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Sewage Treatment System Types

When looking into a sewage treatment system for your property you will most likely come across many different names used to describe different types of systems. Some are very similar and others are the same. This page is designed to help you understand what the different types and terms are as well as their function and preferred application.

On-site Sewage Facilities (OSSF)

An on-site sewage facility refers to a system used for the treatment and storage of domestic sewage in unsewered premises. These types of systems may include:

  • A sewage treatment plant that uses mechanical, biological and filtration in order to treat the wastewater before disbursing it via an irrigation system either above or below the ground.
  • Or from a septic system which uses biological methods of treating waste before it discharges it through irrigation systems.

Other terms for and on-site sewage facility are:

  • Sewage Treatment Unit (STU)
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
  • Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Domestic Wastewater Treatment
  • Residential Wastewater Treatment System
Need Advice on a Home Sewage Treatment Plant? Let our wastewater experts help you.

Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS) and Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU)

Aerated wastewater treatment systems and Aerobic Treatment Units both treat wastewater over several compartments.

  • The first compartment is where the wastewater enters from the home. Whilst in this compartment the solids settle to the bottom of and any scum floats to the top.
  • The wastewater then flows into a second compartment where it is then mixed with air which assists the bacteria to break down the solids even further.
  • The wastewater then travels into a third compartment which allows for further settling of any solids.
  • The last and final stage is the chlorination compartment which allows for disinfection.
  • After this the effluent which has been treated to a secondary standard is then pumped out.

Secondary standard effluent is not ideal for irrigation however can be used for subsurface irrigation in a dedicated area or paddock.

These systems can and are quite commonly referred to as:

  • Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)
  • Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU)
  • Sewage Treatment Unit (STU)
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)
  • Aerobic Septic Systems

BioCycle System

This is a term that is commonly thrown around and mistakenly taken as a treatment system or plant. BioCycle itself is actually just the brand of wastewater treatment systems not actually the type of system or product.


OSSF information source:

AWTS/ATU information and image source:

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Why Use Express Wastewater Solutions?


    Because we are not a manufacturer and not tied to one particular system we can always offer the best solution for your wastewater needs.


    Because we do this every day we have developed a close knit expert team for every step of the process – from plans and council paperwork to excavations, electrical and plumbing. We handle it all to make the whole process as stress free and quick as possible.


    Most people have never installed a home sewerage treatment plant and don’t know the next step, that is why we offer a free 30 minute phone consult with one of our experts to point you in the right direction.


    We handle your wastewater installation from start to finish we can deal with all the trades, council everything so you don’t have to worry about a thing.


    Have peace of mind knowing that Express are licensed, insured professionals that will do your job right the first time.


    Not sure what system is right for you, or want to know if your system is working properly? Just give one of our friendly wastewater experts a call and they will be more than happy to help.


    We will always look to repair your system rather than replace it if it does not need to be, which will generally save large amounts of money sometimes up to and over $10,000.