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Q. Why do I need a Wastewater Treatment System?

 A. A wastewater treatment system accepts wastewater from your home, cleans it, and sends clean water back to the environment (usually into a soil absorption system such as a leach field). The advantage of this process is that the system does the purification work ordinarily accomplished by the soil, which therefore allows smaller, shallower, and less obtrusive drain fields. Additionally, pretreatment greatly extends the life of a drain field since clean water deters solids and biological buildup in your soil absorption system.


Q. Am I required to install a wastewater treatment system for my home?

 A. Usually, local regulations and soil conditions of your property may dictate the need for a treatment (sometimes called “pretreatment”) system. In some areas, treatment is required by rules and regulations to reduce nutrients such as nitrogen or phosphorus from your waste stream as protection against contamination of groundwater and water bodies.


Q. How are I/A OWTS systems different from a septic tank or cesspool?

A. Traditional septic tanks and cesspools were not designed to treat wastewater, but merely to safely dispose of it. In fact, a cesspool is nothing more than a reinforced hole in the ground that funnels untreated waste directly into our groundwater. Septic tanks are a little better, as they’re only designed to separate solid waste from liquid waste before it’s discharged into a leaching pool that likewise funnels untreated wastewater directly into our groundwater. These are Roman-era technologies that are not suitable to the fragile ecology of Long Island, yet approximately 75% of homes in Suffolk County dispose of their wastewater via a cesspool/septic tank – more than anywhere else in the country. I/A OWTS systems are specially designed to remove nitrogen from wastewater, generally by means of nitrogen-consuming bacteria that converts the nitrogen in wastewater into nitrogen gas.


Q. Why am I being required to install an I/A OWTS system?

 A. In recognition of the fact that our reliance on cesspools/septic tanks is the primary culprit behind the nitrogen pollution that is plaguing our local waterbodies, many Towns and Villages in Suffolk County are requiring the installation of I/A OWTS systems in certain circumstances. Government funding is often available to offset or cover the cost of I/A OWTS installation, making it cheaper or at least comparable to the cost of installing a traditional septic tank.


Q. What does the standard Fuji Clean operations and maintenance service consist of?

 A. Advanced Wastewater Solution service professionals will perform two scheduled visits per year (at six-month intervals). The standard service visits consist of cleaning the internal components, backwashing and degassing the system, measuring the sludge and scum levels, checking the external blower air filter and replacing if necessary, and taking nitrogen/ammonia readings of the effluent to confirm system performance. Learn more about AWS’ wastewater treatment system services here.


Q. What happens if the alarm goes off on my Fuji Clean?

 A. In the unlikely event that the alarm on your Fuji Clean begins to sound, please contact Advanced Wastewater Solutions or your certified Fuji Clean service provider and we will send a service professional out to remedy the situation immediately. In the meantime, you can silence the audible alarm by flipping the black switch on the side of your control panel to “Silent” mode.

Q. What are the annual operating costs for a Fuji Clean wastewater treatment system?

 A. For a typical Fuji Clean CEN 5 system (four-bedroom unit), the annual operating costs merely consist of the yearly operations and maintenance fee ($300) plus the cost associated with the system’s electrical usage (approximately $65-85 per year).


Q. How is Fuji Clean different from the other I/A OWTS systems approved in Suffolk County?

 A. Fuji Clean is the only I/A OWTS system with no internal moving parts, meaning that there are no blowers, pumps, or agitators inside the tank that can fail and cause costly problems. Instead, Fuji Cleans are powered entirely by an industry-leading external FujiMac external blower that is cheap to run and easy to repair/replace if it ever fails. Unlike some I/A OWTS systems, Fuji Clean systems do not require a preceding septic tank or trash tank, saving money and reducing your system’s footprint. As the smallest and lightest system on the market Fuji Cleans are also easy to install and ideal for high groundwater conditions. Best of all, Fuji Clean is the only system that can boast a track record spanning 60 years and millions of systems, ensuring an unmatched level of reliability. Learn more about the benefits of Fuji Clean wastewater treatment systems here.


Q. What makes Fuji Clean a popular onsite wastewater treatment system in the world?

 A. There are many good reasons why nearly three million Fuji Cleans have been installed worldwide and it’s the most popular I/A OWTS system on Long Island. In short, it combines the most reliable and effective system with the best overall price point on the market. More specifically, Fuji Clean has been around for 60 years, and many of the first systems installed in the 1960s are still in operation today. Fuji Clean is also the smallest and lightest I/A OWTS system on the market, making it easy to install and taking up only a small portion of your property. With no moving parts inside the tank (e.g., pumps, blowers, agitators), there is nothing in the tank that can break and lead to an expensive repair. Fuji Clean systems are also extremely energy-efficient, drawing only 1.1 kWh/day of electricity (equivalent to approximately 22 cents per day) for a four-bedroom unit. Quiet and discrete, Fuji Clean systems have just three green lids at grade which can be camouflaged to blend seamlessly into your yard or garden. And with industry-leading nitrogen-reduction technology and hassle-free maintenance, it’s no wonder Fuji Clean is the #1 choice in onsite wastewater treatment!


