In their simplest form aerator septic systems are septic systems that provide bacteria an oxygen rich environment to digest and reproduce. The bacteria digest the organic waste that enters your septic tank into and release carbon dioxide and water.
The other type of natural septic system is anaerobic, which means there is no oxygen present. Both types of systems rely on bacteria to do the work, but the aerator septic systems break the waste down faster because bacteria can work faster and harder when in the presence of oxygen. For any aerobic digestion to occur oxygen must be introduced into the septic tank.
Aerator septic systems are said to discharge higher quality (cleaner) effluent than anaerobic septic systems. The effluent that is released from aerator septic tanks can be released into the septic leach field or, in some instances, to the surface for further filtering.
In the early days, aerator septic systems were basically just a mechanical aerator placed into a traditional septic tank. The name for these early systems is aerator septic systems or aeration septic systems. The new versions, which are pre-engineered, are called aerobic septic systems and they are very efficient.
Most residential septic systems are anaerobic because they are inexpensive and very easy to take care of. You do not want to make septic tank maintenance too difficult. In rural areas, anaerobic septic systems and sometimes aerator septic systems are the most prominent onsite effluent management systems.
There are times when you will have to an aerobic septic system. For example, aerobic digestion is required when the water table in your area is too high to accommodate a drain field, when you do not have enough property to fit a proper leach field, or when the soil conditions on your land are appropriate for a leach field.
Many of the aerator septic systems that were built decades are ago are starting to fail and they are often being replaced by aerobic systems just because they are much more efficient. If your septic tank is failing you will want to have it replaced as soon as possible because the effluent that leaks will contaminate the ground water.
Advantages of an Aerobic Septic System over an Aerator Septic System
- Protects the ground water where septic tanks are failing
- Can be placed in sites where an aerator septic system would not work
- Provides more efficient effluent treatment
- Because of the high efficiency it may extend the life of a leach field
- Releases less ammonia than an aerator septic system
- If you are building a new septic system, an aerobic one may allow you to build a smaller leach field
Disadvantages of an Aerobic Septic System over an Aerator Septic System
- The aerobic systems require electricity
- Since they require electricity they will be more expensive to operate
- The aerobic systems have mechanical parts that can wear out or break down
- They require more maintenance than a regular aerator or anaerobic septic system