Understanding and awareness of the large and variable range of sand that is suitable for use in AES systems is valuable knowledge and what suppliers call their suitable AES sand is even more varied.  Sand that meets the AES specification includes the following:

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Double Washed Mary River Sand
Kenilworth Sand
Dalby Blend Sand
Tomato Island Medium Course Sand
Course washed Brown Sand

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Mary River Single washed Sand
Emerald Quarry Washed course and fine sand
Blue River course sand
Bundy Bedding Sand
Mareebah Quarry Course Sand
Pinevale Washed Sand


The name of the sand has nothing to do with the suitability of the System Sand.

Suitable Sand: Sand suitable for AES systems has a broad scope, which may allow the use of a naturally occurring local alluvial sand.

The most imported criteria for AES system sand is that it must contain no more than to 2% silt.  Silt at a higher percentage than 2% can causes the capillary voids between the sand particles to become clogged and restrict the wicking of water and the induction of oxygen into the system sand to aid the natural bacterial environment. It does not stop the AES from treating but may reduce the system life to under 20 years.

Confirming suitable Sand: There are a couple of ways to confirm suitability of system sand:-  The best way is to take advantage of Chankar Environmental’s free Presby Spec checker test of samples you supply.


To get a free test of a local source of sand simply mail to cups of the sand to:

Chankar Environmental, PO Box 1556, Noosaville BC. 4566

Enclose with the sample:

– The name of the supplier or Name of the Sand Pit

– Address of the supplier or pit

– The supplier product code for the sand


Or you can obtain a Presby Spec Checker from us and conduct this test yourself following completion of the on-line training. You then carry out  the test and supply a completed Spec-check test sheet for inclusion in our Sand Register.

Another way is to obtain a Specification sheet from the supplier. You can forward this to info@enviro-septic.com.au and we can confirm its suitability.

A common way of referring to a suitable sand is to use course sand that is suitable for the manufacture of concrete. It will always exceed the minimum requirements for AES system sand. If you have a concrete batching plant near by they will provide you with the supplier of their course sand. You may also be able to obtain reports for alluvial sands from landscape yards.etc.


It is also interesting to watch the Presby Spec-Check demonstration video, click on the link below.

http://www.screencast.com/users/Dennis.Fogg/folders/Spec-Check Demonstration/media/8b4feb93-4307-4e0a-bed9-d1f498877f5b