Q. How does the Fuji Clean system work?

 A. Fuji Clean uses “Jokaso” technology, which is common throughout Japan. There are five functional chambers in a single Jokaso tank: sedimentation, anaerobic, aeration, clarification, and disinfection, all of which contribute to highly efficient biological on-site wastewater treatment. Jokaso technology has steadily improved over its decades of use in Japan, and now provides treatment performance equivalent to that of a centralized public sewage plant. Click here to learn more about the operation of your Fuji Clean system.


Q. Does the addition of a Fuji Clean wastewater treatment system increase the value of my home?

 A. Yes! A recent study commissioned by Suffolk County concluded that the addition of an I/A OWTS system can enhance property values by 13-19%, which equates to $50,000-75,000 for a residence worth $400,000! In other words, on top of representing the single largest environmental impact a Long Island homeowner can make, upgrading your cesspool or septic tank to a Fuji Clean is also a wise investment.


Q. Do I still need a septic tank if I install a Fuji Clean Residential Wastewater Treatment System?

 A. No. Unlike some I/A OWTS systems, the Fuji Clean connects directly to your home’s outgoing waste line, cutting down on both the total project costs and the footprint of your sanitary system. Read about the different types of Fuji Clean products here.


 Q. What happens if I lose power at my house?

 A. No problem! The external air blower for your Fuji Clean will stop running, but the system simply converts to a conventional septic tank during a power outage, with effluent from the tank continuing to flow via gravity into your leaching pool/drain field until power is restored.


Q. How much electricity does the Fuji Clean system use?

 A. The external blower for the Fuji Clean CEN 5 (four-bedroom unit) consumes only 1.1 kWh/day. This is the equivalent of approximately 22 cents per day, or just $6 per month. Fuji Clean’s dedication to energy efficiency helps make it an environmentally friendly addition to your home and the most cost-effective I/A OWTS on the market.


Q. Is the wastewater treatment system loud?

 A. No! In fact, the FujiMac80 external blower is rated at just 40 decibels, which is classified as “library quiet.” On top of that, AWS houses the Fuji Clean external blowers inside a heavy-duty air enclosure box that further reduces the noise of the blower to virtually inaudible levels.



Q. What does it cost to do service on the Hydro-Action systems?

A. The cost will vary by size of the unit but most common residential service cost will be about $300-$350 per year with pumping of sludge included if needed.


Q. How much electricity does the Hydro-Action system use?

A. Electricity costs run about $10-$12 per month or $120-$144 per year.


Q. Does the Hydro-Action system make any noise?

A. The Hydro-Action system has a remote mounted control panel with a small air pump in there that has a very slight hum. The control panel can be put anywhere within your landscape to not only be not visible but quiet.



Q. Does your tank have more thank one inlet? 
A. YES.  All Norweco tanks (both the precast concrete and the poly plastic) have three inlet options, on either side and straight into the pretreatment chamber of the tank for maximum design versatility and limitless site layout options.

Q. What are the dimensions of the tank? 
A. You can find drawings with critical dimensions for each tank size on the Members Only Resources tab of the LIASA website.  (*paid membership required.)
Q. Does the tank vent through the house vent? 
A. No. The Norweco tank needs a vented fresh air supply remotely run from the aeration riser. Typically, a 2” pvc pipe is run underground toward the house and terminates near the mounted control panel and capped with a carbon filter.  It’s important to pitch this pipe toward the tank so any condensation runs back into the tank and keeps the air supply clear.  

Q. How are the electrical components wired at installation? 
A. Typically, the excavator coordinates and provides the electrical contractor. You can find the wiring instructions and wiring diagram on the Members Only Resources tab of the LIASA website. (*paid membership required.)  Norweco of New York also provides 4 hours of technical guidance at installation from one of our trained and certified Norweco technicians.

Q. What kind of machinery do I need to move the heavy concrete tank on site?
A. Typically, the excavator coordinates and provides the electrical contractor. You can find the wiring instructions and wiring diagram on the Members Only Resources tab of the LIASA website   (*paid membership required.)  Norweco of New York also provides 4 hours of technical guidance at installation from one of our trained and certified Norweco technicians.

Q. Can a tank be put in the driveway?
A. Yes.  We can build traffic rated tanks with cast iron covers that are strong enough to withstand vehicle wheel load. 



