Repairs - Septic Tank Aerators

How do Septic Tank Aerators work?

Septic tank aerators add oxygen to the septic tank similar to a fish tank aerator.  An above ground unit pumps air into a diffuser placed at the bottom of the tank.  The diffuser creates bubbles of air that slowly rise to the top of the tank.  Oxygen in the air bubbles is transfered into the surrounding liquid. ...more

The addition of oxygen allows aerobic (oxygen breathing) bacteria to thrive.  Aerobic bacteria are able to metabolize (digest) food wastes much more rapidly than non-aerobic ("anaerobic") bacteria.  Many of the companies promoting septic tank aerators will also provide seed bacteria to quick start the aerobic digestion of food wastes.  Septic tank aerators provide a low-cost means to restore drainfields that are plugged due to excessive food waste from facilities such as bakeries, restaurants, and pubs.

Septic tank aerators are not likely to fix drainfields plugged with paint or clay.  Aerators will not fix a system that is hydraulically overloaded or has a flow rate which exceeds of the capacity of the soil to accept water.  Aerators also will not provide a long term fix for a drain field that is saturated from flooding or high groundwater.