Aerobic Septic System Maintenance – A Practical Guide

Aerobic septic system maintenance is an important role that must be carried out frequently. Without proper maintenance, the system breaks down and causes more problems.

Here, you’ll find basic maintenance procedures that must be followed to ensure its proper functioning.

10 Steps To Maintaining An Aerobic Septic System

Aerobic septic systems are also known as aerobic treatment units (ATUs) play a vital role in sewage treatment. This consists of basic parts such as the air pump, pre-treatment tank, aeration chamber, and settling chamber.

All of these must be maintained if the septic system must function effectively.

The Treatment Procedure

Aerobic septic systems all follow a similar treatment pattern for sewage. This starts from the pre-treatment stage where large waste is separated and removed. The next stage is aeration which involves the digestion of smaller waste.

Next is the settling stage.

Here, undigested solid waste is transformed into sludge. This is followed by disinfection where sewage water is treated. We find this procedure necessary for you to better understand what needs to be done in maintaining the perfect conditions.

Your Sewage System Shouldn’t Be Treated As Garbage

Aerobic septic systems play a vital role in the treatment of sewage. Therefore, only sewage should be allowed into the system as anything else will result in problems.

In other words, you’ll need to watch what goes into your sewage.

A lot of times, people introduce or dispose of a variety of non-biodegradable items into their septic systems. Some of the most common include kitty litter, sanitary napkins, paper towels, tampons, gauze bandages, and cigarette butts.

Others include condoms, fat, grease, and other oils, photographic solutions, varnishes, pesticides, paints, and thinners. All of these disrupt the normal functioning of aerobic septic systems and should be avoided.

Here, the normal digestive process is affected which results in the malfunctioning of the entire system. This is a simple maintenance procedure as all you need to do is avoid the disposal of these items into your drains.

Aerobic Septic Systems Sound Alarm

Most aerobic septic systems come with alarms. These are meant to alert you to issues regarding your system.

Sometimes, the pumps on such systems may cease to function. When this happens, it’s important to immediately seek professional help to have it fixed.

Obtain a Service Contract Agreement

Although inspection services play a vital role in detecting issues with an aerobic septic system, it isn’t enough. You’ll need to obtain a service contract agreement from a local manufacturer’s representative.

Such an agreement seeks to ensure that routine maintenance, as well as service, is provided as to when due.

With a service contract agreement, your aerobic septic system is kept fully operational and in good working condition. This extends its lifespan, ensuring that it remains functional for a long time.

Pump Septic Tank and Upflow

Your flow requires pumping every year.

For your septic tank, you’ll need to have it pumped by a registered septic removal service every 2 to 3 years. Not only is maintenance necessary, but it also needs to be recorded in detail.

Every maintenance work carried out on your aerobic septic system needs to be recorded. This allows subsequent maintenance work to be more comprehensive and effective. Septic technicians can keep track of all previous maintenance jobs and replace worn-out parts.

Certain components of your aerobic septic system will need to be cleaned as well. Certain brands such as Norweco will require their nylon mesh filters cleaned as frequently as possible.

Performing basic maintenance tasks as pumping and cleaning help maintain a functional system.

Frequently Check Your Motor and Timer

Aerobic septic systems come with a motor timer.

For the timer, it’s best to call for a proper setting from a manufacturer’s representative. An aerobic septic system should have the aerator motor running effectively. You may want to pay close attention to listen to the sound.

The absence of such sounds could be an early warning signal. However, even when the sound is heard, there could still be issues. You may want to probe further by placing a hand on the motor. A warm feel is an indicator that all may not be well.

An inoperable aerobic septic system motor is seen in moisture on its housing.

When the motor shows signs of issues, such can be addressed by having it repaired or replaced. In the case of replacement, it is important to only have it replaced with the original manufacturer’s motor.

A reputable and experienced technician should handle this job for you.

Maintain Watertight Risers

For an aerobic septic system to be properly maintained, all compartments must have watertight risers. This is necessary because surface water can easily gain entry, thus leading to further issues.

With watertight risers, your aerobic septic system is easily and better maintained.

Check Air Intake

To function effectively, an aerobic septic system will need to have sufficient air intake for sewage digestion or breakdown. A motor serves this function by taking in air.

However, there may be issues with such a motor that could affect the intake of air.

Check the Lids

Every component of an aerobic septic system serves a need. Lids enclose the system in a watertight and airtight manner to prevent debris and surface water among other things.

Due to the important function of these components, they’ll need to be frequently checked.

When lids are found to be in a state of disrepair or damage, they should be immediately replaced without delay. Not all lid types would serve your replacement needs. Only those from the manufacturer should be chosen.

Not only should these be preferred, but they should also be the perfect fit for your aerobic septic system.

Keeping Detailed Records

Detailed records of an aerobic system should be kept as it provides a wide range of benefits.

First, such records help speed up maintenance or repair tasks. With more information comes a better response. Common issues are quickly detected and appropriate fixes are carried out within the shortest possible time.

To help you keep a comprehensive and detailed record of your aerobic septic system, certain things must be added. These include valid warranties, contract service agreements, installation date, system capacity, and state license number among others.

Aerobic septic system maintenance includes all the points above. These help with proper scheduling and effective maintenance.

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