoflo — the simple choice, especially if you care about sustainability.

Wondering why it’s the best option? The secret is in the way Ecoflo septic systems work. Let's explain by looking at two Ecoflo products, the compact biofilter and linear biofilter. We'll show you their parts, how they treat and disperse your wastewater, and why their designs are a cut above the rest.

How the Ecoflo compact biofilter works

2D diagram of how an advanced septic system works, including the septic tank, the advanced treatment unit, and the septic drain field.


The Ecoflo compact biofilter is Premier Tech Water and Environment's most popular septic system in the United States. It has remained a best-seller since we released it in 1995.

The system can be divided into three main sections: the septic tank, the compact biofilter, and the dispersal area.

Primary treatment in the septic tank

Like conventional septic systems, this installation begins with a septic tank. The tank receives raw wastewater from your home, including sewage and greywater. It separates liquid waste from solid waste.

Secondary treatment in the Ecoflo compact biofilter

The heart of this septic system is the compact biofilter. Depending on the conditions of your site, this specialized tank is made from one of the following materials:

  • polyethylene
  • concrete
  • fiberglass

The biofilter receives liquid waste from your septic tank and filters it through sustainable coconut husk fragments or a combination of coco and peat moss.

The filtering medium acts as a physical barrier that traps pollutants. Naturally occurring microorganisms in the filter break down contaminants to ensure that only treated wastewater leaves the unit.


Effluent dispersal

The Ecoflo compact biofilter can disperse effluent (treated wastewater) in one of two ways: through a septic drain field or into a stream or ditch. Both methods meet certification standards and protect your property and your family from harmful pollutants.

  • Septic drain field
    On most properties, the Ecoflo compact biofilter sends effluent to a septic drain field (some people call it a leach field or seepage bed). When effluent reaches the drain field, it trickles through a bed of imported granular materials and native soil. It then returns to the groundwater below. Sand and gravel are common granular materials, but their use and quantities depend on the regulations in your area.
  • Stream or ditch
    If your property has rocky, clay, or otherwise impermeable soil, a drain field may not be possible. In that case, the Ecoflo compact biofilter can be combined with a UV disinfection system. This tertiary treatment system allows you to safely discharge wastewater into a stream or ditch.

How the Ecoflo linear biofilter works

2D diagram of how the Ecoflo linear biofilter works.

The Ecoflo linear biofilter is Premier Tech Water and Environment's newest septic system. We released it in New York, Vermont, and other states in March 2024.

This solution can be divided into three main sections: the septic tank, the dosing and distribution system, and the linear biofilter.

Primary treatment in the septic tank

This installation also begins with a septic tank. The tank receives untreated wastewater from the toilets, sinks, showers, and other fixtures in your home.

Your septic tank contains bacteria that break down organic matter. Heavy solids settle on the bottom of the tank and fats and oils float to the top. Only the clarified liquid that forms between these two layers exits the tank.

Dosing and distribution system

Depending on the configuration of your installation, liquid waste from your septic tank flows into one of these devices:

  • hydraulic dosing device
  • pumping station with a distribution box
  • pumping station with a low-pressure distribution system

These devices work a bit differently, but they have a similar purpose. Their job is to evenly distribute doses of wastewater to each section of the linear biofilter.

Secondary treatment and dispersal in the Ecoflo linear biofilter

The Ecoflo linear biofilter is a combined treatment and dispersal system. That means it purifies wastewater and releases it into the environment in the same spot.

The system contains lines of treatment modules with coco filtration pads. The tops of the modules have distribution channels (troughs) with tiny holes. When your dosing system sends wastewater along these channels, it trickles through the holes and falls evenly across the coco filtration pads.

Secondary treatment begins as wastewater percolates through the pads. The coco creates a physical barrier that traps contaminants. Naturally occurring microorganisms then break down pollutants.

From the pads, wastewater flows through a layer of sand. It then disperses into your site’s soil before returning to groundwater.

Ecoflo linear biofilter treatment module, including the coco filtration pad.

Ecoflo septic system design benefits

The Ecoflo compact biofilter has a unique design that sets it apart from other septic systems. Its advantages make it a smart long-term investment that gives you the dual benefit of environmental responsibility and full enjoyment of your rural property.


All septic systems eventually clog with suspended solids and other pollutants. Because most systems are buried and inaccessible, clogging means you need to excavate and fully replace your installation.

Not so with the Ecoflo compact biofilter. It is fully accessible. When its coco (or coco and peat) filtering medium clogs, we simply remove it and install a new one in the same tank. The system itself is installed for life.

Renewable and compostable filtering medium

Other advanced systems filter wastewater through plastics, geotextiles, and other non-renewable materials.

Ecoflo is more sustainable. It filters your wastewater through all-natural coconut husk fragments that are compostable and 100% renewable.

Compact size

With traditional septic systems, the bulk of treatment happens in the septic drain field. The space required for this job can take up a large portion of your yard.

When you use the Ecoflo system, all treatment happens in the biofilter. This reduces the size of your drain field, resulting in a final footprint that is up to 50% smaller than other systems.

Premier Tech Water and Environment's coconut filter for the Ecoflo compact biofilter septic system.

Natural processes

By using passive physical and biological processes to purify your wastewater, the Ecoflo compact biofilter eliminates the need for chemicals and energy-intensive treatment methods that increase ownership costs.

Want to know if Ecoflo is right for you?

Our septic system experts are waiting to hear about your project. Share your ideas with us and we’ll recommend the best solution for your home, cottage, or business.

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