How Does a Septic System Work?

Septic system perform the same essential function: process wastewater and return it to the water table. You will discover that maximizing the time that bacteria can breakdown organic material is critical. You  will learn that hydraulic loading greatly affects the ability of the septic system to perform. Discover that Aero-Stream can extend the life of your septic system indefinitely by executing a controlled aerobic septic system conversion for under $1700!

Septic System Introduction

Although there are many design variations of a septic tank systems, they all perform the same basic function: to process household black and gray wastewater into a cleaner effluent that can be evenly distributed beneath the ground and blended with the groundwater without creating a health hazard.

functional septic - How Does a Septic System Work?

Diagram of a functional septic system

There are passive and active systems. The overwhelming majority of residential systems are designed as passive systems. The basic components of a passive septic system arean inlet pipe which carries the household wastewater from the home to the septic tank, the septic tank, and an absorption component, most commonly a gravity drainfield.

Unfortunately septic systems are designed to fail. The average system has a useful life of 15-20 years. when the system fails the typical remedy is to replace the drainfield or sometime the entire system will need to be replaced. This is a very expensive endevour ranging from $7,000 as high as $100,000 depending on the site conditions.

Fortunately you have discovered Aero-Stream. We have a guaranteed solution to restore your septic system for a fraction of the cost to replace it!

Septic System Operation

When a toilet is flushed in a house, the wastewater flows from the house through the inlet pipe into the septic tank. An equal amount of effluent is displaced in the septic tank and flows out of the septic tank to the drainfield and eventually disperses into the ground.

pumping septic tank 300x225 - How Does a Septic System Work?

Pumping a Septic Tank Through a Riser

Inside the septic tank is a large population of living microorganisms called anaerobic bacteria. The quantity of anaerobic bacteria is dependent on the solid organic material in the wastewater for a food source. Therefore, when the loading into the septic tank is low, the anaerobic bacteria count declines and when water usage peaks, the anaerobic bacteria count increases. An example would be when a family takes a vacation and the house is vacated. Water usage is nonexistent, so the anaerobic bacteria count decreases.

The septic tank is designed to always maintain minimum water level to allow the anaerobic bacteria to remain in existence at all times. At times of peak water usage such as a clothes washer or dishwasher emptying or when additional people are occupying the home, such as a family gathering, the loading of wastewater into the septic tank is high and the anaerobic bacteria count increases.

Because the anaerobic bacteria are a slow acting bacteria, maximizing the length of time the wastewater is in contact with the anaerobic bacteria in the septic tank is critical. This is referred to as “holding time” and is defined as the amount of time it takes for the wastewater to flow from the inlet of the tank to the outlet.

In general, the septic tank is designed to hold the wastewater for approximately 2 days. During this holding period, the anaerobic bacteria breakdown the organic material in the wastewater, reducing its strength by 40%, on average. As water usage varies, the volume of flow through the septic tank increases or decreases proportionately, which in turn increases or decreases the holding time and the amount of processing in the tank.

Once the wastewater reaches the tank outlet, the semi-processed effluent (still containing on the average 60% of its original organic material) flows out to the drainfield carrying anaerobic bacteria with it. In the drainfield, the anaerobic bacteria partially completes the treatment of the effluent, removing  more of the remaining organic material prior to being absorbed into the groundwater.

The problem with this design, as will be described in detail in later sections of the manual, is that the anaerobic bacteria do not break down enough of the organic material in the tank or in the drainfield, resulting in dire consequences for the service life of the system.

In the past, a property owner had limited options to resolve a failing or failed septic system caused by a clogged drain field.
The most common solution for a failed septic system involved replacing the clogged drainfield and septic tank.
Replacement septic systems generally cost from $7,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the type of system being replaced and whether or not the cost is financed.

The New Solution For a Failed Septic System

Aero-Stream® has designed and developed a retrofit aerobic system for onsite septic systems. The Aero-Streams® Remediation System restores and extends the life of failing or failed septic systems by creating an environment that promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria. You save thousands of dollars and avoid all the hassles and problems that come with replacing your current system because the Aero-Stream® equipment is installed without excavation.

no excavation - How Does a Septic System Work?

The aerobic treatment of septic sewage has been in use for more than 100 years. Nearly every municipal wastewater treatment plant utilizes aerobic treatment as one of their primary treatment processes. This process is robust, fast and efficient at cleaning the wastewater.

Aero-Stream® applies this same technology to your existing septic system to resolve a failed septic system. By changing the environment in the system from anaerobic to aerobic, 90% of the organic material are consumed by the aerobic bacteria in your septic tank. As a result, less organic material leaves the tank as food for the biomat in the drain field.

In addition, aerobic bacteria and oxygen rich water also flows into the drain field which creates an environment for the aerobic bacteria to comsume the biomat. With the biomat being consumed and dying off, the drainfield becomes permeable again and system function returns to original levels.

If your septic system is failing or is a few years old, this is an easy decision to make. The Aero-Stream solution is guaranteed and has successfully restored thousands of failing and/or failed septic systems across North America. Put septic system troubles behind you and call us today.