Your septic tank is home to many microorganisms that allow it to function properly. After learning how your septic tank works, you might be curious about what kind of microorganisms live in your tank. Trillions of natural bacteria flourish inside your septic system. These bacteria break down the solid waste in your tank and decompose them. The two types of bacteria that live in your septic system are aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

Aerobic Bacteria

Aerobic bacteria needs oxygen to survive. An aerobic septic system is more complex than an anaerobic system and has three tanks:

  • Waste enters the first tank and settles into layers
  • Waste moves into the treatment tank
  • An aerator moves oxygen bubbles through the waste
  • Aerobic bacteria consumes the waste
  • Wastewater moves to a pump tank where it is treated once more

Because aerobic bacteria needs oxygen to survive, more than one tank is needed to ensure that the bacteria stays alive and well. Aerobic bacteria are also more efficient than anaerobic bacteria at breaking down and using the organic waste as a food source. They are more sensitive to environmental changes making the need for multiple tanks a necessity.

Anaerobic Bacteria

Anaerobic bacteria don’t need oxygen to live and operate in environments where there is little or no oxygen. Although they are smaller and less efficient in breaking down organic waste, they are more resilient. An anaerobic septic system only uses one tank with several smaller pipes that sit below the surface of your lawn:

  • Solid waste settles in the septic tank
  • Anaerobic bacteria eats the solid waste
  • Liquid waste floats to the top of the septic tank
  • Wastewater from the tank moves into the smaller pipe
  • The wastewater filters out into the soil

An anaerobic septic system doesn’t need oxygen to survive making it a cheaper choice than an aerobic system.

When vital bacteria is destroyed by poor septic tank additives, it can cause harm to your system. Maxx’s Products uses natural products that work with bacteria to maintain your septic system, whether it is aerobic or anaerobic.