Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems – Ultimate Guide

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Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems – What Are The Differences? Aerobic septic systems break down organic waste in the presence of oxygen in a process known as aerobic digestion. On the other hand, Anaerobic septic systems break down organic waste in the absence of oxygen in a process called anaerobic digestion. Most traditional or conventional septic systems are anaerobic.

State and county regulations require a percolation test before a septic tank installation. A percolation test determines how well water soaks through soil. It determines the permeability of the soil. The soil`s permeability is crucial in deciding the type of septic tank that suits your location.

Aerobic Septic System

In this section, we will explain how an aerobic septic system operates. Septic air pumps or aerators infuse oxygen into aerobic septic systems. Oxygen promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria which digest organic matter. How An Aerobic Septic System Works? Aerobic septic systems also known as aero septic systems consist of the following 4 chambers:

  • The first step in an aerobic septic system is the pre-treatment stage. This is typically carried out in a Trash Tank or a conventional septic tank. During this stage, sewage and wastewater are treated anaerobically. Solids are separated from the wastewater, and the liquid is sent to the next stage of treatment.
  • The next stage of treatment is the aeration chamber. In this chamber, a septic air pump or aerator infuses oxygen into the wastewater. This creates an oxygen-rich environment that encourages the growth of aerobic bacteria. These bacteria are able to digest organic matter, breaking it down and removing pollutants from the wastewater.
  • Once the effluent has been treated in the aeration chamber, it is discharged into the disinfection chamber. In this chamber, the effluent undergoes further treatment using UV light or chlorine. This helps to kill any remaining pathogens and bacteria, further purifying the effluent.
  • After the disinfection chamber, the effluent is sent to a pump tank. From here, it is either discharged into a drain field where it undergoes natural filtration, or it can be pumped to a sprinkler irrigation system on the surface.

Most aerobic septic systems are built with concrete or fiberglass. These materials are chosen because they are strong and durable, able to withstand the harsh environment of a septic system.

An aerobic septic system is a type of wastewater treatment system that uses oxygen and aerobic bacteria to break down and treat sewage and wastewater. It consists of several stages, including pre-treatment, aeration, disinfection, and pump tank. These systems are commonly used in rural areas where access to a municipal sewage treatment plant is not available.

Aerobic Septic System: Maintenance

Aerobic Septic System

Aerobic septic systems are a great way to go if you are looking for a sustainable and environmentally-friendly method of wastewater treatment. Maintenance is a key component in keeping your aerobic septic system running smoothly. If you have an aerobic system, do the following:

  1. An aerobic septic system requires an uninterrupted electricity supply so that the air pump or aerator can continuously infuse oxygen, which is vital to the survival of aerobic bacteria in the aeration chamber.
  2. Avoid sending a sporadic or small amount of organic matter to your septic system. Aerobic bacterial population require a constant supply of organic matter in order to thrive. Whenever you return from vacation, you need to reactivate your septic tank. You can use septic bacteria activators or add a cup of lime for a couple of days to your septic in order to kick-start or reactivate it.
  3. Septic system problems are a common occurrence and can be difficult to notice. Careful monitoring of the septic tank is usually done by the homeowner. One sign that something may be wrong is when you notice a foul odor or septic alarm going off. These tell-tale signs indicate that the aerobic septic system needs to be inspected and repaired by a professional as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems down the road.
  4. Do not forget to add chlorine tablets to the chlorinator on a regular basis. Chlorine tablets are added to the aerobic septic tank via the access port. Chlorine is essential in disinfecting effluent, so that it can be used for irrigating the ground. Do not use swimming pool chlorine because it is composed of trichloroisocyanuric acid. It will take a long time to dissolve and is also ineffective at treating effluent.

Aerobic Septic System Sprinkler Pump

A submersible effluent septic pump is the most common type of aerobic septic system sprinkler pump. They are available in a variety of sizes depending on the size of the tank. The advantages of this type of pump:


One of the main advantages of an aerobic septic system sprinkler pump is that it is self-priming.

Quiet operation

In addition to being self-priming, aerobic septic system sprinkler pumps are known for their quiet operation. While there is inevitably some noise associated with the motor of any pump, aerobic septic system sprinkler pumps are designed to be as quiet as possible, so they won’t disturb you or your neighbors while they are in operation.


It is efficient and has a low power consumption compared to other pumps because it uses direct pressure from the pipes to discharge effluent.

