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Aerobic septic systems

An aerobic septic system consists of a primary treatment tank and a secondary treatment tank.

How does an aerobic septic system work?

With an aerobic septic system, the first tank is similar to a traditional septic tank, where solids and liquids are separated.

The second tank incorporates an aeration blower, which breaks down effluent, the outflow of water to a natural body of water. It then progresses to a pump chamber where it's disinfected and pumped into a designated above ground irrigation area.

How often to pump aerobic septic systems

Aerobic systems require quarterly maintenance

Quarterly maintenance, including pumping the system, is to be carried out by an accredited agent or trained personnel to ensure the reclaimed effluent complies with the criteria stipulated by SA Health.

What's included in the maintenance of an aerobic system?

  • checking the blowers
  • contact media
  • pipework
  • valves
  • diffusers
  • effluent clarity
  • sludge return
  • removal of excess scum
  • testing the pump, and
  • general operation of the system checks

A supply of chlorine tablets sufficient to last until the next scheduled service must be installed in the unit as part of this service.


An aerobic system should last more than 15-20 years, provided it is maintained in accordance with the service schedule.

A yellow light displaying on your aerobic septic system could mean there is an aeration issue. Refer to your owner’s manual for more information.

Aerobic systems are ideal systems for re-use of effluent, and are efficient and safe if serviced regularly. Aerobic systems are a better alternative than on site soakage systems.

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