News: Septic System Aeration – increased organic removal and successful treatment of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)

A recent study carried out by Baylor University has clearly demonstrated the benefit of septic system aeration in improving system performance and removing contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) including pharmaceutical and estrogenic contaminants.

These CEC contaminants have been detected in the groundwater of regions that rely heavily on septic systems. The bio accumulation of these compounds in aquatic organisms and associated water sources can pose risks to human health and ecosystems.
This comprehensive analysis was carried out over the fall and winter seasons and compared a conventional septic system to one with added aeration, a constructed wetland and a municipal treatment system.  Although the study looked at carbon and nitrogen based organic contaminant removal, particular emphasis was placed on the treatment of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)
Interestingly, septic systems with added aeration showed the highest removal rates, performing similarly to municipal treatment systems for the removal of CECs. Of particular note removal rates for codeine, diltiazem, benzoylecgonine were 3 – 10 fold higher in aerated systems when compared to conventional septic tanks.
The study also identified septic system aeration results in improved treatment of carbon and nitrogen (ammonia) contaminants when compared to standard septic systems.
* Comparison of contaminants of emerging concern removal, discharge and water quality hazards among centralized and on-site waste water treatment system effluents receiving common wastewater influent. Brooks et. al, 2013 (466 – 467) 976 – 984.