Changing From a Conventional Septic System to an Aerobic System

New regulations are on the horizon for most of the United States and will affect many owners of conventional septic systems. The owners of these systems, especially if the septic system is old and/or poorly maintained, may face the prospect of converting to an aerobic treatment process. We have heard from a number of owners all over the country who have told us that they have been instructed to convert to or replace their existing septic treatment systems with an aerobic treatment system.

Just a quick note regarding the terminology used in this post; The term “aerobic septic system” is actually an incorrect term. Aerobic and septic are two different treatment processes. We are using this term because we have found that it is used by many of our customers. A correct term would be “aerobic treatment system” (ATS) or something similar.

In addition to providing information and details, this blog post will answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between a septic tank and an aerobic septic system?
  • Why convert a septic tank to an aerobic septic system?
  • How do you convert a septic tank to an aerobic septic system?


What is the difference between a septic tank and an aerobic septic system?

Air or No Air

The simple answer is an aerobic septic system or aerobic treatment system uses air introduced into the water being treated to sustain aerobic bacteria or microbes that consume the pollutants in the wastewater. A septic tank uses anaerobic microbes that do not require air to sustain themselves to consume the pollutants in the wastewater.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Bacteria

Aerobic microbes consume pollutants faster and more completely than anaerobic microbes. Therefore, an aerobic treatment system is more effective at treating wastewater than a comparable sized septic system. Because of the more complete treatment of wastewater a properly maintained aerobic system can prolong the life and lower the maintenance of a drain field because it will pass less solids out of the system.


From an equipment perspective, a septic system is much simpler than an aerobic treatment system. A septic system usually consists of a single tank that is divided into multiple chambers. The tank will have some access ports for inspection and pumping. Other than regular pumping, there is no real operational requirements for a septic treatment system. An aerobic treatment system also mainly consists of a single tank that is divided into multiple chambers. The main difference is that an aerobic treatment system requires a method for introducing air into the wastewater. This requirement necessitates additional equipment such as mixers, air compressors, media and other means that will need electrical power and maintenance to operate.


Why convert a septic tank to an aerobic septic system?

There are many reasons to convert from septic to aerobic:

  • Changes in permit requirements that necessitate the switch from septic to aerobic
  • Drain field conditions require a higher level of treatment offered by aerobic treatment
  • A desire to protect the environment
  • Close proximity to drinking wells and aquifer

In short, if you want better treatment of your sewage and to improve the quality of the water you are putting back into the environment, an aerobic treatment system accomplishes that.

Remember (especially if you use a well for drinking water), the water you put back into the earth eventually comes out of your tap!


How do you convert a septic tank to an aerobic septic system?

So, you have a septic tank and you’ve decided that an aerobic system is the way to go, now what? Well, you have two basic choices:

  1. Add equipment to your existing septic tank so that it can utilize aerobic bacteria.
  2. Remove your septic tank entirely and install an aerobic treatment system.

This blog post only addresses the treatment system itself and does not address the drain field or issues related to drain fields. If you have a drain field that is clogged or damaged, it needs to be addressed separately. Simply converting from septic to aerobic treatment will not fix your drain field!


Option 1: Adding equipment to convert a septic tank to an aerobic treatment system

There are systems available that can be installed in a septic tank to convert it to an aerobic treatment process. They typically consist of a small air compressor, some tubing and a diffuser that is placed in the septic tank. By adding air however, we are also going to mix the contents of the tank meaning solids that would ordinarily be sitting on the bottom are now going to be swirling around the tank. This will require a settling compartment downstream of the compartment that receives the aeration. If you have a septic system with multiple compartments, then add air to the upstream (first) compartment and use the downstream (second) one for settling. If you have a single compartment septic tank, this mixing will probably cause too many solids to pass out of the system and will clog your drain field in a short period of time. If you have a pump tank downstream of the septic tank for your drain field, that might be used for settling. If you have a single compartment tank and you don’t have a pump tank, you will need to add a settling tank downstream of your septic tank to allow the solids to settle out prior to discharge or install some kind of filter system or both.

We typically advise the addition of beneficial microbes once the aeration system is installed. By adding the microbes, you are jump starting the population of bacteria that does the work of treating the wastewater in your system!


Option 2: Remove your septic tank entirely and install an aerobic treatment system

This is typically the most expensive route. It is also the most completely effective route. By replacing the system, you can get a tank that had been designed for aerobic treatment. You can also select additional components that enhance the quality of the water going in and out of the treatment system based on your requirements. The footprint of an aerobic treatment system should be very similar to the septic system it is replacing.

