When it comes to a septic system, there are two basic options known as aerobic and anaerobic treatment. At Metro Septic, we can help you determine which choice is best for your particular needs. An aerobic septic system, also known as an aerobic treatment unit (ATU) or aerobic wastewater treatment system, is an alternative to traditional septic systems for treating household wastewater. It utilizes oxygen to facilitate the breakdown of organic matter and the treatment of wastewater.
Unlike anaerobic septic systems that rely on bacteria that function in an oxygen-deprived environment, aerobic septic systems introduce air into the treatment process to support the growth of aerobic bacteria, which are more efficient in breaking down waste.
How Does an Aerobic Septic System Work?
Here’s a general overview of the components and process included inside an aerobic septic treatment system:
Wastewater Treatment Tank
The system consists of a treatment tank, often referred to as an aerobic tank or aerobic digestion tank. This tank is designed to provide the ideal conditions for aerobic bacteria to thrive. It is typically larger than a traditional septic tank and has additional features like aeration mechanisms.
The key component of an aerobic septic system is the introduction of air or oxygen into the treatment tank. This is achieved through various methods such as air diffusers, mechanical aerators, or surface aeration systems. The added oxygen supports the growth of aerobic bacteria, which require oxygen to break down organic matter more efficiently.
The aerobic bacteria present in the system digest and decompose the organic waste in the wastewater, converting it into simpler forms. This process helps to reduce the levels of organic pollutants, pathogens, and nutrients in the wastewater.
After the wastewater undergoes bacterial digestion in the treatment tank, it typically flows into a clarifier or settling chamber. In this chamber, the solids and sludge settle to the bottom, while clarified water rises to the top.
Disinfection and Distribution
The clarified water then moves to a disinfection stage where it is treated to kill any remaining pathogens or harmful microorganisms. Common methods of disinfection include chlorination or ultraviolet (UV) light treatment. Once disinfected, the treated water can be safely released into the environment or used for irrigation purposes, depending on local regulations.
Aerobic septic systems generally require more maintenance compared to traditional septic systems. Regular inspections, air compressor checks, and periodic pumping of the aerobic tank are typically necessary to ensure proper functioning and prevent system failure. Metro Septic can handle your tank’s manufacturer guidelines as well as the local regulations for maintenance and upkeep.
Reasons to Consider an Aerobic Treatment System
At Metro Septic, we recognize the many reasons why our clients opt for an aerobic septic system over other types of wastewater treatment systems, including the following:
Enhanced Treatment Efficiency
Aerobic septic systems offer a higher level of treatment efficiency compared to traditional anaerobic septic systems. The introduction of oxygen supports the growth of aerobic bacteria, which are more effective in breaking down organic matter, reducing pathogens, and removing nutrients from the wastewater. This results in cleaner and clearer effluent.
Aerobic septic systems can be beneficial for the environment. The enhanced treatment process helps to reduce the levels of pollutants, pathogens, and nutrients in the wastewater before it is discharged or reused. This can contribute to better water quality and minimize the potential for contamination of groundwater, surface water, and nearby ecosystems.
Versatility and Site Suitability
Aerobic septic systems can be more versatile in terms of site suitability compared to traditional septic systems. They may be suitable for properties with challenging soil conditions, high water tables, or sites near environmentally sensitive areas. Additionally, aerobic systems can often be designed to handle higher wastewater volumes, making them suitable for larger households or commercial applications.
In some areas, local regulations or building codes may require the use of aerobic septic systems for certain types of properties or specific site conditions. Choosing an aerobic septic system ensures compliance with these regulations and helps avoid potential legal issues or delays in obtaining permits.
Aerobic septic systems tend to produce fewer odors compared to anaerobic systems. The increased presence of oxygen and the efficient breakdown of organic matter help minimize unpleasant odors associated with traditional septic systems.
Long-Term Cost Savings
Although aerobic septic systems may have higher upfront costs compared to traditional septic systems, they can offer long-term cost savings. The enhanced treatment efficiency can result in reduced maintenance needs and longer intervals between pump-outs. Additionally, the treated effluent may be suitable for reuse in irrigation systems, potentially reducing water costs.
It’s important to note that the suitability and benefits of an aerobic septic system can vary depending on factors such as site conditions, local regulations, and specific wastewater treatment needs. Our experts at Metro Septic in Cartersville can determine the most suitable wastewater treatment option for your specific circumstances.