Aerobic Treatment Units Atlanta
Servicing Metro Atlanta and Athens
ADVANCED SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEMS
Not all property in the State of Georgia is suitable for a typical septic tank system. In areas where the soil is not capable of treating domestic waste-water, an advanced sewage treatment system may be utilized as part of an on site sewage management system. Advanced treatment systems facilitate treatment of the waste-water before application to the soil absorption field. Information on advanced treatment systems approved for use may be obtained from the local county health department or the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Environmental Health Section.
Aerobic Treatment Units: Aerobic treatment units are stand alone advanced sewage treatment systems, providing waste-water treatment prior to disposal in the subsurface absorption field. Aerobic treatment units (ATU’s) provide aerobic bio-degradation or decomposition of waste-water constituents by bringing the waste-water into contact with air mechanically. ATU’s come in different configurations and sizes, and 7 incorporate a variety of approaches, including air pumps, air injectors, lift pumps and biological-contact surfaces.
How do Aerobic Septic Treatment Units Work?
An aerobic treatment unit is basically an “oxidizer” which uses extra oxygen dissolved in the waste-water to support aerobic microorganisms which in turn decompose dissolved organic and nitrogen compounds into simple CO2 or into inorganic compounds.
As microorganisms die off they accumulate as a sludge of biological material, some of which supports the development of new cells or microorganisms to keep the system working. ATU’s separate solid waste first in the “trash tank” and later, additional solids are separated in the clarifier or settlement tank from which they may be returned to the primary tank for more treatment. (See the sketch at the top of this page.)
“Typical organic materials that are found in residential strength waste-water include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, urea, soaps and detergents. All of these compounds contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Domestic waste-water also includes organically bound nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus.
During biochemical degradation, these three elements are biologically transformed from organic forms to mineralized forms (i.e., NH3, NH4, NO3, SO4, and PO4).” — Reference #3 at page bottom. In contrast, an example of an anaerobic process involved in the breakdown of waste-water would be fermentation, the exothermic, enzymatic breakdown of soluble organic compounds which does not depend on the presence of dissolved oxygen. Methane and CO2 are both products of waste-water fermentation.
Aerobic treatment units are stand alone advanced sewage treatment systems, providing waste-water treatment prior to disposal in the subsurface absorption field. Aerobic treatment units (ATUs) provide aerobic bio-degradation or decomposition of waste-water constituents by bringing the waste-water into contact with air mechanically. An ATU has additional maintenance needs to ensure that the mechanical / electrical components are working properly. Consult your county environmental health department for recommendations on proper maintenance if you have an ATU system.