No pump cavitation

One of the potential drawbacks of some pumps is that they can suffer from a condition known as cavitation, where bubbles form in the liquid being pumped and cause damage to the pump’s internal components. Fortunately, aerobic septic system sprinkler pumps are designed to avoid this problem.

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Easy to operate

Overall, aerobic septic system sprinkler pumps are a reliable, efficient, and low-maintenance option for homeowners who want to maintain their septic system without any hassle. They are easy to operate and require minimal maintenance, and they are also relatively quiet and efficient, making them a popular choice among homeowners.

Aerobic Septic Bacteria

Aerobic septic bacteria is a type of bacteria that thrives in oxygen-rich environments. It is bigger in size and more efficient at digesting organic matter, compared to anaerobic bacteria. The by-product of aerobic digestion of waste is carbon dioxide and water. There is no foul odor because hydrogen sulfide or ammonia is not produced during aerobic digestion.

Advantages Of Aerobic Septic Systems

The advantages of aerobic septic systems are:

  • Aerobic septic systems can be used in a wide range of soil types even those with a high permeability.
  • Drastically reduces drain field clogging and prolongs the drain field’s life span.
  • Excellent for water conservation since the treated wastewater can be used for irrigation.
  • Aerobic septic systems produce a cleaner high-quality effluent and can be installed in areas with a high water table.

Aerobic Septic System: Cons

Some of the drawbacks of an aerobic septic system are:

  • Aerobic septic systems are more costly to install, maintain and operate compared to conventional septic systems. The installation cost ranges from $25,000 to $35,000.
  • Untreated wastewater can be released into the environment if any of the system’s components malfunction.
  • Aerobic septic systems are affected by long power outages. In order for aerobic septic systems to work properly, they require electrical power to pump oxygen into the aeration tank. During long power outages the aerobic bacteria in the aeration tank dies because of a lack of oxygen.
  • The blower is noisy.
  • Aerobic systems have to be monitored constantly, whereas anaerobic systems do not.

Aerobic Septic System Problems

An aerobic septic system is a type of septic system that uses oxygen to break down and treat wastewater. These systems are often used in areas where traditional septic systems are not feasible, such as in areas with high water tables or limited space. However, like any mechanical system, aerobic septic systems can experience problems from time to time. A wailing septic alarm can be a sign of a problem with an aerobic septic system. Some possible reasons for a wailing alarm include:


If the aerobic septic system is not functioning, one potential issue could be a lack of power. Check to see if the system is getting power by checking the electrical panel and ensuring that the circuit breaker has not tripped. If the system is receiving power but is still not functioning, it may be a problem with the control panel or other electrical components within the system.

Clogged Chlorinator

The chlorinator is responsible for adding chlorine to the wastewater as it passes through the system. If the chlorinator becomes clogged, it may not be able to properly treat the effluent before it is discharged to the irrigation sprinkler. To check for a clogged chlorinator, remove the chlorinator and inspect it for any blockages or debris.

Malfunctioning Submersible Pump

The submersible pump is responsible for moving wastewater through the system. If the pump is not working properly, it can cause a variety of issues, including backups and overflows. There are several potential reasons for a faulty submersible septic pump. Some common causes include bad float, faulty wiring and damaged parts. It is important to diagnose and fix any issues with a submersible septic pump as soon as possible to prevent further damage and ensure that the system is functioning properly. If the problem cannot be identified or the pump cannot be repaired, it may be necessary to replace the pump entirely.

Low Air Pressure

Aerobic septic systems rely on air to help break down the wastewater and keep the system functioning properly. If the system is experiencing low air pressure, it may be due to a problem with the air pump or an issue with the air diffusers. To fix this problem, check the air pump for any damage or wear and tear and clean or replace the diffusers if necessary.

Broken Timer Or Photocell

The timer and photocell are responsible for controlling the operation of the aerobic septic system. If either of these components is not functioning properly, it can cause a variety of issues, including the pump not turning on or off at the correct times.

Anaerobic Septic System

Anaerobic septic systems are a type of sewage system that uses anaerobic bacteria to break down the solids in wastewater. Unlike aerobic septic systems, which use oxygen to break down waste, anaerobic systems rely on bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen. During anaerobic digestion bacteria breaks down the organic matter and produces methane gas and hydrogen sulphide gas as byproducts.

