Pro's and Con's of aerobic system

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TimandPatti, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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    We are going to have a new septic system installed the end of Sept. I'm told we need a aerobic system in this area. Anyone have one and want to share Pro's and Con's of them?
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could you explain an aerobic septic system?
    We had something like that years ago. We would run out the back door, down the path across the garden to our restroom with the moon sawed in the door. Really good exercise. Also toned up the pucker.
     

  3. loveappies

    loveappies New Member

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    TimandPatti,

    These are required where I live, too. They are environmentally friendly, but you do have to use the chlorine. They also have to be inspected regularly. They run all the time, so I'm thinking about making mine solar powered to save electricity.
     
  4. Linda J

    Linda J Well-Known Member

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    We also have an aerobic system because it is required on new construction in our area. Ours is very reliable. We have lived here 5 years and we have had the back-up battery replaced once, the sprinkler heads replaced once when they were ran over by the lawn tractor, and we add the chlorine tablets once a month.

    Our system had to be licensed by the county when built, and we have to maintain an inspector who comes once every quarter and checks to make sure it is in good shape. He reports to the county quarterly. This runs about $250 a year.

    The only drawback I have is when the previous owner had it installed, the septic tanks were placed directly outside our back door, not great to see the utility panel sticking up in my line of view. If you have a choice, locate it to the side of your house. It is hard to landscape around.
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Aerobic wastewater systems are like small wastewater treatment plants. Most septic systems use just a septic tank before the drainfield. Septic tanks don't require much maintenance....just pumping every few years. Generally, we consider the septic tank as simply "physical-treatment." Its function is to allow solids to physically settle out, and fats and greases to float, which keeps these materials out of the drainfield.

    An aerobic system goes one step further than a septic tank. We consider aerobic system to be "biological treatment." After solids have settled in a septic tank, the effluent flows to the aerobic chamber. Air is pumped into the aerobic chamber which serves two purposes: (1) the bacteria use the air as they breakdown organic matter and (2) it keeps the contents mixed. The effluent leaving the aerobic chamber is then either goes to a drainfield system, directly sprinkled onto the soil or to a surface water. Since you mentioned chlorine, I assume your system will discharge to a surface water or to the land surface.

    Pros of an aerobic system:
    Cleaner effluent
    Some states allow reduced drainfield sizing
    Some states allow less separation to ground water

    Cons:
    High electricity use
    Systems must be constantly monitored
    Some models need annual servicing
    More things to go wrong (pumps, aerators, etc.)
    If you don't periodically pump the septic tank, solids can get into the aerobic chamber which will effectively ruin the system.
     
  6. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As you probably saw in the other thread, we have one and have problems. Our problems stem from the installer rather than the system itself - those service checks are crucial and we have no one to do them. Without a manual for the system we are unable to do them ourselves. The state has stepped in and is trying to locate someone who is able to remedy this for us and other home owners left high and dry when the installer went out of business.
     
  7. whinnyninny

    whinnyninny Crazy about horses

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    How much electricity do they use- does anyone know? That's the kind we're having installed at our new home (must be a Texas thing!). My husband has also mentioned putting solar panels on ours, if it's possible (but it's on the west side of the house, so I'm not sure where we'd put the panel, it wouldn't get any sun for the first 1/2 of the day).

    By the way, does anyone have any suggestions of what to do with the area where the spinklers are? Maybe some decorative ground cover plants? We were planning on putting a garden in that area before the system was installed, but I think we'll have to change plans now... (they put the sprinklers in a curved line to, which makes no sense to me... and in a different place than where they told us they were going to put them! :rolleyes: )
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you Cabin Fever.
    It's plain to see you know septic systems from top to bottom.
     
  9. VVG

    VVG Member

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    we have had nothing but trouble with ours. When we first moved into this house, an alarm on it would go off in the middle of the night and scare my 3 year old to death. she is 7 now and still talks about it. Iam sure the neighbors liked our system also. After it doing this about twice a week for almost 6 months my wife called the builder up at 3 in the morning and screamed at him for about 15 minutes and he got them to replace the circuit board in it and that stopped. Since we have had it we have had to pay for several service calls including the compressor going out. Not to mention the chlorine tabs they want you to buy at 100 dollars plus a bucket. If you are building in the country save the headache and get a regular septic. The brand on this is one is a HOOT.
     
  10. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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    Thank you for all the responses. I'm not sure if i like the idea of having one or not. :(
     
  11. NTRotty

    NTRotty Active Member

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    What is best way to protect the sprinkler heads of your aerobic systems? We have three (3) in the pasture, previous owner marked them with reflectors and just moving in I had to weed-eat around all three to get growth down.

    ai was thinking put some crushed stone around these for 3 ft or so and fence around each one to keep animals away. Any suggestions?

    How far do the heads spray? I have not observed it when it is spraying and the growth of grasss and weeds only extended 4 ft or so around 3 of the three heads.

    How will livestock behave in pasture with these sprinkler heads?

    My first experience with septic system of any kind.
     
  12. Linda J

    Linda J Well-Known Member

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    Our maintenance guy suggested tomatoe cages around them so the horses won't stomp them and the hay guy won't drive over them when delivering. Our heads spray out about 20 feet. Our horses avoid the spray. Their hay is in the back of the pasture and that's where they hang out. I personally wouldn't put water buckets or feed troughs near these. I know the water that is sprayed out is supposed to be sanitized by the chlorine and all, but I just don't like the idea.
     
  13. Forty Acres

    Forty Acres Well-Known Member

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    I hate 'em.

    Give me a good old fashioned septic system. Put in properly, they will often function for years with no maintenance whatsoever.
     
  14. driver

    driver Member

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    I had one installed my old house, it was a HOOT brand. Never had a problem with it. Got a bucket of Chlorine tablets when it was installed. It used about three a month never had to buy any in the 2 plus years I lived there.
     
  15. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had one for almost three years. They had to do aerobic because the land wouldn't perk (very rocky, with clay underneath and hilly), and lagoons are not allowed here.

    When I looked at the place, the owner told me it didn't need any service! I didn't know any better, lol, so didn't do anything to it for the first year and a half. Then somehow one of the covers (there are three) got dislodged in the middle of rainy season, and it overflowed, ick! That's when I had to call a service guy and learned about maintenance...what an idiot I was, doh! The only other problem I've ever had was in a huge storm a vacuum line got pulled off. The yellow warning light was on, but no alarm sounded or anything. Even with the flooding, the red light and sounded alarm has never gone off. I just saw it out the window, went out and plugged it back in and it worked great after that.

    My sprinklers are just inside the tree line where it doesn't get mowed. I hire my mowing done, and I told the guy at the beginning that he could tell where they were by the cattails growing around it. Those things are HUGE! I don't know if it's true for all, but mine "sprinkles" out about a 3-4 foot radius from the sprinklers. I can't give any info on livestock or the electricity used, as I never lived in this house without the system so I have no clue, sorry. All in all, I'm pretty happy with it and would rather have it than a lagoon, which a lot of places out here have!