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Aerobic Do's & Don'ts


DON’T KILL YOUR BUGS!  Your Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Plant is a "living" machine that houses a micro-organism "bug colony" that consumes organic waste. These micro-organisms require oxygen & appropriate "food" (organic waste devoid of toxins) to survive.



For Owners of Aerobic Wastewater Treatment Systems


Medicines:  If anyone in your household is ingesting strong medicines; antiobiotics, chemotherapy or other, the health of your "bug colony" may be jeopardized.  Please inform us, counter measures, such as, re-colonizing the bug colony with Bio-Clean may be recommended.

  • Do not dispose of grease, fats, and oils.
  • Do not dispose of pesticides, herbicides, or any other toxins.
  • The garbage disposal should be used sparingly. Food waste, grease, etc. should be disposed of in the solid waste bin. Food waste represents additional loading the Aerobic Treatment Unit would have to digest, increasing pump out intervals.
  • Do not dispose of paints, household chemicals, automobile fluids, or discard mop water into the system.
  • Do not dispose of non-biodegradable items such as cigarette butts, disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, condoms, hair, coffee grounds, paper towels, bandages, etc.
  • Wash loads must be spread out over the week. More than one wash load per day is not recommended. Never use laundry detergents with "built-in" bleach.
  • Do not dispose of citrus products (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, etc.)
  • Do not use chemical drain cleaners or additives for septic systems like "Rid-X" or similar products. Bio-Clean is recommended–Houck Aerobic is an authorized distributor.
  • Do not connect other water sources to the system.
  • Water softener discharge kills the micro-organisms in your wastewater treatment system.
  • Do not dispose of alcoholic beverages or home brewery waste.
  • Do not dispose of strong disinfectants or bleaches, such as "Clorox", "Lysol", or "Pine-Sol". Anti-bacterial soaps should be avoided.
  • Never use automatic toilet bowl cleaning dispensers such as "Tidy Bowl".
  • Recommended detergents are low-sudsing, low in phosphates, and biodegradable, with washing soda ingredients. Fabric softener dryer sheets are recommended.
  • Recommended cleaning products are non-chlorine, biodegradable, non-toxic and non-corrosive.


Improper or excessive loading will result in costly and more frequent pumping out of sludge from your aerobic wastewater treatment system. Homeowner is responsible for chlorine maintenance.

*What type of chlorine should I use for wastewater disinfection?  

When disinfection of secondarily treated wastewater effluent is required and you are using chlorine tablets, it is important that you use a chlorine tablet that is made from calcium hypochlorite and is certified for wastewater disinfection by EPA. They are very reactive and will kill 99% of the bacteria present in the effluent within 10 minutes. Follow all warning and precaution statements of the chlorine tablet manufacturer to protect yourself and the system equipment.

WARNING: Do not use swimming pool chlorine tablets in your disinfection system. The chlorine in these tablets are made from trichlorisocyanuric acid. Swimming pool tablets dissolve more slowly than calcium hypochlorite and do not throughly disinfect the effluent. Additionally, there is a danger of explosion using swimming pool tablets since the tablets will release an explosive gas called nitrogen chloride due to the fact that they are not totally immersed in water at all times while in use. They are not approved by EPA for wastewater effluent disinfection.

*excerpt from TCEQ OSSF guidelines (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)


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