Diffused Air vs Mechanical Wastewater Aeration Systems

Introducing air to a wastewater treatment system or, lagoon or pond is vital to maintaining proper dissolved oxygen (DO) levels for sewage treatment. The process of introducing air is called “aeration”. Aeration brings the wastewater being treated into contact with air with some of the air being absorbed by the wastewater. The aeration process typically performs the additional function of mixing in a wastewater treatment system as well. Proper mixing is important because it ensures that all of the wastewater in the tank or lagoon has the same amount of DO, solids, microbes and incoming sewage.

There are two main means for performing aeration: diffused air and mechanical. This blog post will delve into the details of these two means and look at some of the advantages and disadvantages to each.

First up, let’s look at diffused air aeration systems

What is a diffused air aeration system?

A diffused aeration system uses an air compressor, air tubing or pipe and air diffusers typically located at the bottom of the tank or lagoon. Air is delivered from the compressor to the diffusers using the pipe or tubing. Air is passed through the diffuser which creates bubbles that come into contact with the water. 

How a diffused air aeration system works

A diffused air aeration system moves air to come into contact with water. The bubbles rise to the surface of the body of water. While they rise, a percentage of the air is absorbed into the water (called oxygen transfer) and used by the microbes for respiration. The rising action of the bubbles also creates a column above the diffuser which displaces the water causing an upward current and laminar flow pattern. This flow pattern causes the mixing action created by the diffuser. The size of the diffused air system and number and location of the diffusers is determined by the calculated air requirements for the incoming sewage and configuration of the treatment tank or lagoon.

Main diffused air aeration system components

A diffused air aeration system typically consists of an air compressor or “blower”, control valves and gauges, air distribution pipe or tubing and diffusers.

Variations of diffused air aeration systems

Diffused air aeration system equipment and design can emphasize aeration or mixing. Diffusers come in various types such as;

  • Fine bubble diffusers (more aeration action)
  • Coarse bubble diffusers (more mixing action)

Each one of these diffuser types has its own air flow requirement so the air compressor and delivery pipe or tubing size needs to be selected accordingly. Valves can be configured to control the amount of air going to each diffuser or zone in the tank or lagoon as required. Diffusers typically come in a disc or tube form.

Advantages & Disadvantages of diffused air aeration systems

Diffused air aeration systems offer a lot of advantages for operators and owners of wastewater treatment systems and lagoons such as:

  • Greater level of adjustment and control due to the air control valves
  • More complete mixing from the bottom of the tank or lagoon to the top of the water surface
  • Superior Standard Aeration Efficiency (SAE) or pounds of air delivered to water per unit of energy required to run the system
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • Flexible design can be implemented and sized based on size and configuration of tank or lagoon
  • Only mechanical components are the air compressors, valves and gauges which are located on the ground in an easy to access area.
  • More efficient for deeper applications

While diffused air aeration systems provide great advantages, there are some disadvantages or considerations involved such as:

  • More complex to implement. All of the components need to be sized based on the amount of air and diffusers required by the tank or lagoon
  • Higher up-front costs because of complexity, amount of equipment and installation
  • Potential noise issue from air compressors (can be mitigated)
  • Diffusers can become fouled by sludge (diffusers should be hosed off every 1-2 years or when they begin to fail)
  • Less efficient for shallower applications < 8’

Diffused air aeration system summary

As you can see, diffused air aeration systems are a flexible, cost efficient solution that provides complete mixing and the maximum bang for the buck with regards to operation. Before deciding on installing a diffused air aeration system however, one should carefully consider the upfront costs, and the design and installation requirements.

Mechanical Aeration Systems

What is a mechanical aeration system?

A mechanical aeration system moves the water to come into contact with the surrounding air above the surface. The mechanism constantly draws water into it and pushes it out. The movement of the water creates a current that causes a mixing action in the tank or pond.

How a mechanical aeration system works

As previously described, a mechanical aeration system moves water to come into contact with air. As the water is moved, air is introduced and absorbed by the water. The movement of the mechanism brings new water into contact with the air and mixes the aerated water with the rest of the tank or lagoon.

