Frequently Asked Questions

The AES is a simple, non-mechanical septic system that treats septic tank primary effluent to secondary or Advanced Secondary quality. The 4 stages of the AES treatment train are…

  • All waste both black and grey water leave the house and enter a septic tank where the solids are separated from the liquid which is known as primary treatment.
  • The primary treated effluent then flows into a series of Advanced Enviro-Septic pipes installed in a configuration that suits the load generated by the home and the constraints of the site.
  • The bacteria attaches itself to the walls of the enviro-septic pipes and will feed on the pollutants found in the effluent.
  • The highest quality effluent will now safely infiltrate into the underlying soil, protecting the environment and keeping your family safe.

Yes, The AES is designed to treat primary effluent from a septic tank sized in accordance with the relevant state and local authority guidelines.

Yes, if the house has a septic tank already and it is of correct capacity and has been inspected and found to be in good operational condition, the existing septic tank can be used. Your septic tank must meet the current regulatory requirements.

The area required is based on a calculation of the permeability of the soil and the number of bedrooms in the house. For example: if the site is highly permeable the area requirement will be small and for less permeable sites the area will be larger. As a rule, the AES footprint will be at least half the size of an AWTS/ATU with drip or spray irrigation.

A large percentage of sites throughout Australia are predominately clay sites, There are many ways of combating clay sites for effluent disposal which we have proven with the many systems installed, soil improvements , design techniques and correct sizing is a step in right direction.

Note: Septic systems have been successfully used in clay soils for over 110 years

Due to the scalable nature of the AES, pricing can vary from house to house, for example:

Less bedrooms = less water = less pipes and area required

More bedrooms = more water = more pipes and area required

There are also factors such as pump wells if gravity cannot be of assistance and site access. In most cases the AES is similar pricing to an AWTS and a majority of instances cheaper. Establishing a fixed price is difficult unless there is already a site and soil evaluation complete.

Once again this can depend on the site access and system size however it would usually be 1 day’s work to install a septic tank with an AES treatment and disposal area for a domestic dwelling.

Any AES certified trade qualified plumber or drainer can install for you, if they are not already certified, it’s a simple online training course that takes approximately 1.5hrs and is free to do.

Any AES Certified person who is deemed qualified by your local authority can design AES. If they are not already certified, it’s as simple as completing an online training course that takes approximately 1.5hrs and is free to do.

Be Aware – As the homeowner you do have many different options for effluent disposal . If you have already had an onsite wastewater design complete and your not entirely happy please call for honest ,friendly and professional advice.

Firstly, you would contact AES to organise an AES certified site and soil evaluator to visit your site and provide you with a soil test and system design. This will need to be submitted to your local authority for approval. Once approval has been granted contact AES for a list of certified plumbers from your local area to quote the job.

Septic tanks generate a complex mixture of toxic and nontoxic gases by the decomposition of organic household wastes , typical components of septic tank gases may include hydrogen sulphideammoniamethaneesterscarbon monoxidesulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. All systems with a septic process will generate these gasses and they are typically vented through the vent stacks located on the house. To sum this up if proper venting is in place there should never be any odour present.

No, The AES does not have any mechanical components that need regular replacement, chemicals that need topping up or settings that need to be changed altered or monitored. The only maintenance required would be a pump out of your septic tank when its required. For an average house hold this would be approximately every 3-5 years.

Septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in areas without centralized sewer systems. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by toilets, kitchen drains, and laundry. A typical septic system consists of a septic tank and a series of trenches or beds. All water runs out of your house from one main drainage pipe into a septic tank.

  1. The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Its job is to hold the wastewater long enough to allow solids to settle down to the bottom forming sludge, while the oil and grease floats to the top as scum. The T-shaped outlet (baffle) prevent the sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling into the disposal area (trenches or beds).
  2. The liquid wastewater (effluent) then exits the tank into the trenches or beds.
  3. The trenches or beds are a covered, excavation made in unsaturated soil. Primary treated wastewater is discharged through piping to the surrounding aggregate/sand that allow wastewater to filter though the soil. The soil accepts, treats, and disperses… wastewater as it percolates through the soil
  4. Finally, the wastewater percolates into the soil, naturally removing harmful coliform bacteria, viruses and nutrients. Coliform bacteria are a group of bacteria predominantly inhabiting the intestines of humans or other warm-blooded animals. It is an indicator of human faecal contamination.

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)

A sand filter is an additional treatment process fitted to a Septic Tank outlet to process the primary treated effluent from the Septic Tank. The effluent is fed into slotted plastic pipes laid flat in the top sand of the filter, where it percolates down through a coarse clean sand and is collected by a slotted pipe set in the base sand. It then either flows into a pump-out chamber for surface or subsurface irrigation or alternatively a passive form of disposal gravitating into absorption trenches or beds. Septic tank must be pumped regularly to ensure the sand media does not become blocked by solids flushed out of the septic tank.

The sand media cannot be backwashed or cleaned and must be removed and replaced by fresh sand at the end of the life of the sand media. In poorly designed or constructed systems, failure can occur in as little as 3 years or less. Effluent from the system can be used in the same way as effluent from HSTP. Annual maintenance costs are usually considerably less than a HSTP. However, sand replacement costs when they inevitably occur, usually cost approximately as much as the installation cost of the complete system some 9 or 10 years before.

A worm farm system is a method of sewage treatment that is carried out by the action of worms that live in the sewage tank. A specially designed tank is seeded with worms on commissioning and by their action in eating the food sources provided to them, burrowing through the organic matter, produce castings of partially treated matter. Like all aerobic systems, they rely on living organisms to produce the treatment process so they are equally susceptible to mistreatment by excess use of water and cleaning products etc.

Yes, all systems will need the primary chamber or sludge chamber pumped from time to time. In most cases the AWTS systems pump out intervals are more frequent than a septic tank due to the smaller capacities.

If gravity can be utilised to transfer effluent to the disposal field than no power is required.

If the system is designed, installed, used and maintained properly, there is no limit to the life expectancy of Advanced Enviro-Septic® In the event that the AES pipes malfunction due to abuse, Advanced Enviro-Septic® may be rejuvenated in as little as 72 hours, eliminating the need for a replacement.

When choosing a wastewater system, the choice is yours. Your site will have a bearing on what system or disposal type that best suits your needs. The system you choose is something you will need to live with and maintain for as long as you live in the house. So, choose wisely….

Choosing the right system can be very hard, there is very little information out there for consumers in the market to upgrade or install a new wastewater system. There is a lot of conflicting information on forums that appears to be waste water companies either criticizing competitor’s products or  complimenting their own.

Let’s face it …. Nobody wants to pay service fees, power bills, callout fees or be unnecessarily faced with costly repair bills. By choosing a passive wastewater solution, not only will you be making better and more informed decision about the environment and your family’s wellbeing. Your helping to protect your hard-earned dollars $$$

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