Onsite Sewage System Maintenance FAQs

What should I do if my alarm is going off?

Press the silence button, call your service provider and conserve water. DO NOT TURN OFF the system or breakers.

What is an ATU?

ATU stands for Aerobic Treatment Unit. The EPA has useful information that all homeowners with an ATU should know. Attached are a few helpful links.

Do I have to do annual maintenance?

Yes, this is required by Virginia Department of Health and the manufacture of the system. Just like a car or any machine, your system needs maintenance to work properly.

Alternative system O&M regulations are discussed in, section 12VAC5-613-20, of the regulations. In addition, section 12VAC5-613-140 outlines owner responsibilities regarding the care and maintenance of alternative systems.

View additional information here:

Should I smell any odor coming from my ATU?

There is sometimes a musty odor when the system is working properly. If you smell a “Septic odor”, something is not working properly, and you should call your service provider.

Why do I have an alternative system and not a conventional?

This could be due to a handful of reasons. Alternative treatment systems are used for sites which do not have soil conditions that meet the health codes for conventional systems. There may not be enough space on the property for a conventional drainfield and alternative systems use a smaller amount of space. We always look for a conventional system when possible, but alternative systems are great and give you the chance to develop land that may have been a non-buildable site at some point in time.

What does my annual service agreement include?

It includes cleaning and adjusting all components, and replacing failed parts such as pumps, floats, etc.

What types of alternative systems do you service?

We service most Alternative septic and discharge systems. Some systems we maintain are Multiflo, Advantex, Puraflo, Ecoflo, Hoot, and Norweco to name a few.

I have a peat moss system which requires periodic replacement of the peat. Can this be changed to another alternative septic treatment system?

Yes, many times we can re-use some of the existing components and get rid of the biodegradable products. The cost is more than simple peat replacement, but that never has to be done again.

Solving Soil, Water & Wastewater Problems Since 1973