One of the major upsides of anaerobic septic systems is their cost. They are generally much cheaper to install, operate, and maintain than aerobic systems, which require the use of specialized equipment such as aeration tanks and blowers. Additionally, anaerobic systems are not affected by power outages, which can cause problems for aerobic systems.

However, there are also some downsides to anaerobic septic systems. One of the main drawbacks is their low efficiency at digesting waste matter. Because the bacteria in anaerobic systems do not have access to oxygen, they are not able to break down solids as effectively as the bacteria in aerobic systems. As a result, the effluent from anaerobic systems often contains a higher level of pathogens and contaminants, which must be filtered out in the drain field. Another potential downside of anaerobic septic systems is the production of foul odors. Because the process of anaerobic digestion produces hydrogen sulphide gas as a byproduct, anaerobic septic systems can sometimes produce unpleasant smells. This can be particularly noticeable when the system is not properly maintained, or if the bacteria in the tank are not able to break down the waste matter effectively.

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Anaerobic Septic System: Flammable Gases

One of the main downsides of anaerobic septic systems is the production of flammable gases. These gases are produced as a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process, and can pose a serious safety risk if they are not properly managed.


Methane is a colorless and odorless gas that is highly flammable and can be explosive in certain concentrations. It is commonly produced by anaerobic septic systems, and can build up in the air above the septic tank if it is not properly vented. This can create a potentially dangerous situation, as methane gas can be ignited by a spark or other ignition source, causing an explosion.

Hydrogen sulphide gas

Hydrogen sulphide gas is another flammable gas that is produced by anaerobic septic systems. This gas is easily recognizable by its strong, rotten egg-like odor. It is also highly toxic, and can cause serious health problems if inhaled in high concentrations. Like methane, hydrogen sulphide gas can build up in the air above the septic tank if it is not properly vented, creating a potential safety hazard.

Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems: Venting the septic tank

To prevent the production of flammable gases in anaerobic septic systems, it is important to properly vent the septic tank and monitor the levels of gases in the air above the tank. This can help to ensure that dangerous levels of gases do not accumulate, and can help to prevent accidents and injuries. Regular maintenance of the septic system is also important, as this can help to prevent the build-up of gases and other problems that can affect the safety and performance of the system.

Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems: FAQs

In this section of the ‘Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems’ Article we will explore some frequently asked questions:

Do Aerobic Septic Systems Have A Leach Field

An aerobic septic system does have a leach field that removes pathogens through a vigorous filtration process from partially treated effluent before its seeps into the ground.

How Long Do Aerobic Septic Systems Last

Aerobic septic systems are typically designed to last 25-40 years. The lifespan, however, is dependent on how often the system is used and the quality of maintenance it receives.

Aerobic Septic System Cost

The aerobic septic system is a system that uses aerobic bacteria to break down sewage, which is a much more efficient and environmentally friendly way to dispose of wastewater. The aerobic septic system cost can be an expensive investment, but it will save you money in the long run. A typical aerobic system costs about $10,000 to $35,000 to install. It also requires electricity to operate and requires more maintenance since it has a lot of pumps and parts.

Convert Anaerobic To Aerobic Septic

Converting your anaerobic septic system to an aerobic system can provide numerous benefits for your property and the environment. Aerobic systems use oxygen to break down organic matter more efficiently, resulting in improved performance and increased treatment capacity. Additionally, aerobic systems are known to reduce odors and sludge buildup, promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. However, converting to an aerobic system requires careful planning and installation, as well as regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance.

Aerobic Septic Products

Aerobic septic products are designed to help maintain and improve the health of septic systems. These systems are an important part of many homes and businesses, and proper maintenance is essential to ensure they continue to function properly.

One common type of aerobic septic product is aerobic bacterial additives. These are designed to introduce beneficial aerobic bacteria into the septic system, which helps break down waste. Another popular aerobic septic product is enzymes. These are proteins that can help break down waste in the septic system, making it easier for the beneficial bacteria to do their job. Chlorine tablets are another common aerobic septic product. These tablets can be added to the septic system to treat the effluent so that it can be used for irrigation purposes.

Overall, aerobic septic products can be an effective way to maintain the health of septic systems and prevent costly problems. By introducing beneficial bacteria and breaking down waste, these products can help ensure that septic systems continue to function properly and effectively.

What will ruin a septic system?

