Before building a septic tank, authorization from the local authorities is a prerequisite. During this process, several tests are done on the area you intend to build your new septic tank. The soil type, wetness, depth of water table and even proximity to large water bodies are measured. This is part of what many refer to as the "perc" test. Percolation tests determine the suitability of a septic tank and drainage field in a certain area. As a homeowner or business, sometimes your location may not be favorable for septic tank installation. It is in these instances that you have to seek alternative liquid waste removal options. One option can be to use Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU).
How ATUs work
Aerobic wastewater treatment units are essentially complete waste treatment units packaged in one unit. Aerobic wastewater treatment can achieve very high treatment of wastewater to levels acceptable for discharge onto drain fields. ATUs can be constructed and installed onsite by your liquid waste removal partner. Within the ATU, oxygen is forced from the air into the unit, or actively extracted from the present water. Unlike in the traditional tank where sludge, water, and solids separate into layers, ATU units repeatedly agitate the mixture to enhance oxygen extraction from the water. During the agitation, aerobic bacteria decompose the waste materials, breaking them down into carbon dioxide and other inorganic components. The agitation ensures the bacteria comes into contact with most of the waste and decompose it.
Both aerobic and facultative bacteria are involved in this process. The bacteria also achieve nitrification of ammonia, which is the breakdown of ammonia in the waste into nitrates. Once sufficient breakdown or waste has been carried out, the effluent is passed on to the next chamber for settling. The settled sludge can be recycled back into the primary chamber while the effluent is removed for absorption or more treatment. There are many designs and types of these systems, but the process remains the same.
Advantages of ATUs
ATUs are useful for laboratories, restaurants and even homes with site constraints for installing a conventional septic tank. Also, ATUs as liquid waste removal options can be purposed to recycle the water discharged from these establishments. The water treatment level of these units is usually high, leaving the water safe for use in various ways. Many people, for instance, use this water to carry out spray irrigation on their crops. The high level of sewage treatment achieved by these units makes the wastewater safe for disposal in some drain fields that may have earlier been deemed insufficient for the unit owners.