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Are All Aerobic Septic Systems the Same?

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If you have an aerobic septic system system and you’ve ever called around for service, you might have been surprised that not all companies work on all brands of aerobic systems. Is there really much difference? Don’t all aerobic systems work the same?

The fact is, there can be a huge difference between brands. While most residential aerobic systems go through the same type of treatment process, each brand delivers the treatment in different ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Aerators: Some have air pumps and some have agitators. Both do the job of creating oxygen in the tank for the aerobic bacteria to populate and live, but the way they do this is different.
  2. Media: Some systems have media within the aerobic tank for the aerobic bacteria to grow on. These media can be challenging to work with and easy to damage (without easy replacement) unless the maintenance provider is specifically trained for that brand.
  3. Timers: Some systems spray “on demand” while others are triggered to spray by a photocell, timer, or a combination of the two.
  4. Distribution: Some aerobic systems spray the treated effluent through designated spray heads onto vegetative surface while some systems use drip emitter piping to distribute the treated effluent directly into the soil.
  5. Parts: The parts to each aerobic system are proprietary. Each manufacturer is approved by the NSF and TCEQ and maintenance providers should be fully stocked for all parts for each system they service.
  6. Tank set up: Some systems/models are installed in three separate tanks, others with two, others with one.
  7. Pumping: Pumping pricing will vary based on the system brand, model and size. Systems with media mats take extra caution when pumping. Pumpers need to also watch for extra hidden compartments, tanks, or clarifying chambers that might not have exposed lids.

Given this, it’s important that homeowners vet their maintenance providers to be sure they are qualified to provide service for your brand of aerobic septic system.

You can usually find your brand the following ways:

  1. Look at your aerator, control box, and/or lids. Each system should be labeled with the manufacturer and model.
  2. Call the installer or your maintenance provider.
  3. Obtain a copy of the septic records/permit. This does not always state the brand, and sometimes systems are planned to have one brand, but another brand with equivalent criteria is installed. This is OK, but it might not be noted.

At Van Delden Wastewater, we want to give the highest quality of service to our customers. We choose to only install Clearstream aerobic systems. We do pump some other brands, but not all of them, due to some of the issues above. If you know your brand, give us a call, and we would be happy to see how we can help.


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