Should I Choose an Aeration Septic System?

septic aeration

Whether or not to choose an aerator septic system is a big question that is often asked by homeowners who are not familiar with owning and maintaining a property that is not connected to a municipal water supply and wastewater disposal system.  These types of properties are often located in more rural areas. This short article is intended to assist the residential property owner who is making a move to a farm or other property with its own wastewater disposal system.  

What’s Different about a Septic Aeration System?

Systems with septic aeration are often considered and upgrade from a “regular” system with a single tank and no mechanical parts.  Like most upgrades, they are also a bit more expensive. A few details about systems with and without septic tank aerators follow.

  • All septic systems have at least one holding tank for a property’s wastewater.  Most aerator systems have three. The tanks are most often buried under the ground somewhere on the property in both cases, but either kind of system may have one or more tanks that are partially exposed, with some kind of ongoing surface access.  Easy access is more crucial for an aerator system because it contains more parts that regularly need service.
  • Non-aerator systems function by holding wastewater from occupied structures on the property in the underground tank until bacteria that are normally present in the water break down any solids it contains.  The aerator system works a bit more efficiently because it adds air to the water by means of a pump. The air contains more additional bacteria that allow solid wastes to be processed more quickly. This type of system usually has three tanks, with the pump functioning in the second tank.  
  • There are a few reasons that a business property owner may want to spend more money to get an upgraded septic aeration system.  The primary one is the need to have the property’s wastewater disposal system function more efficiently. States and municipalities all have regulations governing how many people can utilize any occupied structures at one time.  One reason is that businesses wanting to remodel existing structures or build more buildings in order to serve more customers need larger septic tanks or more efficient wastewater processing. Regulating the number of people using the structures on a property in question is, in part, intended to control the environmental impact of the wastewater generated.
  • A private property owner may choose an aeration system for similar reasons.  They may wish to remodel a home to accommodate a larger family and may subsequently need a more efficient way to process the disposal of that home’s wastewater.  They might have had a problem with the home’s septic system requiring an excavation. This would be a natural time to put in an upgraded system in order to increase the home’s overall market value for the future.  

There are different thoughts about which type of system is better.  The bottom line is that the single-tank version is more economical, while the aerator version is more efficient, but you’ll only choose the right one based on talking with septic services professionals.

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