Conventional vs. Aerobic Septic Systems

There are two septic system types, conventional and aerobic. Both systems produce the same end goal (sewage breakdown and effluent treatment) but the means by which each system achieves that goal is different.

Conventional Septic Systems

Conventional septic systems are simpler than aerobic systems. Solid waste enters a septic tank and settles at the bottom, forming sludge. Liquid waste enters the same septic tank and floats to the top, creating a layer of scum. Anaerobic microbes in the tank help to break down the liquid and solid waste, producing wastewater, which can sometimes pass through one more treatment tank before delivery to the drain field. In order for this system to work, soil needs to be permeable, water tables near the drain field must not be saturated and no restrictive horizons (bedrock) can be present to deter wastewater absorption.

Aerobic Septic Systems

Aerobic septic systems are more complex and costly. They involve three compartments: a trash tank, treatment plant and pump tank. All three compartments can either be housed under one unit or installed as separate units. Liquid and solid waste enters the trash tank and settles into layers, just like conventional septic systems. The difference occurs when wastewater travels to the treatment plant, where an aerator circulates oxygen bubbles throughout the effluent, similar to a fish tank pump. The added oxygen is necessary to provide a stable environment for aerobic microbes, which break down waste faster and more effectively than anaerobic microbes used in the conventional system. Next, the wastewater travels into the pump tank for one last treatment with chlorine or another form of disinfectant to eliminate remaining pathogens. From here, it is considered environmentally safe enough to use on surface vegetation before the final phase of treatment, absorption into soil.

Texas Waste Co. can provide pumping trucks and waste disposal support for your local plumber or septic system service provider during routine cleaning or emergency repair on both conventional and aerobic septic systems.