Anaerobic vs. aerobic

I was reviewing a claim that came in, and the term septic was used a lot in the inspection report.

Septic tanks are either anaerobic (septic) or aerobic.


  The tank of an anaerobic (septic) system is where:

· the solids separate from liquids;
· the organic matter is digested;
· the solids are stored; and
· the relatively clear effluent comes from.

  The term "septic" is a commonly used term to describe all types of septic systems and components, even though it should only be used when describing anaerobic systems.

  The term "septic" refers to the anaerobic bacterial environment that exists in the treatment tank, which decomposes the waste discharged into the tank.  



  The tank of an aerobic tank is not as tranquil as a septic tank.  Inside an aerobic tank, air may be forced into the effluent, or mechanical agitation devices, pumps or impellers constantly or at timed intervals mix the effluent.  A properly working aerobic tank discharges effluent that is more thoroughly treated and is more clearer and has fewer odors.  


That’s all 100% true technically.

However it IS commonly accepted to use the term “septic” with both types of systems. This word has come to mean any type of on-site waste water treatment system in the common language.

So if someone were to call an aeration system a “septic” system, while technically incorrect, it is accepted and understood.

In other words, don’t correct someone in the “incorrect” usage or you will look like a jerk. :smiley:

Oh, and a BTW…

An easy way to keep the two separate in your mind…

If you think of aerobics as an exercise, you need lots of air and oxygen. So if you are a geezer like me, you might even need an oxygen tank to keep going. Just like an aerobic treatment system. The bacteria need the extra oxygen that an aeration system would provide.

A septic system is a traditional system (tank, and field) that need NO additional oxygen. (anaerobic) It’s a couch potato that works well as one.

Thanks that is some good info, I see both of theses systems everyday.

I thought you were talking about working out. lOL