One of the most effective Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU’s) built to handle domestic sewage is the Delta Whitewater® Tank. Many of these units have been installed on the island, but because all of them are below ground and hidden, you may not even know that you have one in your own backyard! The purpose of this article is to provide all users with helpful general information of how these popular tanks work and how to do a proper maintenance on them.
One of the most important advantages Delta tanks have over other ATU systems is that they are adequate for use in poor soils, in areas with high water tables and other difficult sites, many which are found on our island. These units can clean wastewater removing up to 97% of the impurities of the original wastewater.
The system is composed by a fiberglass tank sized according to the volume it will treat, an air compressor and an alarm panel. Another component that should be considered by owners of Delta systems is a pre-treatment tank which should be installed between the house and the tank. Many Delta systems were installed on the island without this vital part. This pre-treatment tank should collect the non-biodegradable waste, such as plastic, paper and latex trash that are harmful to the operation of the Delta tank.
The Delta process involves mixing the air and the liquid with suspended sludge. The air supports the bacteria that digest the organic wastes. In this system the waste cycles inside the tank and the clear water rises to the top and exits the tank where it is discharged to a dispersal area such as a leach field. Owners must be aware of the need to protect the bacteria in the system from anything that will kill them, specifically excess bleach or disinfectants used in toilets. It is critical to ensure the air pump is operating to provide oxygen to the bacteria. There is a buzzer on the alarm panel that will sound when there is a system problem. The switch on the alarm panel should be kept in the “Normal” position. If the alarm goes off, call a professional service technician immediately.
Owners should check weekly to see that the air pump is working correctly. If the air pump is not working, your system is failing! On a quarterly basis, air filters should be cleaned and rinsed with warm water. Every six months, owners should check the quality of the color, turbidity and an odor in your effluent to ensure the system is doing its job. Also, every one to three years, after performing a settleometer test, excess sludge will have to be removed using a pumper truck.
These maintenance routines can be managed by your local professional wastewater company, ACME Environmental Solutions. ACME is the island’s sole distributor for Delta Whitewater® Systems and can help you check your system’s current condition and also provide parts for your Delta units.