Aerobic treatment units, or aerobic systems are secondary treatment systems that utilize aerobic bacteria to break down organic matter in sewage or wastewater.

These systems typically consist of a trash tank followed by a chamber, where the wastewater undergoes treatment through aeration. This aeration provides a high level of dissolved oxygen for bacteria to flourish and break down the introduced waste. The aeration chamber is followed by a clarification chamber, where suspended solids should be settled out of the water column and be reintroduced to treatment.

This process typically results in a cleaner effluent that can be safely reintroduced to the environment. Most often this is performed through the use of pop-up style sprinkler heads and surface irrigation. Other methods of distribution, like subsurface drip irrigation, can be utilized depending upon site conditions and owner’s desires.

Being a secondary treatment system, aerobic treatment units are an active method of wastewater treatment. These systems utilize active processes internally to treat and process the wastewater. Upon distribution, in a properly functioning system, post-treatment, the effluent should be clean enough to distribute at grade.

There is a common misconception that septic tanks do not need to be pumped out. This is not true!! Regular maintenance and routine pumping are critical to minimize failure of the septic system. It is recommended these septic systems be pumped every 2-5 years.