The Aerobic Septic System Explained

An Aerobic Septic System treats wastewater for homes and small businesses using the same(just scaled down) process as our municipal wastewater treatment system. They remove 98% of the organic matter and solids from the wastewater, producing effluent (discharge) water as clean as municipal wastewater treatment plants, and cleaner than that from conventional septic tanks.

Aerobic Septic Systems incoporate four of the major bacteria in our body. We only use a low number but the rate of replication is quite literally one billion in an hour, so your water stays very clean. With thousands of sub-types, The four major kinds of bacteria are:

Bacillus
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Nocardia
Lactobacillus

Aerobic units are certified through the NSF and treat wastewater well enough to be used in conjunction with sprinkler heads to water your lawn

Five-step treatment

The aerobic treatment process includes multiple components that work together to purify wastewater:

1.   The first tank is called a pretreatment tank, or “trash tank”, because it removes materials that microorganisms (microbes) cannot degrade. Feminine hygeine products, baby wipes, and various plastics are nonbiodegradable. Anything that will take too long to degrade within the 24-hour time frame the system is rated to treat the wastewater.

That is the reason this tank is essential;  it helps the quality of water entering and leaving the aeration. Some systems don’t require a trash tank, but your maintenance cost will soar without one. The extra thousand to fifteen hundred dollars is well worth it. We will not install a system without a trash tank.

2.    The aeration chamber is where aerobic microbes decompose waste in the water. This is what the NSF has to certify and approve to treat the water and why choosing your installer and system is essential.  An aeration system consists of a septic air pump, or septic aerator, like a Hiblow or Gast, and a regenerative blower that puts air into the system making it aerobic. Piping, in conjunction with diffusers, guides the air to the correct location to force air into the aeration chamber and keep aerobic bacteria alive. The bacteria that break down your waste require air and this is why it’s an aerobic system. This is the most cost-effective natural way to get high-quality water from wastewater. All the necessary bacteria come from your body and nothing else is required but oxygen. This biological process is fast and fantastic as the bacteria do all the work eating the waste, and each other, keeping a perfect balance of food and organisms in the tank. The bacteria digest this waste in the form of a nonpolluting material.

3.    The diffuser divides the air into small bubbles that break up before they reach the surface to create dissolved oxygen. The dissolved oxygen goes into the water so the bacteria can propagate and thrive, while at the same time mixing the water to break down solids in the water. It is essential to check on the diffusers as some companies use ones that clog fast and need to be replaced every two years or so.

4.    A settling chamber, commonly called a clarifier, provides a place for the sludge that’s been stirred up to settle out of the water. The sludge and trash settling out of the water prevents them from passing into your pump tank. If these materials got into your pump tank it would cause premature failure of your field lines or pump. It also removes the wastewater from the oxygen-rich environment lowering the BOD levels and the levels of total suspended solids, or TSS.

5.    A pump tank for the treated water is usually the final step. Treated water disperses through the pump tank via sprinkler heads, drip irrigation, pressured field lines, or gravity field lines. Most systems in the south use a chlorine type of disinfection unit as a final treatment before discharge. It removes the rest of the disease-causing microorganisms. The specific kind of discharge system you’ll have depends on what area of the country you live in. Some states areas won’t require a pump tank as the water will gravity feen out of the system.