Specifics of the septic system aeration process

septic system aeration

A home septic system is a water treatment system located on your property.  The main components usually include a pipe running from your house, a large septic tank, a drain field, and some septic systems include a pump for septic system aeration.

Step 1:  Waste water is sent to the septic tank

All wastewater from your home runs to a main pipe that carries it to the septic tank.  This includes water from sinks, toilets, dishwashers, showers, and washing machines. Because all the water from your house is going to an enclosed tank, you should be cautious about what solids or chemicals you send down the drain.  The size of the tank depends on the number of people who use it on a daily basis, but they are usually between 750 and 1,250 gallons. In a typical septic system, the tank is usually divided into 2 compartments, but if your system includes a Hiblow septic aerator, the tank usually has 3 compartments.  The tank is usually made of either concrete or fiberglass and is buried between a few inches and a few feet underground.

Step 2: Breakdown and separation of solids sometimes includes septic system aeration

In the first compartment of the septic tank, wastewater settles into three layers: fat and oil on top, liquid in the middle, and solids on the bottom. Most larger solids are left on the bottom of this first compartment where bacteria work to break them down.  In a typical septic system, the wastewater then flows to a second compartment where it settles further and anaerobic bacteria continue to break down solids until the process is complete.

Some septic systems include a Hiblow septic aerator in one of the compartments which adds oxygen to the tank.  This Hiblow pump allows bacteria to work aerobically (with oxygen), often making them more effective at helping to “clean” the wastewater.

Step 3:  Effluent is released from the home septic system

When the wastewater is cleared of solids and ready to leave the tank, the water that is left is called effluent.  The effluent flows or is pumped out of the tank and into a drain field.  The drain field is made up of rows of perforated pipes buried a few inches below the ground.  These pipes allow the water to drain into the soil. The soil filters the water and naturally occurring microbes help to clean it before it mixes with the groundwater.  The size of your drain field and its location on your property depends on the size of your septic tank, the type of soil in your yard, and the water table in your area. You can learn more about a septic system and a Hiblow septic aerator at https://www.wastewaterpro.com/

Even though there are some slight differences depending on the construction of the system, the overall process of using an aeration septic system to filter the home’s wastewater is largely similar.

What is an aerator septic pump?

septic tank aeration

A septic system is a water treatment system that uses bacteria and soil to clean waste water in areas where there is no municipal water treatment system.  Two common types of septic systems are standard systems and systems that include septic tank aerators.

Standard system and septic aeration

In general, all septic systems work the same way: waste water from your home is pumped into a large tank where it settles into layers and bacteria work to break down solids.  Then, the waste water is usually pumped into a drain field where perforated pipes allow it to drain into the soil, which acts as a natural filter in the final step of the process. In a standard septic system, the bacteria work anaerobically – meaning with very little oxygen. This can be effective, but it does mean that bacteria work slowly and that water usually remains in the tank for about 24 hours.  Other septic systems include devices called septic aerators. These add air in the second compartment of the septic tank, which can encourage the growth of bacteria, allowing it to grow faster and work quickly to do what it needs to.

Advantages to septic tank aerators

The main advantage to using septic aeration is that the water is generally cleaner when it is pumped out of the tank compared to water pumped out of a standard septic system.  This can be especially important if:

  • Your septic system is located near a well:  Wastewater eventually mixes with the groundwater.  If it is cleaner when it exits the septic tank, you can worry less about contamination.
  • Your soil is not optimal for filtering:  Soil can include blends of sand, silt, and clay.  Some combinations filter better than others.
  • You have a high water table:  The water table is the level at which soil and gravel are completely saturated with water.  A high water table on your property can mean that there is less soil for the waste water to filter through, so cleaner water exiting your septic tank can be necessary.

Maintaining your system with septic aeration

Standard septic systems and septic systems that include septic aerators all require regular maintenance to keep them working properly.  The most important part of keeping your standard or septic aeration system working properly is to have it pumped regularly. This removes solids from the tank and limits the risk that the tank will get too full and allow solids to escape into the drain field causing clogs and damage. 

Another important part of keeping any septic system working properly is to be careful of what you put down the drain. Flushing things like wipes or using the garbage disposal too often can make your system less effective.Septic systems that include septic aerators sometimes require maintenance more often because they include electric parts.  You can learn more about septic aerators and septic tank maintenance products at https://www.wastewaterpro.com.