AWTS/ ATU systems treat wastewater to a secondary standard (a higher standard than septic tanks and composting toilets), so that the effluent can be used for disposal on your property. AWTS use several pumps and are more complicated than septic tanks and require more frequent maintenance.
The effluent, treated to a secondary standard, is then usually pumped away for surface or subsurface irrigation in a dedicated area or paddock, although chlorine is not ideal for irrigation. Secondary treated effluent can also be disposed of via other methods including absorption trenches and beds. Advanced aerated systems use membrane filters, and UV disinfection instead of chlorination, to treat wastewater to an even higher standard, free of chlorine which is better for irrigation.
Membrane filtration involves passing the wastewater through very fine membrane pores that filter out most particles, nutrients and diseases, producing very clear effluent at the same time it is treated by UV disinfection.
Common problems with aerated wastewater treatment systems are:
- Pump failure resulting in system overflow
- Air blower failure resulting in system becoming anaerobic
- Control board failure will result in no function of alarm, air blower or effluent pump.
- intermittent or low wastewater loads resulting in poor level of treatment
- Blockages in irrigation area, membrane or filters
- not being serviced by a qualified service provider.
(If you have an AWTS or ATU its strongly recommended that you have it serviced by an appropriately accredited service provider)