Aerated Wastewater Treatment System

An AWTS incorporates a septic tank, but also has a chamber where pumps are used to generate air bubbles. This chamber replaces the aerobic treatment which occurs in the soil in the standard septic tank system, meaning that the effluent produced is already of a higher standard. Whilst primary treated (septic tank) effluent cannot be irrigated using dripper lines, secondary treated effluent, such as from an AWTS, can be irrigated through drippers (note: several other systems also produce secondary, or advanced secondary, treated effluent).

Aerated Wastewater Treatment System

Aerated Wastewater Treatment System


  • Wide range of off-the-peg systems
  • ‘All-in-one’ packaged plants
  • Relatively economical to purchase
  • When operating well can produce a high quality effluent
  • Well accepted by council


  • Significant power consumption, expensive operation
  • Can be noisy
  • Maintenance can be costly (replacement pumps, etc)
  • Cope poorly with fluctuations in input (whether up or down) so less well suited to holiday homes, etc

2 Responses to Aerated Wastewater Treatment System

  1. Marion Bridge says:

    The system was installed on the front patio. I was not advised that noise and smell would be part of the running of the system so close to the outdoor seating area. I feel I should have had better advice on the placement.When sitting there everyone could hear the system and sometimes smell it. Despite bi annual maintenance checks I had several repairs to do shortly after the checks. Such as a new pump.
    As the company was in Auckland and I was on Waiheke Island it proved difficult to get service when problems occurred on weekends. Sometimes I ended up on my mobile trying to follow instructions! Some of the earlier ‘checks’ were very minimal visual ones, but more recently thorough checks were done.

  2. fra99le says:

    Hi Marion and thanks for your comments!

    Would you be able to comment on the running cost (power and maintenance and replacement parts)? How frequently were there problems? Would you have made a different choice in retrospect?

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