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   Septic Aeration: How & Why

Aerobic digestion is a bacterial process occurring in the presence of oxygen. Under aerobic conditions, bacteria rapidly consume organic matter to restore failing septic systems. Learn the science behind septic aeration and why it works so well.

How Septic Aeration Works
  In a conventional septic system, the microorganisms in the septic tank are anaerobic (without oxygen).
A septic tank aerator restores and repairs septic system drain field problems by introducing dissolved oxygen into the tank changing it from an anaerobic atmosphere to an aerobic atmosphere. This allows the more aggressive and effective aerobic microorganisms to exist in the tank. Under these conditions the treatment in the tank is greatly increased and effluent leaving the tank is much cleaner which in turn takes the load off the soil treatment area. Also the cleaner effluent now contains dissolved oxygen which in turn begins to consume the biomat that has grown so thick it blocks the effluent from being absorbed in the leach field.

RIGHT cross section of a drainfield being restored by our aerator. The clean effluent created by our aerator carries dissolved oxygen into the drain field promoting the growth of aerobic bacteria. These aerobic microorganisms are 50 times larger then anaerobic microorganisms and are 20 to 30 times more aggressive than anaerobic microorganisms in consuming solids.

Restoring Drain Field
  Aerobic vs Anaerobic 
Why septic aeration works
LEFT The waste matter in a septic system breaks up when naturally occurring bacteria eat the organic material in waste water. Adding a septic aerator promotes the development of naturally-occurring aerobic bacteria as a means of processing effluent. These aerobic microbes are the cause septic aeration works so well. Microbes prefer aerobic conditions to anaerobic conditions. As shown in image on the left, aerobic bacteria (microorganisms that consume both organic matter and oxygen) are fifty times bigger and much more effective than anaerobic bacteria at consuming organic matter. When dissolved oxygen is introduced (septic aerator), microorganisms in decaying organic matter devour oxygen dissolved in the water. The more dissolved oxygen the septic aerator can introduce the more aerobic microbes can live to consume organic matter.

Since the biomat is alive, its balance can be upset. Septic tank problems can result in an excess of organic material (food) to the biomat organisms, causing excessive growth and, therefore, reduced the ability of the waste water from the septic tank to penetrate the biomat and enter the ground. In the saturated state the soils aerobic conditions no longer exist, and controlled breakdown of the biomat by aerobic soil bacteria will no longer occur .

RIGHT Cross section of a failing drain field caused by septic tank problems. The biomat has grown too thick and dense, and the effluent sent to the drain field will quickly and easily exceed the amount that can filter through the biomat. The result is excessive ponding in the trenches, backflow into the septic tank (and possibly also into the house), and surfacing of effluent above ground over the drain field causing wet spots and rapid grass growth, in other words "septic system failure."

How septic aerators work
compare septic aerators Which septic aerator is best?
Not all septic aerators are equal. There is a list of assorted aerobic systems configured to change over your anaerobic septic system into an aerobic system, differing greatly in cost and operation; even so, in theory each aerobic systems deliver the same basic common purpose. Air, compressed through a pump, is fed through a diffuser in an attempt to introduce dissolved oxygen into the wastewater.

To Learn More About What Cause Septic Problems Visit These Related Topics

Septic Problems: An overview of septic problems and what they mean to the homeowner.

Septic Tank Problems: Understanding septic tank principles, common septic tank problems, signs of septic tank problems and diagnosing septic tank problems

Cesspool & Seepage Pit Problems: An overview of Cesspool & Seepage Pit and the differences between the two. Diagnosing common  Cesspool & Seepage Pit problems and solutions.

Drain Field Problems:  Understanding leach field and drain field principles, common leach field problems, septic tank problems lead to drain field problems that are easy to diagnose.