Main mechanical aeration system components

A mechanical aeration system consists of a mechanism that moves the water such as a pump and tubing or an electric motor that turns a propeller. Surface systems are enclosed in a housing with pontoons to keep it buoyant. Mechanical aeration systems are typically modular in nature with everything being included in a single piece of equipment. In a typical situation, multiple systems are deployed in a tank or pond to create uniform coverage.

Variations of mechanical aeration systems

A mechanical aeration system can take many forms such as:

  • A fountain that sprays the water into the air
  • Waterfalls
  • Pontoon mixers that pull water from near the surface and spray it out in jets
  • Propellers that churn the water

Advantages & Disadvantages of mechanical aeration systems

Mechanical aeration systems definitely offer some advantages such as:

  • A very high level of mixing and oxygen transfer with the water that is moved is accomplished
  • Very simple and cost effective to implement. No system to design or install
  • Equipment is simple to implement
  • Flexibility because existing units can be moved around (not waterfalls), and additional units can be added
  • Waterfalls and fountains make nice features to ponds or lagoons
  • More efficient for shallower applications

Some of the disadvantages are:

  • Mixing and oxygen transfer are highly localized and often limited to the area immediately around the unit
  • While mixing on the surface is accomplished well, there is little to no mixing on the bottom of the tank or lagoon. This can create zones of little to no air or mixing and cause sludge accumulation and septic conditions on the bottom
  • Lower Standard Aeration Efficiency (SAE) or pounds of air delivered to water per unit of energy required to run the system when compared to diffused air aeration systems
  • More mechanical equipment is required which can become fouled and can also require more maintenance
  • Mechanical equipment is located in or on the water and must be retrieved in order to be serviced
  • Systems are exposed to the elements effecting equipment lifespans
  • Noise from water splashing (this can be more pleasant than the sound of machinery)
  • Fountains can spray a mist that carries outside the boundaries of the lagoon or pond in high winds which may be undesirable
  • Surface mixing is less efficient for deeper tanks and ponds

Mechanical aeration system summary

If you’re looking for a quick, easy to implement solution to raising the DO levels and getting some mixing in your shallow lagoon or pond then a mechanical aeration system might be the right solution for you. If your lagoon is deeper than 8 feet, you might have some buildup of sludge on the bottom and you won’t be able to mix the water at greater depths.


Which is better? Diffused air or mechanical aeration?

For mixing

If you have a small shallow pond then a mechanical mixer might be your best option. For top to bottom mixing, the diffused air route is definitely best. Also keeping solids in suspension means they won’t settle on the bottom as much and that can save money in the long run when it comes to having to dredge sludge out.

For increasing to DO levels

Diffused air aeration is the way to go here. It has a better SAE than mechanical systems, you can adjust how much air is delivered and you will have more uniform DO levels at all depths of your lagoon. For wastewater systems, having uniform DO levels in your pond or lagoon is a real advantage. Your microbes will work better at not only treating the wastewater but any sludge that tries to accumulate on the bottom as well. If you dose with Muck Eliminator (Sludge Reducer), there will be plenty of air for the microbes to do their job!

We are happy to explore all of these advantages and requirements and discuss the implementation of a diffused air aeration system with you! Call Randy Sorenson at 303-520-4961 or send us an email.



PART 4 Wastewater Lagoon Rehabilitation: Ongoing Operation & Maintenance

Everything done so far has been in the pursuit of two basic goals:

  1. Create an aerobic environment for optimal waste digestion and water quality
  2. Provide beneficial bio-enzymes and microbes for wastewater treatment and solids digestion

Now that the equipment has been installed, it must to utilized as part of a program in order to achieve the full benefit of your investment.

Operation of the aeration system

Once the aeration system is installed, it should remain in constant operation 24 hours per day. This is necessary to maintain the dissolved oxygen levels necessary to support the bacteria that treat wastewater. The aeration system equipment itself should require little maintenance. We suggest you check the compressors regularly to make sure they sound right and there are no obstructions around them. Have a look at your lagoons or ponds to make sure you still see all of the bubble plumes from the diffusers and that they look about the same.

Why Add Beneficial Microbes?

Now that you have adequate air going into your lagoons or ponds, you have a great habitat for the bacteria and microbes that treat the wastewater. As we’ve previously described, air is only one of the two goals for an efficient wastewater lagoon treatment system. The other goal is to establish a strong population of the right kind of bacteria in order to adequately treat the wastewater and avoid having the excess nutrients in the lagoons which can cause the growth of weeds and vegetation.

