Most septic systems don’t require chlorine tablets because they’re anaerobic, and only aerobic systems require them. Aerobic treatment systems have an additional decontamination step that uses a motorized aeration pump and chlorine tablets to make the water safe enough to spray on the lawn through a sprinkler system. For this type of system to work, you’ll need to purchase and regularly add chlorine tablets to make sure your system is purifying the effluent properly.
Differences Between the Two
Even though the two are sometimes used together, aerobic systems are a different setup than the traditional anaerobic and require more maintenance. If used together, effluent from the anaerobic tank flows into the aerobic treatment tank for further decontamination. In most types of aerobic systems, once finished in the tank, the effluent is usually clean enough to spray through sprinklers onto the lawn. As opposed to traditional, aerobic is:
- Much more expensive.
- Much better at purifying.
- Much more maintenance intensive.
- An option when a drainfield can’t be installed.
They require a pump to aerate (add oxygen to) the effluent, leading to slightly higher energy costs and more moving parts to require service; furthermore, they usually require that the homeowner regularly add chlorine tablets as part of the purification process.
If you’re wondering why homeowners even chose a more expensive system with the added maintenance of regularly buying and inserting chlorine tablets, it’s usually because they live on land that doesn’t have a suitable drainfield site for a traditional anaerobic system. In order to receiving a building permit from local government, they must install an aerobic system. In almost all cases, traditional anaerobic systems are much more popular with homeowners.
What Septic Chlorine Tablets Do
If you’ve ever been in a public swimming pool, you understand the basics of what chlorine does. In an aerobic system, chlorine is part of the disinfection mechanism. Chlorine tablets are added to the system on a regular basis to ensure that bacteria are being killed.
The septic chlorine tablets that you use are different from the type of chlorine tablets used in swimming pools. They are absolutely not interchangeable. In fact, using swimming pool tablets instead can actually end up causing an explosion in your system.
Most of the time, these tablets will be loaded into the top of your aerobic tank. Depending upon the model of your tank, they may be loaded into a different access port, but you’ll usually find it on the top of the tank and on the side of the tank that’s farthest your home. They will actually destroy 99 percent of the bacteria present in the space of 10 minutes.
Chlorine tablets, pumps, and maintenance make aerobic treatment systems more expensive than the standard anaerobic system. In some situations, however, installing an aerobic system is the difference between being able to build on your land or not.