Aerobic VS. Anaerobic Sewage Treatment Systems – What’s the Difference?

septic sewage tank

Do you know the difference between a Aerobic Treatment or a Anaerobic treatment for your septic tank? Proper wastewater treatment is key to preventing the spread of waterborne diseases. A treatment process which involves microbes or living organisms is categorized as biological wastewater treatment. Septic systems can use two biological processes; aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment.

While both aim to preserve the health and wellbeing of the population by reducing water contamination, each treatment works differently. Here are the differences between aerobic and anaerobic sewage treatment systems.

How Aerobic Treatment Works

Aerobic wastewater treatment uses bacteria that require oxygen, so air is constantly circulated throughout the treatment tank. The aerobic bacteria then break down the waste resulting in water clean enough for discharge. Electricity is needed throughout this process to keep the air circulating.

How Anaerobic Treatment Works

Anaerobic wastewater treatment uses bacteria that transform organic matter into biogas containing methane and carbon dioxide in the absence of oxygen. To achieve this oxygen-free environment, the entry of air into anaerobic tanks is prevented, typically by a gas tight cover.

What Are the Key Differences?

Aerobic Wastewater Treatment

Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment

  • Uses oxygen
  • An aerobic system can be a stand-alone system, or combined with an anaerobic system
  • Aerobic systems tend to be more expensive than anaerobic
  • Aerobic systems require electricity and mechanical air pumps to treat the waste
  • A qualified professional is required to inspect and maintain the electrical and mechanical components regularly to ensure they are working correctly
  • Aerobic treatment of wastewater is more often used in rural areas or small communities where a central facility is not practical to implement
  • Does not use oxygen
  • Anaerobic systems generate less sludge than aerobic
  • Anaerobic systems have lower sludge-handling costs than aerobic systems
  • Anaerobic systems require no electricity
  • Anaerobic components require lower level of maintenance than aerobic
  • Anaerobic treatment systems may be used in areas where a central treatment plant is not possible. They can also be used in individual households or in small shared facilities

Contact Supeck Septic Services

Wastewater treatment is an essential process which should be properly maintained to keep our environment safe. Contact Supeck Septic Services to ensure your system is getting the maintenance it needs. Call us at 888-725-0209