Aerobic systems: An alternative to a conventional septic system

28 September 2018
 Categories: Environmental, Blog


Many houses are connected to a public sewer pipeline. Residents can flush the toilet, and the wastewater flows into municipal sewers. This is known as mains drainage. However, for homes that are not linked to a public sewer system, homeowners have to make their individual arrangement to treat unprocessed wastewater, and they often rely on septic systems.

Although septic tanks are a low-maintenance solution to sewage treatment for some households, they cannot be set up in impermeable soils. In this case, an alternative sewage treatment solution is to set up an aerobic septic system which can be installed into or above soils that don't support conventional septic systems. Read on.

How Aerobic Septic Systems Work

Similar to conventional septic systems, aerobic systems achieve the same final goal of sewage breakdown and wastewater treatment. However, the means by which the aerobic system achieves that end goal are different. Basically, aerobic systems use aerobic microbes to break down sewage faster and more efficiently compared to the anaerobic microbes employed in a conventional septic system.

Generally, aerobic septic systems comprise 3 compartments in one large tank. As the wastewater moves through the various compartments, it is processed and treated.

1.    Pre-treatment compartment

This first compartment accommodates untreatable wastes, such as personal hygiene items, grit, oils, fats, plastic toys and so on. Solid waste settles at the bottom, while lighter waste matter drifts to the surface. This compartment has minimal or no dissolved oxygen and serves as a primary filter.

2.    Aerobic treatment chamber

In this chamber, a fine bubble aerator, usually located at the base of the chamber, blows air into the liquid. As a result, gaseous oxygen dissolves into the water and can be accessed by aerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria usually process the waste much faster and can multiply quite rapidly with the presence of waste matter and an adequate oxygen supply. The outcome is millions of bacteria cleaning the wastewater of its contaminants. The processed water is then transferred to the third chamber.

3.    Settling chamber

In this third compartment, the processed water is now lighter compared to the untreated sewage. The sludge will settle at the bottom due to the effect of gravity, while the liquid will rise to the top. The top-level water flows out via a UV disinfection tube into the chlorine contact chamber. Here, the liquid is chlorinated through the use of chlorine tablets.  Finally, the now-clean, treated water will be pumped through an irrigation pump for use in your backyard and is deemed environmentally safe.

If the soil around your home cannot support a septic system, then you should consider installing an aerobic system instead. Contact a company that specialises in sewage systems to learn more about your sewage-treatment options.