Aero septic systems also known as Aerobic septic systems are an efficient and effective way of treating wastewater in areas where a conventional septic system is not feasible. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the workings of an aerobic septic system, its components, and the benefits of using it.
What Are Aero Septic Systems?
What are Aero Septic Systems? Aero septic systems are wastewater treatment systems that utilize aerobic bacteria to break down and treat sewage. They are different from conventional septic systems that use anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria require oxygen to break down and treat the waste, making the systems more efficient and effective.
An aerobic septic system is a wastewater treatment system that operates using oxygen-loving bacteria to break down organic matter in four separate chambers.
1. Pre-treatment Chamber
The first chamber is the pre-treatment or trash chamber, which can consist of a septic tank that uses anaerobic bacteria to treat the wastewater or a trash or settling tank that separates solids from the wastewater. The wastewater is then sent to the aeration chamber.
2. Aeration Chamber
The second chamber is the aeration chamber, where oxygen is pumped into the wastewater to promote the growth of aerobic bacteria. These bacteria break down the organic matter and convert it into carbon dioxide, water, and lesser harmful effluent. This process is crucial in removing pollutants from the wastewater and ensuring that the effluent produced is of high quality and safe for discharge.
Aerobic Bacteria Vs Anaerobic Bacteria?
Aerobic bacteria are microorganisms that require oxygen to survive and carry out their metabolic processes. They are efficient at digesting wastewater because they can break down organic matter more completely than anaerobic bacteria. This is due to several properties of aerobic bacteria:
- Oxygen requirement: Aerobic bacteria require oxygen to grow and metabolize. This allows them to carry out oxidative reactions, which are more efficient at breaking down organic matter than the fermentative reactions used by anaerobic bacteria.
- Energy production: Aerobic bacteria produce energy through aerobic respiration, which generates more ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules than anaerobic respiration. This allows them to grow and reproduce more rapidly, and to break down more organic matter.
- Nutrient utilization: Aerobic bacteria are better able to utilize a wider range of nutrients than anaerobic bacteria, which can be limited in their ability to break down certain types of organic matter.
- Waste products: Aerobic bacteria produce carbon dioxide and water as waste products, which are less harmful to the environment than the methane and hydrogen sulfide produced by anaerobic bacteria.
Overall, the properties of aerobic bacteria make them more efficient at digesting wastewater than anaerobic bacteria. By breaking down organic matter more completely and producing less harmful waste products, aerobic bacteria help to ensure that wastewater is treated effectively and safely.
3. Clarifier Chamber
After treatment in the second chamber, the effluent is then discharged into the clarifier also known as disinfection chamber.
In the third step of the process, the treated effluent is disinfected to remove any remaining bacteria or viruses. This is important to ensure that the effluent is safe for discharge into the environment or reuse. Disinfection can be done through different methods, such as using ultraviolet light or chlorine.
In the disinfection chamber, the effluent is exposed to ultraviolet light, which destroys any remaining bacteria or viruses. Alternatively, chlorine can be added to the effluent to kill the remaining microorganisms. After the disinfection process, the treated wastewater is considered to be of high quality and safe for discharge into drain field or for reuse in irrigation or other non-potable uses.
4. Aero Septic Systems: Pump Chamber
After the effluent is disinfected, it is then discharged to the pump chamber. The pump chamber is the final stage in the aerobic septic system, where the effluent is either pumped to an above-ground sprinkler system or dispersed to the leach field. The leach field is an underground area where the treated effluent can seep into the soil and be further filtered before entering the groundwater.
If the effluent is pumped to an above-ground sprinkler system, it is then sprayed onto the surface of the ground for irrigation purposes. This method of effluent disposal is commonly used in arid regions where water is scarce and can help conserve water resources.
Alternatively, if the effluent is dispersed to the leach field, it is released into a series of perforated pipes buried in the ground. The wastewater seeps through the pipes and into the surrounding soil, where it is further filtered and treated by natural processes.
Why Choose an Aerobic Septic System?
