Information on aerobic treatment units

Did you know there’s such thing as alternative septic systems? The difference can make or break your home’s septic safety!

If you can’t use a conventional tank, there are other options: aerobic treatment units (ATU), multimedia filters, or a mix of the two.  

What is an ATU?

An ATU is a small residential wastewater treatment facility. The ATU adds oxygen to the septic system, which encourages the growth of aerobic bacteria. That bacteria then breaks down organic waste in the sewage. 

  1. The system’s aeration chamber introduces oxygen into the sewage, allowing bacteria to multiply and break down the waste
  2. Solids fall into a clarifier and are recirculated to the aeration chamber
  3. The effluent, now free from organic waste and therefore odorless, rises into a chlorinator for disinfection
  4. Once chlorinated, the now clean water moves to a holding chamber to be discharged later

Why should I use one?

They make using a septic tank possible where conventional tanks can’t be used. ATUs make wastewater treatment systems possible for even the worst conditions. They are perfect for a lack of space or difficult terrain.

Logo for Virginia Department of Health with words 'Protecting You and Your Environment'

Is there anything else I should know?

The Virginia Department of Health released a regulation in 2011 stating the responsibilities of alternative septic tank owners. Some of these include having the system operated and maintained by an operator and having an operator visit the system at the frequency required by the regulation. It is important to stay up to date with your septic system maintenance and inspections. You wouldn’t skip inspections on your car; why would you skip inspections on any other major equipment in your life? Regular maintenance and inspections will help to reduce the chance of equipment failure or malfunction and will ensure the system is operating properly.

Lid of septic tank

How do I get An ATU? 

Miller’s is a full-service septic company, Class A contractor, and a DPOR licensed operator and installer of alternative onsite sewage systems. We host a Master Plumber on staff and through our Annual Service Agreement, we are able to perform both regularly scheduled septic tank services and troubleshooting.  

We can install all types of alternative systems approved by the State of Virginia.  If you are looking for a new system or aren’t sure what kind of system you have, contact us at (804) 581-0001!

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