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Common Aerobic System Problems

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Common aerobic septic system problems

If you have an aerobic system, chances are your septic system alarm has activated at some point. This alarm doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an emergency, just that there’s something that needs your attention. Not sure what to check? Here’s a video on what to do when your alarm activates.

Common aerobic system problems

Although your alarm can indicate any number of problems with your system, there are a few common aerobic system problems we see all the time.

  • No power – This is one of the easiest problems to solve. Be sure no one has turned off the power switch to your system or that the breaker is not tripped.
  • Inoperable submersible pump – Although a new pump may be needed, sometimes the pump is temporarily inoperable due to a bad float, bad wiring, etc.
  • Inadequate air pressure – This is often the result of needing a new aerator or a re-build kit. The aerator pump has to be operable for the system to have the required oxygen to treat the wastewater.
  • Inoperable timer or photocell – The timer and photocell work together to hold the water in the pump tank until it allows it to be released.
  • Inoperable spray heads – Spray heads can stop rotating, stop popping down after spraying, can be broken off, etc.

What do I do when my aerobic system alarm activates?

If your alarm comes on, perform the actions shown in the video linked above and then call your maintenance provider. While it is usually not an emergency, do not wait several days or weeks to call. There are many more items to the system that make it operate, so there are other items that may need attention.

Aerobic systems require routine maintenance

TCEQ requires that all aerobic systems be checked every four months. Most counties in San Antonio and the surrounding areas require a maintenance contract. It is always best to have a TCEQ Licensed Maintenance Provider or Maintenance Technician evaluate your system.

Van Delden Wastewater Systems is dedicated to providing the highest-quality systems, so we install and service only Clearstream aerobic systems. If your Clearstream system is in need of maintenance, give us a call at (210) 698.2000 (San Antonio) or (830) 249.4000 (Boerne) or contact us online now.


For 86+ years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has withstood the test of time as the leading Wastewater System company, providing San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can count on now and in the future. 

Call us for any of your wastewater systems needs and let our professionals help you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Boerne).