Septic systems are not invincible. If you do not maintain your system, it can become damaged, causing a backup in your home or septic tank. There are many things that could cause problems for a septic system and cause it to fail. There are some things that you can do to avoid problems with your septic system:

  • One common cause for septic failure is grease being put down the drain and into your septic system. Septic Bacteria does not digest grease. Grease will clog up your pipes and cause them to back up, which will then lead to an overflow and will ultimately ruin your septic system.
    You should use a grease trap in your kitchen. The purpose of a grease trap is to prevent kitchen grease, oils and fats from being released into the septic system, where they can cause major clogging problems.
  • Avoid using Antibacterial Soap because they kill septic bacteria.
  • Planting trees over the drain field will ruin your septic system. Tree roots will clog and damage your septic pipes.
  • The rise of feminine hygiene products has been a blessing for women. However, it can also led to serious septic system failures. The first problem is that these products are not biodegradable and will eventually clog the tank leading to overflows and a costly repair. They should never be flushed down the toilet.
  • Not pumping your septic tank will ruin your septic system. Pumping a septic tank is important because it prevents the septic tank from becoming clogged by scum, solids and sludge that accumulates over time. Clogging can cause sewage to back up into a person’s house and cause some serious health hazards. Typically, a septic system needs to be pumped every 3 to 5 years.
  • Lint and fibers from synthetic clothes cannot be digested by septic bacteria. They accumulate and eventually clog the septic system, leaving you with a costly repair bill. A solution is to install a Washing Machine Lint Filter For Septic.
  • Drain cleaners are used to clean organic matter that has accumulated in pipes. The use of drain cleaners for clearing clogs in the home’s plumbing system is not advised, as it kills septic bacteria, and it corrodes septic pipes. Vinegar, baking soda and Enzyme drain cleaners are natural and safe alternatives to chemical drain cleaners.
    Enzymatic drain cleaners can be used to clean drains. They contain both enzymes and bacteria that work together to break down the organic matter that is clogging the drain. Enzymatic drain cleaners are a safe solution for all types of drains, including septic tanks, grease traps and sewer lines. Plus, they are biodegradable and environmentally friendly, so you don’t have to worry about harming the planet with your cleaning products! Yeast is eco-friendly and can be used to digest septic waste that is clogging septic pipes.
  • If you use latex products, you should be aware of the fact that they can damage your septic tank. This is because latex products are made from a material called nitrile, which is not biodegradable and does not decompose. Therefore, it is best to avoid flashing latex products down the toilet.
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Does hair dissolve in a septic tank?

This is a question that many people have asked. The answer is a resounding no. Hair will not dissolve in a septic tank because the bacteria that are present in the tank are not able to digest keratin, the protein that makes up hair. When hair enters a septic tank, it will remain largely unchanged, and over time it can accumulate and cause clogs in the system. This can lead to reduced performance of the septic system and potentially even costly repairs.

To prevent hair from clogging a septic system, it is important to properly maintain the system and avoid introducing large amounts of hair into the tank. This can be done by installing hair filters in sinks and showers, and regularly cleaning the filters to remove any accumulated hair. It is also important to avoid flushing materials that are not biodegradable, such as plastic or other non-organic materials, as these can also cause clogs in the septic system.

By taking these steps and properly maintaining a septic system, it is possible to avoid problems caused by hair and other materials that do not break down in the septic tank.

Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems: Is vinegar good for septic systems?

Vinegar can be helpful in maintaining a septic system because it is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. It does not kill septic bacteria. Vinegar breaks down organic matter, such as grease and soap scum, that can accumulate in a septic system and cause blockages. Additionally, vinegar is biodegradable and eco-friendly, making it a good choice for use in a septic system.

Can you use a garbage disposal with an aerobic septic system?

The answer is a resounding no! The garbage disposal is a device in your kitchen that grinds up food waste into small particles and sends it to the plumbing system for disposal. These solids (small particles) settle at the bottom of the septic tank and quickly build up since septic bacteria cannot quickly digest it.

Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems: Final Thoughts

Aerobic septic systems are more expensive to install and maintain than anaerobic septic systems. They also require a constant supply of oxygen in order to work. However, they are more environmentally friendly because they release a cleaner effluent. Overall, anaerobic septic systems can be a cost-effective option for some locations, but they are not suitable for all situations. Careful consideration should be given to the pros and cons of Aerobic Vs Anaerobic Septic Systems before making a decision on which type of septic system is best for a particular location.

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