Septic systems divide into two main types, depending on the type of bacteria they contain: aerobic and anaerobic. Traditional septic systems use anaerobic bacteria, which break down waste effectively, yet somewhat slowly. Aerobic bacteria, by contrast, sanitizes waste at a much quicker rate.
But an aerobic septic system involves more maintenance and care as time goes on; otherwise, it may cease to work as expected. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to appreciate the importance of keeping up an aerobic system. If you would like to improve your knowledge of septic maintenance, keep reading. This article offers two tips for keeping an aerobic system in good working order.
1. Take Alarms Seriously
As noted above, the main difference between anaerobic and aerobic systems lies in the type of bacteria used inside the tank. Aerobic bacteria can only thrive in the presence of oxygen, which cannot be found in traditional septic systems. Therefore, in order to make an aerobic system possible, it must use the component known as an aerator.
The aerator introduces a steady stream of air down into the tank, thus providing the aerobic bacteria with the oxygen they need to survive. If an aerator ceases to work properly, the bacteria in your tank will be starved of oxygen. If this situation goes on for too long, the bacteria begin to die, creating serious problems for your system.
For this reason, all aerobic systems contain a special alarm designed to alert you should your aerator cease to work properly. In most systems, this alarm consists of a red light mounted to your system's control panel. If you notice the light on, contact a septic company as soon as possible. A technician can check your aerator to determine the precise cause of the alarm light.
Be aware that some aerobic systems use the same alarm light to indicate problems with an outflow pump, while other systems use two separate alarm lights. If your system contains just a single light, then an alarm signal may indicate either problems with your aerator or problems with your pump.
2. Keep Your Chlorinator Stocked
Aerobic systems also differ from traditional systems in terms of how they distribute the sanitized waste. A traditional septic system pumps out waste water — also called effluent — through a series of underground pipes. These pipes distribute the effluent throughout your system's drain field.
An aerobic system takes a different approach, thanks to the much more effective breakdown caused by aerobic bacteria. Instead of using underground drain pipes, an aerobic system pumps effluent through spray heads directly onto your lawn. First, however, the effluent passes through a component known as the chlorinator.
As you can probably deduce, a chlorinator uses chlorine to disinfect the treated effluent before spraying it onto your lawn. Two types of chlorinators exist: tablet and liquid. More and more contractors recommend liquid chlorinators, which utilize household bleach rather than solid tablets. Liquid chlorinators have lower operating costs and are less prone to clogging.
Both types of chlorinators use up their supply of chlorine as time goes on. One of the most important maintenance tasks for an aerobic system involves keeping your chlorinator supplied with chlorine. If your chlorine supply runs out, then the effluent being sprayed on your lawn may not be completely disinfected.
Such effluent represents a potential health threat to your family and pets. Keep an extra stock of chlorine on hand, and make sure you know how to check your chlorinator's supply level. If you don't know where your chlorinator lies, contact a professional as soon as possible.
For more information about keeping your aerobic septic system in good working order, contact our experts at Gotta Go Site Service Rentals.