I Am Told My Septic System Has Failed, Now What?

Septic System Introduction

We all know that septic systems are essential to our everyday life. They provide us with a means of disposing of our waste and getting rid of it in an environmentally friendly way. However, when things go wrong with your septic system it can be a disaster, especially if you do not know what to do or who to call. I am going to give you some advice on how to deal with this situation if it happens to you so stick around for tips!

Am I On My Own?

It may seem like you are alone when you get the news from the contractor, but you are not. There are over twenty million septic systems across the US and about 10% of these systems fail each year. So, each day about 5,000 of your fellow homeowners get the same news, and it is not good. The cost of replacing a septic system varies by state, county, and site conditions. If you are lucky and just need to replace the drain field with a conventional stone and pipe system, you might need only to spend $15,000.

If you are a bit unlucky and the site conditions require the installation of a mound system, the bill may be $50,000. And the potential cost limit does not stop there, in some states and site conditions we have had customers quoted $100,000 for a complete replacement system. Regardless of what you have been quoted, there is a cost-effective alternative called septic aeration.

Septic Aeration FAQ

What is Aeration?

Aeration is the process that introduces air (oxygen) into a septic tank. The activity promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria to digest the waste matter in the septic tank. This process ultimately breaks down the organic material carbon dioxide and some bio-solids. This allows the wastewater to flow more freely through the leach field and prevents it from backing up or coming out of household drains. It will also minimize odor problems by eliminating anaerobic bacterial decomposition in the holding tank.

How Does Aeration Work?

Aeration involves pumping a prescribed amount of air into your septic tank in a controlled manner. Aero-Stream has patented and perfected the process over the past 20+ years. Our process uses a diffuser assembly that efficiently transfers oxygen into the wastewater yet allows the solids to settle to the bottom of the tank. To enhance the process efficiency, our Bio-Brush® is deployed into the tank. The Bio-brush acts as a filter and a nesting spot for aerobic bacteria. As the wastewater moves past the Bio-Brush, the organic material is caught in the bristles. The aerobic bacteria are attached to the bristles and devour the organic material swiftly.

What are the Benefits of Septic Aeration?

A conventional anaerobic septic system is designed to fail. It is not a matter of if it will fail, but when will it fail. The average anaerobic septic system will fail in 15 – 20 years. The life expectancy can range from 5 years to 40 years depending on site conditions, how well it was designed and installed, and how it was used or abused. The term “septic system failure” is generally used to describe a homeowner’s dilemma. The actual description of the failure occurs in the drainfield about 99% of the time. Modern tanks and piping systems are very robust and rarely fail. By design, an anaerobic septic system only does about 40% of the wastewater treatment in the septic tank.

This means that the drainfield and the soil need to perform 60% of the wastewater cleaning. This anaerobic digestion that continues to occur in the soil forms what is called a bio-mat. The bio-mat is a living organism and lives off the organic material coming from the septic tank. Eventually the bio-mat clogs the soil pours and does not allow the wastewater to migrate downward through the soil. When this happens, the homeowner will experience wastewater pooling in the yard, slow flushing and gurgling toilets, or backups into the house.

When the system is converted to an aerobic environment utilizing septic aeration, 90% of the wastewater treatment is completed in the tank. This means that the drainfield and the soil only need to do 10% of the work. The huge reduction of organic material flowing to the drainfield begins to starve the bio-mat of a food source. Like any living organism in nature, it starves and dies allowing the soil to become permeable again. Additionally, aerobic bacteria and oxygen-rich water flows to the drainfield and further devour the bio-mat.

Septic Aeration Costs

The cost of septic aeration depends on a variety of factors, including the size of your tank and its location. The average price for an aeration system is around $1800, though this number can vary depending on where you live and what type of system you have. If you have an undersized tank or drainfield you should expect to spend a little bit more as you will need higher output treatment capacity to compensate for the undersized system.

If you are not sure how much it will cost to get your septic system checked out and repaired or replaced, contact us today! We would be happy to answer any questions about our services and provide quotes for any work needed. Our experienced tech support team can diagnose your situation and provide steps and solutions that will save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Repair Options

If your septic system has failed, there are only a couple of repair options. The repairs include:

  • Septic system replacement
  • Septic aeration

These are the only two options that will successfully resolve your septic system failure. There are hundreds of companies that sell “Special bacteria” and claim to restore your system. We have evaluated many of these products in the field and in a controlled environment. These remedies do nothing other than make the homeowner feel good that they are doing something to resolve their problem. We call these “Flush and Hope” products. Just flush them down the drain and hope that they will work. In reality, all you are doing is flushing your money down the drain!

New Environmentally Friendly Alternatives To Septic Repair

As your septic system is failing, there are new alternatives to septic repair that are environmentally friendly. Septic aeration is a more cost-effective option than septic replacement and it is a more environmentally friendly solution than replacement.

The main reason for replacing a failed septic system is because of the environmental impact of an overflowing or plugged up leach field. With septic aeration you can avoid this by simply treating your leach field with aerobically treated wastewater instead of digging up the entire system and replacing it with an expensive new one!


If you are tired of spending money on septic repair, there are options that can save you time and money. Aeration systems by Aero-Stream are a great alternative to traditional replacement and can be installed in most existing systems with minimal disruption.

Eliminate the Stress Call Anytime (877) 254-7093

Let the experts at Aero-Stream® diagnose your problem and guide you through the solution saving you money and stress. Experience First Class Customer Service and Septic System Knowledge. Don’t let them dig! Before you do anything else call us.

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