The Experience of Septic Solutions®


The owners of Septic Solutions, Inc. also own a Septic System Installation Company that has been designing, installing, and servicing many thousands of septic systems since 1989. The vast majority of those systems have consisted of Aerobic Treatment Systems. We estimate that approximately 50% of all those many thousands of septic system installations have been replacing failed field absorption systems in south-central Illinois.

It is common knowledge that in this part of Illinois the most common septic system installation during the 1960’s through 1990 consisted of a septic tank and a subsurface seepage system otherwise known as a field absorption system. The soils in this area consisted of high clay content greatly reducing the abilities of those soils to absorb wastewater. In addition to the poor soils was a limiting layer that consisted of seasonal high water tables that in most cases were within 2 feet just below the ground surface.


Additionally many of these systems were installed at homes that were at that time serviced by their own drilled well, greatly limiting the amount of water actually utilized. For the past 20 years Rural Water Coops have sprung up throughout the area providing virtually limitless amounts of water for use in those homes. This has caused hydraulic overloading on most of these systems. When you combine clay soils with seasonal high water tables and limitless amounts of water for use in those homes you have a combination of factors that can ensure an inevitable failure of those types of subsurface seepage systems.

Our Septic System Installation Company did not install very many septic tanks and field absorption systems after the early 1990s because of these factors, which included pre-mature and multiple field failures. It was our experience that many of these types of systems failed within the first couple of years. It was at that time and somewhat based on necessity that we evolved into primarily installing Class 1 Aerobic Treatment Units.


In Illinois Aerobic Treatment Units were known to process Residential Wastewater to the extent of discharging as high as 98% clear and odorless effluent. With our Installation company’s evolution from installing septic tanks and field absorption systems to aerobic systems, which in Illinois was allowed to surface discharge the treated effluent the three major causes of system failure was virtually eliminated. However additional problems developed by surface discharging Aerobic Treatment Units (ATUS) that included the following: If an average home produced 300 gallons of wastewater per day to be treated by these ATUs that also meant that 300 gallons of 98% clear and odorless effluent was discharging somewhere on that homeowner’s property. 300 gallons per day times 7 days meant that 2100 gallons of treated effluent would discharge that ATU per week or more than 100,000 gallons per year. Although these discharges consisted of very clean effluent, naturally this created some additional problems.


By the mid 1990s beginning in 1994 we began resolving the excessive discharge problem in many cases by utilizing many of the failed field absorption systems we were replacing. By taking the treated effluent discharging from these ATUs and tying that discharge into the homeowner’s existing failed field we effectively eliminated most if not all the discharge going to the ground surface. Since Illinois Law requires that these ATUs must be serviced every 6 months for the first two years and service agreements offered after that time our Installation Company made many service trips back to these installations. Many of those systems we still service and maintain today some 15 years later. During those repeated trips it was readily observed that virtually no discharge was coming out of these systems and that these failed fields were working absorbing most if not all the effluent from the ATUs far better than they ever did when following a septic tank. It was further observed during literally thousands of service visits that the black sludge technically known as biomat associated with a field following a septic tank would disappear when followed by an ATU.


By the mid 1990s the local Health Departments liked what we were doing so much that they began requesting that rather than direct discharging an ATU, which is actually legal in Illinois, we utilize the failed fields we were replacing in an attempt to keep the effluent in the ground. Further we were asked by some Health Departments to include drawings of this on the permit applications we were required to submit to them before any installation could take place. Later the results were so well liked that many Health Departments passed Ordinances requiring that all potential surface discharging ATUs must either utilize the failed field they were replacing or have a new field absorption system placed after them. It is common knowledge, and has been since the early to mid 90s that by utilizing the Aerobic treatment process the biomat that causes many fields to fail disappears and in new installations never forms.


In the early 1990s ATUs, although not new, were not used a lot in this part of Illinois. We began slowly by installing ATUs that had a motor and a shaft inside the tank  to produce oxygen to generate the growth of aerobic bacteria. We then evolved to other ATUs that utilized an air pump, air line and diffuser to generate these aerobic bacteria. By the mid 1990s our ATU of choice used an air pump, air line, and a small round plastic plate or disc to diffuse air into the tank. This was very effective and when installed and directed into the above-mentioned failed fields rejuvenated the vast majority of them. By the beginning of 2000 our Installation Company began exclusively using an ATU that consisted of an air pump, air line and ceramic air stones for this process. This type of system also proved to be very effective at making these fields start working again although no more effective than the other types of ATUs we had been using. For the past 7 years our Installation Company has exclusively utilized a Class 1 ATU that utilizes an air pump, air line, and a series of orifices included in the diffuser systems that introduces the aerobic bacteria into the ATU and then into the new or failed field absorption system. We like this type of diffuser system by far the best based on our experience with the other types. We found that those types of ATUs utilizing a motor inside the tank were not ideal to work on should a problem develop. Further the ATUs utilizing the Ceramic Air Stone to introduce air in the tank would eventually form a buildup on the outside of those stones causing air from the air pump to be greatly restricted. These restrictions further caused so much additional head pressure on those air pumps to force air through these restricted Ceramic Air Stones that premature failure of the air pump was inevitable or at the very least the life expectancy of those pumps were greatly reduced. In addition when the proper amounts of air are not able to enter into the ATU the quality of the discharge is adversely affected. For the past 7 years we have experienced none of those problems with the diffuser systems utilizing orifices. Our Patented SepAerator™ diffuser assembly was designed by utilizing this method ensuring not only many years of trouble free operation but significantly enhanced life expectancies of the air pumps along with continued high quality effluent.


In summary there are a lot of products on the market today that are marketed to rejuvenate a failing field, some of which even claim that they invented this process some 4 or 5 years ago. In reality all those different types of systems will work to some extent, however this process was not invented within the past few years or even in the past 10 years. Our Septic System Installation Company has been utilizing this process with enormous success, somewhat out of necessity as described above, for at least the past 15 years. Since we live in a big World, I would not hesitate to mention that I would be somewhat surprised if our Company was actually the first ones to employ the aerobic process to rejuvenate failing fields. Putting all of that aside the most important thing to understand is that converting your existing septic tank to an aerobic process is a very cost effective way to take advantage of this technology and resolve many of the problems associated with a failing field or any type of secondary treatment system. The question then becomes not whether it will work or not but what type of equipment will best perform the task with the fewest problems and operating expenses.


The SepAerator™ takes advantage of the very same aerobic processes we have been successfully using during the past 15 years and utilizes time tested and experienced based conversion equipment that will turn that rather primitive septic tank into an Aerobic treatment system and rejuvenate that failing field absorption system.