If, during the initial review and permitting process, it was found that your lot had marginal soil characteristics, additional pre-treatment may have been mandated by the Clayton County Board of Health. This may consist of an Aerobic Treatment Unit (ATU), Bio-Peat, or other Advanced Treatment System (ATS). These systems provide additional treatment of the effluent before it is released into the absorption field. The DHR approved products are too numerous to list specifically, but may be found on-line at: www.georgiaeh.us . Any service to an ATS should be performed by an individual certified by the manufacturer to do the maintenance. The individual should have a certification card from the manufacturer.
Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU's)
An ATU utilizes an air compressor, called an aerator, to introduce oxygen. In the presence of oxygen, a different type of bacteria thrive which cleans the sewage far beyond what a standard septic tank could. In Georgia, this treated effluent must still be dispersed underground, therefore some sort of absorption field must still be utilized. Please contact the Clayton County Environmental Health Office for assistance on determining what type of absorption field is present as well as its location on your lot.
A Bio-Peat system utilizes organic peat to treat the septage. This type of system consists of a compartment which is filled with peat moss. The septage flows into the top of the unit, is dispersed across the entire compartment, then flows down through the peat. As the septage flows down, the peat filters the disease causing pathogens out of the effluent, thus treating it to the same quality as the other ATS's. In Georgia, this treated effluent must still be dispersed underground, therefore some sort of absorption field must still be utilized. Please contact the Clayton County Environmental Health Office for assistance on determining what type of absorption field is present as well as its location on your lot. At some point, the peat filtration media may have to be replaced with new peat. Refer to your owner's manual for more information on peat filtration media replacement.
As these systems are more technologically advanced, there are additional components which must be properly maintained for the ATS to function as designed. The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) recognized this and mandated that every manufacturer that wishes to do business in the state of Georgia must provide an initial service policy as well as a limited warranty, both of which must be included in the original purchase price of the unit.
The initial service policy for all ATU's must be for at least three (3) years and consist of two (2) site visits per year, totaling six (6) visits during this initial period. During the visit, the technician will evaluate all electrical, mechanical, and other applicable components and adjust or service them as needed. The technician that visits the site to perform this maintenance must be able to readily produce documentation showing that they have sufficient training to properly service this manufacturer's products. The manufacturer's service technician should be able to provide emergency service within 48 hours of notification.
For more passive systems, with fewer mechanical parts (such as the Bio-Peat), the initial service policy must be for at least three (3) years and consist of one (1) site visit per year, totaling three (3) visits.
Our office recommends that the owner maintain copies of all maintenance records, as well as the owner's manual, for the life of the system. This documentation is a valuable tool when attempting to troubleshoot system malfunction.
All ATU manufacturers must warrant all components of their unit to be free from defects in material and workmanship for a minimum of two (2) years from the date of installation. The manufacturer must fulfill the terms of the warranty by repairing or exchanging any components that, in the manufacturer's judgment, show evidence of defect.
Extended Service Policy
After the initial three (3) year service policy period has concluded, the manufacturer or authorized representative must make available, for purchase by the owner, an extended service policy with services provided as extensive as or greater than the initial service policy. The owner must obtain such a service policy or insure that equivalent maintenance or repair service is provided. Maintenance and the periodic reporting requirements must continue for the life of the system.
Clayton County Board of
Office of Environmental Health Services
685 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA 30297
Phone: (678) 610-7469 Fax: (770) 603-4874