Converting Septic to Aerobic System

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PW8317

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Anyone have advice on possibly retrofitting an existing septic tank to make it an aerobic system? For example, Aero-stream sells kits where you drill a hole in your septic access lid, and run an air hose into the tank with a diffuser on the septic end and an air pump above ground. From what I understand, aerobic bacteria do a much better job of breaking down waste so that the effluent running into the drain field is much cleaner. I have a 2 chambered concrete tank, with a divider between the 2 sections that has about a 4" gap (just guessing) at the bottom. So instead of a pipe and baffle near the top of the divider to connect the 2 chambers, there is just a gap at the bottom. It looks like diffuser should be installed in the first chamber (the inlet side nearest the house). On the outlet side, there is a T baffle that extends down about 18" into the tank, and it does not have a filter. Can my tank be converted to aerobic? There is no room for me to add an additional tank to use as an aerobic chamber, I would have to work with the 2 chambered tank that I have.
 

plowking

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I'm in NH. I've seen white knight and piranha systems set up like that. They are older companies so could be other companies as well. If you put it in first tank ,keep it away from the inlet and off to one side ,so the septic pumper doesn't damage it or knock it over during servicing the tank. You should still have tank cleaned regularly as some of these air systems claim you don't need it cleaned as often but I still find sludge in them.The is another system that the air pump mounts on a pedestal and has a stainless rod with blade or propeller with nozzles that aerates the tank before it goes to drain field This system mounts above and extends in the second compartment. .You might have to put a breather or vent hole in wall separating the tank if it doesn't already have one.
 

SHEPLMBR

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I'm in NH. I've seen white knight and piranha systems set up like that. They are older companies so could be other companies as well. If you put it in first tank ,keep it away from the inlet and off to one side ,so the septic pumper doesn't damage it or knock it over during servicing the tank. You should still have tank cleaned regularly as some of these air systems claim you don't need it cleaned as often but I still find sludge in them.The is another system that the air pump mounts on a pedestal and has a stainless rod with blade or propeller with nozzles that aerates the tank before it goes to drain field This system mounts above and extends in the second compartment. .You might have to put a breather or vent hole in wall separating the tank if it doesn't already have one.
Again, check with your zoning or health department to make sure you are ok to do this. Where I live it is illegal for any septic system or changes to not be approved. Septic is not something to toy around with, nor in my opinion, should be a DIY project.
 

arctic bill

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I have such a system, there are two tanks,
tank #1 has two compartment with a baffle half way down with the baffle stopping 4 inches before the floor. there is also an agitator moving stuff around.
tank #2 has a aerator that puts small air bubbles into the stuff. there is a air compressor inside that feeds this aerator, also there is what looks like a thousand miles of 8 track tape. this is a catalyst that helps brake down the stuff.
the water coming out looks like very weak tea.
 

Mark.S

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I too have a conventional septic similar to PW8317 and I’ve done a lot of reading on this subject.
My tank was installed in the mid 70s and we had it fully inspected before we closed on the property last year. They seem to last forever per our report.
The main cost/risk of the system is not so much the main tank (costs a few 00 $ every few years to inspect and pump) but the drain field.
If you read the professional people in detail per my research there are a lot of unnecessary additives and retrofits for sale which may or may not suit your particular system and as others have posted they may even put you in non compliance with local codes.
Unless you have a specific issue with your tank I recommend leaving as is and following best practices of how to care for what you have. This is what I decided after weeks and months of reading and internet searches.
To run an aerobic system the tank and other components should be designed as such from the get go. For example you can risk stirring up the contents and getting sediment flowing into the drain field and clogging it. Very bad...and potentially costly.
Be wary not to spend $$ and get a worse result/performance
 
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plowking

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I should have said it should be installed by a professional. In NH The state wants a maintence agreement on the system between homeowner and company that built designed and installed it Especially on shoreline. The septic foot print can be smaller for undersized or nonconforming lots because of pretreatment and the systems are advertised as drinking water quality going from tank to leachfield. But I wouldn't drink it. The systems can cost twenty to thirty thousand dollars. Lots of moving parts air pumps , septic pumps to control doses to leachfield, manifolds, diffusers, The media if it can't be cleaned or reused is considered a bio hazard according to the designer who sells and installs it. and has to be bagged tagged and disposed of in a lined landfill. The media looks like plastic haircurlers.
 
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Twowaxhack

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I have a 100 gallon fiberglass tank that is in between my septic tank and my distribution box. Air pump aerating this tank.

I didn’t want to disturb the septic tank by blowing air into it. This would suspend solids that in the water that would then be pushed out into my aerator tank and fieldlines.. I don’t want that, I want my solids ( so small you can’t see ) to stay in the septic tank and continue to be broken down.
 
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