EPA Sketch of an aerobic septic tank design using an aspirated mixer in the treatment tank

High-Treatment Effluent Spray Dispersal Septic Systems

ATU System Spray Heads: this document describes high-treatment aerobic septic systems using septic effluent spray heads to disperse effluent over an absorption area. We include links to septic design engineers, advanced septic system products and septic design books and building codes. This document is a chapter provides in our Septic Systems Online Book.

Examples of advanced septic designs include aerobic septic systems, chemical, composting, incinerating & waterless toilets, evaporation-transpiration (ET) septic systems, septic media filters, greywater systems, holding tank septic systems, mound septics, raised bed septics, pressure dosing septic systems, sand bed filters, peat beds, constructed wetlands, wastewater lagoons, constructed wetlands, and septic disinfection systems. Also see The Septic System Information Website. Massachusetts Title 5 Licensed Septic System Inspector, & New York State H.I. License # 16000005303 (inception to 2008).

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AEROBIC Septic Systems using Effluent Sprayers to Disperse Effluent

Septic Effluent Spray & Septic Spray Head effluent dispersal systems, treating effluent to level 3 or better (Jantrania/Gross wastewater system type X). Septic spray systems are high-level-of-treatment aerobic septic systems using spray heads to disperse effluent require maintenance that includes occasional spray head cleaning or replacement.

You'll need to identify the brand and model effluent spray head on your aerobic septic system in order to replace with the same part in-kind. Also see Septic Tank Suppliers: a directory list of septic tank suppliers and see SEPTIC SYSTEM SUPPLIERS for directory lists of other septic system component suppliers for sources of septic effluent spray system repair parts and sprayers.

Maintenance of Septic Effluent Spray Systems - a Quick Diagnostic & Repair Guide


I have a question on aerobic septic system maintenance.

We may be 'missing it' but is there information on your Aerobic Septic System maintenance section about Spray head maintenance? if so, where? we have 2 spray heads working & one that is not & would like to check before calling someone. Is this something we can check ourselves? we have water standing where one spray head is having to do 'extra spray' -- Glenda Marsh


A typical aerobic system treats effluent and then disposes of it by spraying treated effluent over the ground surface. In the treatment tank air is pumped through the effluent to increase the level of tank treatment, and effluent is filtered before leaving the tank. 85-95 percent of solids and organics are removed in the tank (compared with less than 50% in a conventional gravity-draining septic tank and Drainfield, non-aerobic).

AEROBIC Septic system designs vary by the terrain in which they are installed, but in general, include a pre-treatment tank, an aeration chamber, a settling chamber, and a "land application system" that typically involves a pumping chamber, pump, and spray heads that distribute treated effluent onto the ground surface.

I AM GUESSING that you ARE talking about an effluent disposing sprinkler - these are sprinkler tops (aerators) such as the Rain Bird that are less than $50. that spray effluent onto the ground for disposal  (permitted in some states like TX -

1. Before replacing the sprinkler head, take off the access cover to the tank that contains the pump. You should see a float that turns the pump on and off;

Lift the float with a wire hook, to cause the pump to run, watch as the liquid level falls in the tank down to about where the pump would shut off; make sure that there are no leaks in the line going to the bad-performing sprayer - if there are leaks you would see spraying inside the tank from the leak point and that would prevent pressurized effluent from getting to the spray head. As one sprayer works and the other doesn't, this is probably not the problem.

As you see good flow from one spray head and not from the other, we suspect as so you it's the sprayer not a pump problem.

2. Wet spots outside the septic tank: If this is what we're discussing, in addition to looking in the tank for pipe leaks (discussed just below), if you find a wet or soft spot between the tank outlet and the sprayer, there may be a buried pipe leak that is the culprit.

3. Clean the septic effluent spray head: If the spray head is easily and safely removed, it can probably be removed and one might try cleaning it. Sometimes I see sprayers that are clogged with mineral deposits from hard water - soaking overnight in vinegar can often loosen or dissolve if that's the problem; else just replace the part.

See http://stores.shopeasttexasseptic.com/-strse-New/Categories.bok or another vendor http://www.septic-system-supplies.com/home.php?cat=288 if in fact this is the part you're talking about.)

Sketches of typical aerobic systems are also at http://www.septicsolutionsllc.com/Products/tabid/331/Default.aspx

including LPD (Low pressure dosing systems and surface drip systems).

I am GUESSING that you are NOT talking about an in-tank aerator rather than an effluent disposer that sprays onto the ground surface in the disposal area.  In the treatment tank, aerobic systems all use a system for aerating the effluent to increase bacterial activity. Some aerobic septic systems use a diffuser stone (below liquid level, typically about $50 to replace). That's a cheap part compared with septic aerator pumps that are $350 - $500.

You would help me tremendously and help me write this up to assist other owners if you could take and send me sharp photos of the part as installed and keep me posted on what you do and how things progress.

See http://www.profloaerobic.com/onlinedocuments/ownersmanual.pdf for an owners manual for Pro Flo wastewater treatment systems - they use an air diffuser

See http://www.aaaseptictank.com/resources/SING_BROCHURE.pdf for a sales brochure on the Singulair system

An aerobic or septic spray head pump retailer is at http://www.septic-system-supplies.com/home.php?cat=249 or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.

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