What is an Aerobic Treatment Unit and How Can it Help You?

Aerobic sewage systems are small-scale treatment units, which offer an alternative to standard septic tanks. In this guide, we’ll explore what an aerobic treatment unit is in more detail and provide useful information about the benefits for customers.

What is an aerobic treatment unit?

Often known as an ATU, an aerobic treatment unit is a small-scale sewage system, which can be employed in residences and locations where a conventional septic system would not be viable. An aerobic treatment unit breaks down organic matter using natural processes, but unlike traditional septic systems, which are anaerobic, they also utilize oxygen. ATUs treat wastewater quickly, and they can be used in a variety of settings and environments, which makes them an appealing choice for a wide range of homeowners.

How does an aerobic treatment unit work?

Aerobic installation is sometimes recommended when conventional septic systems are not suitable for a home or business. Aerobic treatment units use oxygen to break down wastewater and organic matter. ATUs utilize mechanisms to inject air into the chamber, allowing oxygen to circulate within the tank. The mechanism is powered by electricity. With an aerobic system, bacteria that thrive in oxygenated conditions break down wastewater. The process involves different stages. In some cases, pretreatment is required to reduce the amount of matter in the wastewater before it enters the aerobic unit.

When to consider aerobic treatment units

There are benefits of traditional septic systems, but conventional tanks are not always suitable for every homeowner. In some cases, it’s wise to consider alternatives, including aerobic treatment units. Examples include:

  • Insufficient land area

  • Inappropriate soil conditions

  • The water table is too high

  • Proximity to a body of water

Aerobic treatment units are also commonly used to replace failing septic tanks, which can elevate the risk of groundwater pollution.

ATUs can be an effective solution in the following circumstances:

  • The soil quality is poor

  • Groundwater levels are high

  • The septic system is at risk of failing or has already failed

  • The plot of land is too small to support a conventional septic system

  • A higher-quality septic system is required

What are the pros and cons of ATUs?

There are advantages and disadvantages of aerobic treatment units. These include:


The primary benefit of an aerobic treatment unit is that it offers a superior level of treatment to a septic tank. In addition, ATUs can also provide an alternative when traditional septic systems are not viable and they can protect the land surrounding failing septic tanks. Aerobic installation can also reduce ammonia discharge and prolong the lifespan of the drainfield.


The most significant disadvantage for most customers is the cost. ATUs are more expensive to operate than traditional septic systems and they require electricity. Maintenance is also more intensive than conventional systems and there is a risk of parts breaking down, which will impact function.


Aerobic treatment units are small-scale sewage systems, which utilize oxygen to treat wastewater. Often, ATUs are recommended for small plots and areas that cannot support traditional septic systems. Although they are more expensive to run, they provide a superior level of treatment. If you have any questions about aerobic treatment unit installation, don’t hesitate to External link opens in new tab or windowget in touch.