How An Aerobic Septic System Works

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An aerobic septic system uses aerobic bacteria to break down and treat sewage. It’s an alternative to the traditional septic system, which relies on anaerobic bacteria to treat the wastewater. Aerobic septic systems are becoming more popular due to their effectiveness in treating wastewater and reducing the risk of environmental contamination. In this article, we’ll explore how an aerobic septic system works. We will explore its advantages and disadvantages, and some common maintenance practices to keep it running smoothly.

How An Aerobic Septic System Works

aerobic septic system

An aerobic septic system typically consists of four main parts:

  1. The pretreatment tank is the first chamber of the aerobic septic system, where raw sewage enters the tank and undergoes anaerobic treatment. In this tank, heavy solids are removed from the wastewater, and the remaining effluent is then pumped into the aeration chamber.
  2. Aeration Chamber: The aeration chamber is where the aerobic treatment process occurs. The chamber is filled with air, and oxygen is supplied to the wastewater through an aerator. Aerobic bacteria then use the oxygen to break down and digest the organic matter in the wastewater, reducing the number of pathogens and pollutants.
  3. After the wastewater has been treated in the aeration chamber, it moves to the disinfection chamber, where it is treated with  ultraviolet light or chlorine or other disinfectants to kill any remaining pathogens.
  4. The treated wastewater exits the disinfection chamber and enters the pump tank, where it’s either pumped to the leach field for final treatment and disposal or directed to an above-ground sprinkler irrigation system.

Above-Ground Sprinkler Irrigation System

How An Aerobic Septic System Works

An above-ground sprinkler irrigation system is one option for disposing of the treated wastewater from an aerobic septic system. This type of system involves spraying the treated wastewater onto a designated area of the property using a sprinkler system, which allows the water to be absorbed into the soil and vegetation.

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While this method can be effective, there are some factors to consider. First, the system must be designed to ensure that the treated wastewater is evenly distributed across the designated area and that it doesn’t create runoff or cause erosion. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that the area where the sprinklers are located is well away from any water sources, such as wells or bodies of water, to prevent contamination.

To ensure the safe and efficient use of an above-ground sprinkler irrigation system, it’s essential to follow local regulations and guidelines. The system must be designed and installed by a licensed professional (+1 877-851-7125) and must include a backflow prevention device to prevent contamination of the potable water supply. Regular maintenance and inspection are also necessary to ensure that the system is functioning correctly and to prevent any potential health hazards.

Overall, the use of an above-ground sprinkler irrigation system in aerobic septic systems provides a practical and sustainable method of wastewater disposal that benefits both the environment and the property owner.

Upsides & Downsides Of Aerobic Septic System

An aerobic septic system is a modern approach to wastewater treatment that uses aerobic bacteria to break down organic waste. While there are advantages to this type of system, there are also some downsides to consider.

One significant advantage of aerobic septic systems is their ability to function on poor soils. Unlike traditional septic systems that require specific soil conditions, aerobic systems can be installed on almost any type of soil. Additionally, this system can extend the lifespan of the drain field, which is the area where the wastewater is dispersed after treatment.

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However, one of the downsides of aerobic septic systems is the noise generated by the septic air pump or blower. The blower is an essential component of the system that helps circulate oxygen to facilitate the breakdown of organic matter. Unfortunately, it can be quite noisy, and this can be a significant disturbance to homeowners.

Another disadvantage of aerobic septic system is the high cost of installation and maintenance. Aerobic systems are generally more expensive than a traditional anaerobic septic system, and they require more frequent maintenance to ensure proper function. This can make them an impractical choice for some homeowners.

Additionally, if the system is not adequately vented, the odor of decomposing waste can become noticeable. This can be particularly problematic in neighborhoods where homes are close together.

Another downside is the system’s power consumption. The septic air pump requires electricity to operate, and the system can consume a significant amount of power. This can result in higher energy bills for homeowners.

Finally, poorly maintained aerobic septic systems can contaminate the environment. If the system is not regularly serviced, it can cause untreated wastewater to leach into the ground and potentially contaminate nearby water sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to “How An Aerobic Septic System Works”.

Can you flush toilet paper with an aerobic septic system?

Yes, it is safe to flush toilet paper with an aerobic septic system. Unlike some other types of septic systems, aerobic systems can handle toilet paper and other biodegradable items.

Do aerobic septic systems need to be pumped?

Do aerobic septic systems need to be pumped?

Yes, aerobic septic systems still require pumping. While they do have a mechanism for breaking down waste, they still produce solid waste that needs to be removed from the tank periodically.

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How often should you empty an aerobic septic tank?

The frequency of pumping an aerobic septic tank will depend on the tank’s size and the number of people in the household. In general, aerobic tanks need to be pumped every 3-5 years.

How do you know when your aerobic septic tank is full?

The signs that the tank may be full include:

  • Slow-draining sinks and toilets.
  • Gurgling sounds coming from the toilets and drains.
  • Foul odors around the tank.
  • Wet and soggy patches around the septic tank or drain field.
  • Lush, green grass over or near the drain field, which may indicate that the soil is saturated with sewage.

How do I stop my aerobic septic tank from smelling?

Proper ventilation and regular maintenance can help prevent odors from an aerobic septic tank. Make sure the system is properly vented and that the blower is functioning correctly. Regular pumping and cleaning of the tank can also help keep odors at bay.

How much electricity does an aerobic septic system use?

The amount of electricity an aerobic septic system uses will vary depending on the size of the system. On average, these systems use around 100 watts of electricity.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, aerobic septic systems are an efficient and environmentally friendly method of treating and disposing of wastewater. The four main components of the system work together to break down and treat the wastewater before it’s discharged or reused. However, like any other system, aerobic septic systems require regular maintenance and inspection to function correctly. It’s essential to follow local regulations and guidelines to ensure the safe and effective use of the system.