According to the American Housing Survey for the United States (2007) and the US Census Bureau, there are over 26 million residential septic systems in use in the United States. That represents about 25 percent of the households in the United States. Over 60 million people use a septic system according the EPA’s Septic (Onsite) Systems website.
Although many of these septic systems are old, constructed in the building boom of the 1960’s, many new homes are still being built outside the service area of municipal waste treatment plants and have no choice but to install a septic system. With government budgets becoming tighter and tax revenues declining, it is a safe bet that municipal wastewater treatment plant and sewer line expansion will be limited over the next few years. In other words, septic systems, old and new, will be around for some time.
The basic operation of a septic system has changed little in 40 years. The septic tank serves as a holding tank that:
- gives bacteria time to break down organic material
- allows organic material to settle at the bottom of the tank
Out flowing effluent or wastewater from the septic tank flows into an absorption component or drainfield where:
- undisturbed soil filters more of the remaining organic material out of the wastewater
- the water flows back into the water table.
Most septic systems operate in the absence of oxygen and, as a result, anaerobic bacteria are the dominant bacteria breaking down organic material. The performance of the anaerobic bacteria eventually cause the system to fail; the drainfield becomes clogged with organic material and anaerobic bacteria which means water can no longer pass through to the water table.
For many years, the only option a homeowner had to fix this problem was to replace the entire septic system, a costly option! Within the last few years, however, Aero-Stream has developed a patented, controlled septic aeration process that introduces aerobic bacteria as the dominant bacteria in the system. The combination of aerobic bacteria and oxygen is extraordinarily powerful and reclaims the failed drainfield, extending the life of the system indefinitely.
This is great news for the 60 million people still using septic systems. For a fraction of the cost septic system replacement, they can convert their anaerobic septic system to an aerobic system and use their existing septic system indefinitely! There is also no need to run sewer lines to their homes or increase taxes to expand the municipal waste treatment plant!