How To Maintain Your Home Aeration System

Poop. A literally dirty subject. We all do it (at least according to the famous potty training book) , but we don't like to talk about it. We get it. That's why we at Tim Frank Septic Cleaning Co. have made it our business to do the dirty work for you. Ha! See what we did there?? 

Okay, so we know the last thing you want to think about right now is how exactly your septic system works, but in the hopes of helping you prevent some smelly future problems for your backyard, let me give you a cliff notes version. 

Septic System Basics

Your septic tank operates on a basic system: heavier solids sink to the bottom, fats, oils, and grease float to the top, and grey water sits in the middle. Bacteria work to break down the solids for about 24 hours, and then the broken down solids and grey water are released into the drain field. It's a closed system without much air or oxygen. 

Aeration System Basics

In many ways, an aeration system is like a small wastewater treatment plant. It enhances and speeds up the work of breaking down your home's sewage by introducing oxygen into the wastewater. The oxygen feeds the bacteria and helps it break down waste much more quickly and efficiently, significantly reducing your chances of accidentally having a muddy and smelly backyard. 

In most areas, you must have a service agreement with an approved service provider if you have an aeration system. However, having a service agreement will ensure that the mechanical components are functioning but will not guarantee that your aeration system adequately meets the needs of your household's output. Your family's habits, water usage, and numerous other factors contribute to how the system functions. The following tips will help your aeration system function to the best of its ability.

Tips For Maintaining Your Aeration System

Laundry: Space out laundry loads over the week and wash only full loads. One load per day rather than seven loads on Saturday makes a big difference to your aeration system. Use liquid laundry detergent, preferably biodegradable and low phosphate. Also, use dryer sheets rather than liquid fabric softeners.

Conserve water: Install low-usage water fixtures. By installing low water usage shower heads, toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines, an average family can reduce the amount of water entering the aeration system by 20,000 gallons annually! You can purchase low-flow shower heads and toilets at most home improvement stores.

Cleaners and chemicals: Minimize the amount of household cleaners (bleach, harsh cleaners) and similar potentially toxic substances entering the aeration system. Do not use disinfecting automatic toilet bowl cleaners, such as those containing bleach or acid compounds. The continuous slow release of these chemicals into the aeration system kills the bacteria necessary for a properly working aeration system.

Medications: Never flush expired or unwanted prescriptions and over–the–counter drugs down the toilet or drain. Return unwanted or expired medicines to a Drug Take Back Day commonly held by the Sheriff's department.

Flushing: The only things that should be flushed are waste and toilet paper. No tissues, wipes, feminine products, etc. Only toilet paper!

Garbage disposal: A garbage disposal is not recommended for homes served by an aeration system. Garbage disposals introduce hard-to-digest organics, which are harder for aerobic bacteria to break down, creating poor effluent quality. Off-lot aeration systems require the wastewater leaving the system to be "clean" with limited suspended solids. If you choose to use a garbage disposal, be sure to pump your tank(s) more frequently.

Service: An aeration system should have a service agreement and be serviced every six months. If the system is causing an alarm, you should call for service. This is usually an indicator that a component of your aeration system is not functioning correctly. In addition, the tank(s) should be pumped every two or three years, depending on size and usage. 

See, that wasn't too bad, was it? Have more questions about your aeration system, or are you just looking for more information? Reach out to us today!