Our main service area covers:

  • The Fraser Valley - Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope and the Fraser Canyon
  • Sea-to-Sky Corridor - Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton
Septic expert service area

Which treatment system is best?

Some thoughts on treatment systems

Due to long and sometimes painful experience, we at Septic Expert have come to prefer certain treatment systems over others. Ultimately the treatment system acts as a filter for the drain field, sand mound, or other disposal system.

Soil is generally very good at disposing of clean water; rain can fall on a field for generations and it will percolate through the ground with no ill effects. The trouble with a septic system is that we are asking the soil to dispose of effluent, which is not in the least bit clean. Instead it is loaded with suspended solids and bacteria. This is the reason that Type One septic fields are so large. It is a given that the soil will eventually plug up and seal off. The solution in a type one system is to make the septic field large enough to put off the point of failure well into the future. The advent of large particle effluent filters has helped prolong the life of Type One fields. They limit the solids that can move out of the septic tank, although they do not stop suspended solids and bacteria. the life of a septic field can be greatly extended by adding a secondary treatment system, which is very effective in reducing, or almost eliminating the smaller particles and bacteria.

Secondary Treatment Systems are not created equal, and none of them are perfect. In general, Septic Expert prefers filter based systems, such as recirculation media filters or peat filters, and a select few Aerobic Treatment Systems. Peat Filters provide a physical barrier to contaminants, and ensure that any problems will be contained in the filter itself, which can easily be cleaned or replaced without damage to the disposal field. With a high quality aerobic treatment system or a peat filter, the septic field is a permanent installation, meaning the homeowner should never have to excavate a failed system. We install two different types of peat filter. They operate on the same principles, but have very different configurations that allows us to tailor the system to the particular needs of a specific lot. Please visit the links below to find out more about Puraflo and Ecoflo peat systems.



Many of the Secondary Treatment Systems currently in use in B.C. are known as Aerobic Treatment Systems or ATU’s. Some of the available choices are prone to issues such as odors and questionable performance. One Aerobic Treatment System that we do like is the Fusion from the Fuji Clean Company in Japan. Like most Japanese products, this unit is extremely well engineered, and around 40,000 of them are installed in Japan every year. You can learn more about the Fusion here:


Please note that the operating costs for each type of technology will likely be similar over the long term. An aerobic treatment system will require perhaps $5.00 to $10.00 per month in electricity to operate. The expected cost of replacing the peat in the peat filter will be $1,500 to $1,800 approximately every 12 years. The higher one time cost of replacing the peat in the Peat filter must be weighed against the periodic cost of replacing or rebuilding the air pumps which operate the Aerobic Treatment Units. Based on prior experience, we expect the air pumps to last between 3 and 5 years, at a replacement cost of about $600, including service calls.

Over the life of the home, a well maintained Onsite Waste Disposal System will be a reliable and cost effective solution, and will meet or exceed the requirements of a state of the art municipal treatment plant. So when you invest in a new Onsite Disposal System, you are doing your part to ensure the waste your home generates is dealt with in a manner that ensures the safety of public health as well as the environment.

If the costs of an on site waste disposal system seem a little daunting, please remember that there is no free ride. Homes with a municipal service connection can expect to pay from $5,000 to $15,000 for the privilege of connecting, plus around $400 to $500 per year in taxes.