There are several reasons why homeowners may choose to install an aerobic septic system. Some of the Benefits of an Aerobic Septic System:
- Aerobic bacteria are more efficient at breaking down organic matter and removing pollutants from wastewater than anaerobic bacteria. This results in cleaner and safer effluent, which can be safely discharged into the environment or reused for non-potable purposes.
- Can be used on poor soil types that may not be suitable for other types of septic systems.
- Effective for challenging topography, making it a good option for difficult installations.
- More environmentally friendly, as it uses a smaller drain field footprint, reducing the system’s impact on the surrounding land.
- Aerobic septic systems produce less odor than anaerobic systems, as they produce carbon dioxide and water instead of methane and hydrogen sulfide.
- Extends the lifespan of the drain field.
- Excellent for water conservation, as many states allow for irrigation with the treated effluent.
- Less need for costly repairs or replacements, results in long-term cost savings.
What are the disadvantages of an aerobic septic system?
An aerobic septic system has several disadvantages that should be considered before installation.
Firstly, the initial installation cost of an aerobic septic system is generally higher than a traditional septic system. This is due to the added components and technology required for the system to operate effectively.
Secondly, the system requires a blower to continuously supply oxygen to the wastewater. The noise produced by the blower can be disruptive, especially if the system is located near living spaces. Additionally, the blower consumes electricity, which can increase energy costs.
Thirdly, if there is a power outage, the aerobic system will not function properly. This can result in untreated wastewater accumulating in the system, which can cause backups and health hazards.
Fourthly, aerobic septic systems require more inspection and monitoring than traditional systems. The added components and technology require regular maintenance to ensure proper operation. Failure to maintain the system can result in untreated wastewater being released into the environment.
Finally, if any components of the aerobic septic system fail, untreated wastewater can be released into the environment. This can cause contamination of groundwater and surface water, which can be harmful to both humans and wildlife.
Aero Septic Systems: FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Aero Septic Systems:
How long does an aerobic septic system last?
The lifespan of an aerobic septic system can vary depending on various factors such as the number of people using it, and how well it’s maintained. However, with proper maintenance and care, an aerobic septic system can last up to 40 years or more. Regular inspections and maintenance can help extend the life of the system and prevent costly repairs or replacements.
Do aerobic septic systems smell?
A properly installed and maintained aerobic septic system should not produce any noticeable odors. Unlike traditional septic systems, aerobic systems use oxygen to break down organic matter more efficiently, resulting in fewer odors. Additionally, aerobic systems have an air-tight tank and a septic air vent pipe that releases any remaining gases into the air above the roofline of the home, preventing any unpleasant odors from entering the living spaces. However, if the system is not maintained properly or if there is a malfunction, it can lead to foul odors. Therefore, it is important to have regular inspections and maintenance performed on the system to ensure that it is operating correctly and effectively.
Should septic aerator run all the time?
The septic aerator in an aerobic septic system should ideally run continuously to provide a consistent supply of oxygen to the wastewater for efficient decomposition. However, some aerobic septic systems use a timer to control the operation of the aerator. The timer allows the aerator to run for a specified period of time and then turn off for a set amount of time. This intermittent operation helps to reduce electricity consumption and noise levels.
There are two main types of septic systems: anaerobic and aerobic.
Anaerobic septic systems are the more traditional type of septic system. They rely on anaerobic bacteria to break down and decompose solid waste in the absence of oxygen. Aerobic septic systems, on the other hand, use oxygen to break down and decompose solid waste more efficiently.
Compared to anaerobic systems, aerobic systems produce less odor and produce treated effluent that is cleaner and safer for the environment. However, aerobic systems are typically more expensive to install and require more maintenance and monitoring to ensure proper operation.
Aero Septic Systems: Final Thoughts
In conclusion, aerobic septic systems offer a more efficient, eco-friendly solution for wastewater treatment compared to traditional anaerobic systems. While they may require more upfront costs and maintenance, the benefits in terms of odor control, cleaner water output, and reduced environmental impact make it a worthwhile investment for homeowners.