Dosing the Beneficial Microbes

Always follow the guidelines for dosage amount and frequency. If you don’t, your results may be less than optimal and you will be wasting product. There will typically be a building period in the beginning where you will be using more bio-enzymes than normal. Once this building period is complete, you will have a sufficient population of bacteria and will only need to dose enough enzymes to maintain the system.

  1. If you have an aeration system installed, make sure it is operating correctly and turn it on.
  2. Throw the water-soluble bag of enzymes in the middle of the lagoon or pond. If using enzymes in pellet form, add the pellets in the area where they need to go.
  3. Follow the dosage schedule exactly and add additional doses as required.
  4. Maintain your aeration system to sustain adequate DO levels.

See our Dosing Rate page for guidelines for how much bio-enzymes to use.

How soon do our customers see results?

Many of our customers see results within hours. The results include clearer water, less odor and bluer water color. Typically, full rehabilitation occurs over four weeks or so.

Possible Adverse Conditions That Can Occur

Depending on your particular situation, it is possible that some temporary adverse effects will occur. For instance, we have seen situations with lagoons and ponds that have an old thick sludge blanket on the bottom. These lagoons and ponds, when properly mixed for the first time in years, release toxins trapped in the sludge blanket. When this happens, the water turns red which is a sign that the beneficial bacteria in the pond is dead or dying. In these cases, a continued high dosage of microbes will correct the problem over the course of a week or so. Other conditions can include an increase in floating sludge and an increase in odor. Please keep in mind that these conditions are temporary and reflect the fact that you are churning up all the junk that has been lurking in your lagoon or pond for years. This is actually a good sign!

Red Wastewater Lagoon.

“Red is Dead” as they say. This wastewater lagoon had a thick layer of old sludge on the bottom. The sludge was broken up with the new, sub-surface aeration system. Unfortunately, the bacteria in the lagoon was killed by whatever toxic substance was is the sludge. With continued aeration and extra doses of microbes, this lagoon will be in good shape soon.

If you have concerns with these or other conditions during operation of your rehabilitating wastewater lagoon or pond, please don’t hesitate to call us! Our service does not end when our truck pulls out of your driveway. We are invested in the success of our clients.

That’s the end of part 4. If you have any more questions about equipment, our sales/installation process, microbes or your situation, please give Randy Sorenson a call at 303-520-4961.

PART 3 Wastewater Lagoon Rehabilitation : Aeration System Delivery and Installation

Now that the system layout has been designed, the equipment procured, and the lagoons and site are prepared, it’s time to deliver the equipment and install the aeration system.


If we are assisting you in the installation of your system, we will deliver the equipment ourselves. If you need a boat, we can supply that as well. We will also bring the alignment stakes and required tools. If there is anything specific we need from you, we will arrange that before we come out.

Off-Loading & Set Up 

The aeration compressors and other equipment is unloaded at the location of the pads that have been prepared where they will be installed. The aeration compressor cabinets are placed on the pads, attached to power and tested for correct function.

Here is a cabinet set into place with the air tubing installed.

Laying Out the Grid for The Diffusers

The diffusers are usually laid out in a grid. Prior to installing the first diffuser, drive stakes with marker tape into the ground around the lagoon to use as reference points to install the diffusers in the right place. Make sure the stakes are visible when you are on the water! Clear Water Supply will provide a layout drawing for your layout dimensions.

Typical layout of a wastewater lagoon for planning the placement of aerators or diffusers.

Start in one corner and work out from that point. Often times site conditions are different than anticipated so be prepared to make field improvisations as required. Either way, setting the stakes saves a lot of time when placing the diffusers and makes for a more accurate installation.

Diffuser Placement

If you are using your boat, it will have to be set up to hold the tubing spool and all the clamps needed along with diffusers (do not overload the boat). Two people on the boat is preferred; one to navigate to the drop spot and the other to feed the tubbing. The first diffusers to be installed are the ones that are furthest away from the aeration compressors. Starting at the location of the aeration compressors, Connect the tubing and navigate to the furthest drop spot using the alignment stakes as a reference. Once at the drop spot, cut the tubing and attach to the diffuser with a stainless clamp. A buoy is also attached to each diffuser with a cord so it can be easily retrieved after installation. At that point you’re ready to drop. The diffusers are weighted so they will settle of the bottom right-side-up.

Repeat this process until all diffusers are dropped.

