What is an Aerobic Treatment Unit?

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What You Need to Know About Your Home Sewage System


What is an aerobic treatment unit?

A home aerobic treatment unit (ATU) is a wastewater treatment machine whose main function is to treat household sewage. It is

also referred to as a mechanical treatment plant. With proper design, operation, and maintenance ATU's can provide a high level of sewage treatment. They come in many shapes and sizes and are extremely important in protecting human health and the environment. 

Why do I need to maintain my aerobic treatment unit?

Maintenance is key to the life and performance of ATU's. Poor maintenance can cause ATU failure, forcing expensive repairs or replacements at the homeowners expense. With proper care of any onsite sewage system, you can expect a long life and good performance.

Keep in mind that you could be putting your family's health at risk if you are discharging improperly treated wastewater into your yard or ditch. Sewage contains harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause many illnesses.

How do I properly maintain my aerobic treatment unit?

One of the main design criteria of ATU's is the level of aeration provided for sewage treatment. Therefore, maintaining the blower is essential to the treatment process.

Another important issue is the sludge that builds up over time. Therefore, the ATU should be pumped periodically to remove the solids that settle to the bottom. The amount of organic matter entering the ATU will determine the pump schedule. A general rule of thumb is to pump it every 3 to 5 years.

With the purchase of any ATU, the first two years of service visits are included. You need to make sure those service visits are performed by your maintenance provider. After that you will have an option to renew the service agreement.

Click here to see minor repairs that can be done by a homeowner.

Click here to see major repairs that should be performed by a service provider.


Watch this video to learn how to maintain a sewer system: