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Aerobic vs. Conventional Septic Systems

According to Circle of Blue, more than one-fifth of American homes are not connected to a public sewer and instead use a septic system to break down and treat wastewater. Septic systems come in two main types: conventional and aerobic septic systems. If your home or business uses a septic system, you may be wondering how it works depending on what type you have. Here’s a basic overview of how conventional septic systems and aerobic septic systems operate.

Conventional Septic Systems

Conventional septic systems are simpler and more common than aerobic septic systems. These systems are anaerobic, which means that little to no oxygen is dissolved in the water. A conventional system operates by taking waste into the septic tank, where heavier solids sink to the bottom and form a sludge, while lighter materials like fats, oils, and greases float to the top and form a layer of scum. The anaerobic bacteria in the tank then break down the waste so it can pass through the pipes to enter the drainfield, where it gets absorbed into the soil.

Aerobic Septic Systems

Aerobic septic systems are more complex. They contain three compartments: a trash tank, a treatment plant, and a pump tank. These compartments can be three separate units or all function as part of the same unit. Like with a conventional septic system, the waste separates into two layers in the trash tank, but instead of moving to a drain field, it goes to a treatment plant. At the treatment plant, an aerator uses oxygen bubbles to break down the waste before sending it to the pump tank to be treated with chlorine. Finally, the wastewater is ready to be absorbed into the soil.

A septic system is a crucial part of a home or business, and whether you have a conventional or aerobic system, it’s important to keep up with maintenance and repairs. Aerobic systems in particular require special attention, as you may need to add chlorine to the pump tank as frequently as once a month. If your septic system is in need of service, contact Red Dirt Septic today. Our team of experts is devoted to providing prompt, professional service and solutions to residential and commercial customers across Central Oklahoma.