Testing the Function of the Aeration System

After all diffusers are dropped at their zones, open the cabinet and adjust the valve to each diffuser to get an equal flow across the lagoon. If a diffuser is not bubbling, it may have been covered with sludge. Turn all valves to the closed position and then open the one that is not bubbling. This will force all of the air to one diffuser. The additional air should allow the diffuser to clear. After the function of the diffuser is restored, open the rest of the valves on that manifold and adjust valve position for equal flow again.

Here you can see the bubbles created by the diffusers. A properly adjusted system will have the same amount of bubbles coming from each diffuser.

At this point, your system is all set up!

The next installment is Part 4 which describes what you can do to get the most out of your new aeration system and complete your lagoon rehabilitation.

PART 2 Wastewater Lagoon Rehabilitation : System Design, Equipment Procurement and Site Preparation

What Goes into The Aeration System

The aeration system consists of the air delivery system or “air compressor”, weighted tubing and diffusers. We also use small buoys which attach to the diffusers with a cord so the diffusers can be located and retrieved easier after they are installed.

General Wastewater Lagoon Aeration System Design

We look at the surface area, depth and shape of the wastewater lagoons to determine the best placement for the diffusers for uniform mixing. We also look at the best place to install the aeration system air compressors and approximate how much tubing will be required to deliver air from the compressors to the diffusers.

Designing the Diffuser Layout

We will usually lay a grid out on each lagoon and place the diffusers along strait lines at equal spacing. Some lagoons are odd shaped and require a bit of flexibility on diffuser placement. The goal of this stage is to make the installation as easy as possible by planning everything out ahead of time. The design will include the location of alignment stakes that will be used to drop the diffusers where they need to go.

Typical layout of a wastewater lagoon for planning the placement of aerators or diffusers.

Locating the Aeration System Air Compressors

The aeration system air compressors should be located in a location that minimizes the length of tubing required to get air to all of the diffusers. Access to a power source is another consideration. If multiple compressor units are needed for aeration system, we will want to locate them in the same area if possible.

The air delivery compressors should be installed in a central location. Notice the 3 tiny boxes in the space between all of the lagoons. In this case, this is the optimal location to limit the amount of air tubing required for the system and make maintenance of all of the units easier.


Equipment Procurement

Typical lead time for procuring the aeration system air compressors, diffusers and associated equipment is currently about 3-4 weeks. We will collect all of the equipment at our warehouse to deliver it all together.

Site Preparation

Once the design is all set and the equipment is placed on order, a few things need to be in place at the site prior to delivery. During this time it is a good idea to prepare the lagoons or ponds and the surrounding area for installation. A smooth installation is highly dependent on how well the site is prepared!

  • Adequate power needs to be provided at the location where the aeration system(s) are to be installed. If the unit is a 220 volt system, you will need a dual breaker for the unit and a small 220 plug (not a dryer plug).
  • Each aeration system air compressor unit will require a pad or appropriate surface to set it on. This can be a concrete pad, crushed gravel base or we can provide a pre-manufactured base with the unit that is built for this purpose. Please note that a dirt surface will likely cause the compressor unit to ingest dust. Grass is also not a good surface to mount the compressor on because it can grow tall enough to possibly interfere with the operation of the unit
  • If there is a large amount of duckweed or vegetation on the surface of the lagoon or pond, it should be cleared as much as possible
  • Any debris or trash on or around the lagoon or pond needs to be cleared
  • If weeds, tall grass or shrubs growing around the shore of the lagoon or pond, it should be cleared as well
  • A boat that can carry four men with a trolling motor will be needed for placement of the diffusers. We can provide a boat if necessary when we deliver the equipment
  • A road or cleared access large enough the get the equipment close to or at the installation site

Now that the lagoon aeration system had been designed, the site prepared, and the equipment is on it’s way, the next step is delivering your equipment and installing it.

See the next installment “Part 3” for our blog post about delivery and installation day.

Wastewater Lagoon Rehabilitation Process, Part 1


This is a four-part series of blog posts which describe a typical wastewater lagoon rehabilitation. Our hope is that we can provide a little more understanding of how our process works and what to expect. This series will walk you through each step of the process including what needs to happen before, during after your system is installed. Part 1 covers the initial consultation, analysis and what information is helpful to us. Part 2 covers the equipment specification and design of the optimal layout for the aeration system and diffusers. Part 3 covers site preparation, delivery and installation. Part 4 covers ongoing operation and maintenance to reap the maximum benefit of the rehabilitation. So without further ado, let’s get started with part 1.

