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Aerobic Septic Systems

An aerobic treatment unit (ATU) is a system that treats wastewater through the introduction of diffused air, providing a proper environment for the breakdown of organic matter. Compared to conventional septic systems, ATUs break down organic matter more efficiently, achieve quicker decomposition of organic solids, and reduce the concentration of pathogens in the wastewater producing a clear odorless effluent prior to disposing to the environment, when treated properly.  Aerobic treatment of wastewater does not require a large drain field or special soil conditions, so this system presents a means of treating wastewater where existing systems have failed.
There are various types of distribution that can be utilized following ATU’s, which are discussed further.

Pros- In todays market, it seems that aerobic systems are generally installed at a lesser cost than most other technologies. Beneficial re-use of waste water.
Cons- Most expensive type of system on the market to maintain.  Maintenance contracts are required in much of the state.  The systems are easily overloaded. 

Surface Irrigation:
The distribution of treated wastewater through the means of sprinkler heads.  The distribution area must support vegetation.  There shall be nothing within 10 feet of the sprinkler head to interfere with the uniform distribution of the treated wastewater. 

Pros- This means of distribution is relatively inexpensive.  There is beneficial reuse of the treated wastewater by distributing over landscape vegetation.  There is an alarm circuit to notify owner of component malfunction.
Cons- If the system is abused or overloaded, odor can develop causing a nuisance situation. 

The treated wastewater must be disinfected prior to distribution.  There are various means of disinfection.

Tablet Chlorination:
This is the chlorination of treated wastewater through the means of calcium hypochlorite (wastewater chlorine) tablets.  These tablets are designed to break down as treated wastewater flows over them in a storage reservoir prior to entering the pump tank.
Click here for more information on tablet chlorination.

Pros- Cost of the chlorinator at time of installation is relatively inexpensive.  Other than that, there seem to be no real benefits to using this product. 
Cons- The product itself is fairly expensive, with few retail locations that carry it. Highly corrosive, if not stored properly can damage other items in the immediate area of storage.  It’s difficult to maintain a constant supply of chlorine in chlorinator.

Liquid Chlorination:
This is the chlorination of treated wastewater through the means of liquid bleach.  Liquid bleach is stored in an external reservoir and introduced to the system when the spray pump operates.  Click here for more information on liquid chlorination.

Pros- This is a far more efficient means of chlorination.  Product used for chlorination is relatively inexpensive, for most families approximately $2 per month.  Liquid bleach is easy to obtain and easy to store.
Cons- This type of chlorinator is more expensive at the time of installation than tablet chlorinators.

Ultraviolet Light:
This means of disinfection of wastewater is achieved by exposing the treated wastewater to ultraviolet light prior to distribution.

Pros- This means of disinfection uses no chemicals.
Cons- The cost of the UV unit, as well as replacement parts and labor are rather expensive.

Drip Irrigation:
The distribution of treated and filtered wastewater through a matrix of small diameter pressurized lines with pressure reducing emitters.  The pressure is greatly reduced allowing for equalized distribution throughout the distribution area.  The tubing is installed at a relatively shallow depth, 6-12”, allowing for beneficial uptake by the above vegetation of the distribution area.

At Jernan Construction, we give our customers an opportunity to use a technology in conjunction with aerobic treatment systems that is not often introduced by our competition.  That technology is called flow equalization.  

Flow Equalization:
The storage and equalization of wastewater flows into the treatment facility over the course of a 24 hour period.  This allows us to take the flows of a home or business and break them into preregistered doses every hour over a 24 hour period.  This gives the treatment facility its much needed resting time, thus allowing the treatment facility to function at its maximum ability.