Collection of project information

When we are contacted by a potential client, we have a few pieces of information we need to obtain in order to work up a course of action and an estimate. These pieces of information include:

  • The address of the wastewater lagoons
  • Where is the application is located in relation to the lagoons
  • Any problems, citations or specific goals for the lagoons or application
  • Any site-specific conditions that would affect the installation such as proximity to RV spaces, rivers access or layout of the site
  • Dimensions, area, depth, freeboard, slope of the sides and operational layout of the wastewater lagoons. If you have design plans for the lagoons, that helps us a lot

Analysis and Quote

Based on the information you provide us, we will evaluate the size and configuration of the system you need. There may be work that needs to be accomplished prior to installation such as clearing excessive amounts of duckweed.

At this point, we will provide you with a quote for equipment, delivery, installation and beneficial microbes. We will ask for a 50% deposit before moving forward with the next step which is the design of the system and procurement of the equipment.

See Part 2 for information on our design process, equipment procurement and preparation of the site prior to installation.

Septic Odor Problems and What To Do

Don’t ignore odors coming from your septic tank. Solve them or the problem will only get worse!

If you have a septic tank, you should be able to use it problem-free, for years. However, it’s not unusual to experience septic odor problems with a septic system. Regular septic tank maintenance is vital to long-term, trouble free septic tank operation.

How do septic tanks work?

In some areas without a local sewer system, land owners are have to install their own septic tank systems to deal with sewage and wastewater. A septic tank is a tank made of steel or concrete that is buried under the ground. The wastewater flows into the tank and builds a layer of “scum” at the top and heavier waste sinks to the bottom. Water rests in between the scum, and the layer of sludge at the bottom.

As wastewater flows into the tank, the wastewater already in the tank flows out. This water flows to a drainage field, called a “leach field”. A leach field consists of perforated pipes resting in trenches. Typically, gravity is used to transport the wastewater away from the dwelling, where it is absorbed by the ground in the area of the leach field. If the septic tank system does not perform properly, it can contaminate the area, costing thousands of dollars to clean up.

What causes of septic tank odor problems

If a septic tank system is working well, gases from the treatment process are contained and vented in a controlled manner. Septic odor problems occur when a septic tank system is not functioning properly and sewage gases are released in ways that are not intended by its design. Some of the common causes of odors include:

Septic tank system that’s too full: This could be caused by a faulty pump, a blocked outlet pipe to the leach field or too many solids building up in the bottom of the tank.

Dry drains in your house: Drains and toilets will have a small amount of water in them that prevents sewage gases from seeping from the pipes and septic tank back through them into the house. When a drain is dry, there is nothing to stop the gases from entering the home or dwelling. You’ll notice a foul odor inside your home if this happens.

Blocked septic venting systems:  Without a working venting system, sewage gases can’t escape from the septic system. It’s possible that this situation can lead to a toxic hazard to home occupants, and even pose the threat of flammability. Blocked vents can be caused by new landscaping or Ice or frost. When this happens, sewer gases must escape somewhere and often find their way back into the home. Like the dry drain scenario, you may smell odor in the house but you may also notice odors outside the home, too. If you suspect this condition, inspect the outdoor plumbing vents, and clear them as necessary.

How to prevent septic odor problems

One word: MAINTENANCE. The best way to avoid septic tank odor problems is to schedule regular maintenance for the septic system equipment. Clearing out solids is a crucial part of keeping your septic system in good condition. Maintaining your septic system should include:

  • Conducting regular full-scale inspections of mechanical equipment (pumps and float switches), vents, drains in the house and checking for leaks.
  • Evaluating the leach field for possible scum and sludge flowing out of the septic tank (there should be none). If there is solids present, your septic tank is likely full and needs to be pumped out.
  • Remove or reduce the solids in the septic tank by either pumping or the regular use of microbes to digest them. Many septic system owners have had success with converting their septic tank into an aeration basin by installing an aeration system and using microbes or bio-enzymes. By doing this, the solids are consumed by the microbes and do not have to be pumped out.

Other ways to prevent septic odor problems

  • Install activated carbon air filters on all vents.  Air that escapes the vents can be filtered before it is released to the surrounding environment.
  • Install an activated carbon air filter with a vacuum system. A system like this will pull the air out of the septic tank and direct it through a large activated carbon air filter. You will need to make sure there is a way for air to get in the tank since this system will be pulling air out.