Q. Are there any special requirements for your system that are different from a traditional system?

A. No. All septic systems should be treated with care and serviced like other systems in your home. Suffolk County requires an active service agreement in place with a county approved provider. The link to our homeowner page for proper care and use of your system is as follows:


Q. How long will the system last?

A. Generally speaking septic systems should have a useful life of 20 years. Advantex systems are no different. There are systems in the field that have been working 23+ years. System components are manufactured from corrosion and wear resistant materials such as stainless steel and various polymers that stand up to the harsh environment of a septic system. The textile sheets, the core of the operating system, are replaceable so the system could last well beyond 20 years.


Q. What are the operating costs and will there be noise or odor?

A. Since Advantex runs low energy pumps for short periods of time throughout the day, the monthly costs should be in the $6-8 range. There’s a barely audible click every twenty minutes or so when the pump turns on. Placement of the control away from the house ensures these noises will not be a nuisance. With no blowers or compressors forcing air through the system off-putting odors are virtually non-existent.



Q. I lost power and when it came back on I got an alarm?

A. This is normal when system power comes back on. It takes the PLC 15 seconds or so to “boot up”, much like a computer. In this timeframe, the alarm will sound because the PLC, which controls the alarm function, is not functioning. You can reset the alarm and you should be fine.


Q. Should I hear a “gurgle” sound from the air vent?

A.  If you get close enough to the air intake pipe, you may be able to hear the sound of the water sloshing about in the processer. This is normal and you should not be concerned.


Q. My system seems to be running all the time?

A. This is normal. Our system is a demand-based system. Once there is sufficient inflow and the treatment program is turned on, then the system runs a treatment cycle that consists of on and off cycles for the better part of the day.

Q. Can I turn off my power for the season?

A. Yes! The system will rebound quickly once you return next season. However, please be aware we recommend you leave the power to the system running if you will not be leaving for the season – if you will be using your house weekends only, for example.

Q. Why is there no snow around my SeptiTech system access lids?

A. We utilize a biological treatment process that relies on billions of microbes to consume waste, this process produces heat as a byproduct. Since the lids are not insulated, warmth from the system can seep into the snow above the lids and melt it. This does not affect system performance and is normal.

Q. Is the pipe sticking up an air vent?

A. It is not a pipe that allows air to escape from the system, but rather an air intake pipe that allows air to be drawn into the treatment process which is necessary for the health of the system.

Q. Should the system smell bad? Or have a waste smell?

A. No odor should be associated with a SeptiTech system, it should smell “earthy” or like dirt.

Q. How long do pumps usually last?

A. We use high quality Tsurumi and Goulds pumps for all of our systems. The lifespan of a pump is hard to estimate, but the manufacturers of the pumps offer a 2 year warranty. However, many of our systems go far beyond that warranty window with no trouble.


Q. How long do the bulbs in my UV systems last?

A. Bulbs can last over 12 months. If your system contains UV however, we recommend that bulbs be replaced annually to ensure maximum efficiency even if they do not burn out.

Q. Does my SeptiTech processor unit need to be pumped?

A. No. Conventional septic tanks should be pumped based on your contractor recommendations, but the SeptiTech unit does not need to be pumped. It is designed to pump back any accumulated solids into your conventional septic tank thereby eliminating the need to pump the SeptiTech system.

Q. Who should I call if I have a question or an alarm?

A. Your service provider will have affixed a label to your controller with their contact information.


Q. I can’t hear my alarm where it’s located – do I have any options?

A. SeptiTech offers a remote alarm option which allows placement wherever you desire. Contact your service provider for pricing and installation options.

Q. Can I move my air intake pipe? Can I cover it or paint it?

A. Yes, but you must work with your contractor or service provider so that the positive pitch that is required with the system is maintained. (Please note that we recommend the air intake pipe be installed away from main living  quarters due to the soft sound of air intake occurring during normal system operation.) You can cover it with a decorative feature that allows freely flowing air (see for examples) or you can paint it.

Q. Can I bury the access lids?

A. No – those lids must be kept accessible so that service personnel can access the system via all ports throughout the year. We have had many customers choose to have the system placed to the side of a lawn where wild grasses grow rather than in the middle of the yard. However, if yours is not a new installation, then small shrubs or bushes planted as a screen are great camouflage.

Q. Can I drive over my system?

A. No – unless you specifically engineered and ordered an H-20 rated system the system cannot handle traffic.

Q. Do I need to take samples from the system?

A. Some States do require effluent water testing. Depending on the requirements of the State your system is located in, you may need to contract with a certified service provider to take the samples for you and submit to the State. You will not be required to take the samples yourself.

Q. Do I need to perform regular maintenance on my system?

A. We recommend that you contract with a certified service provider for an O&M plan. (Operations and Maintenance). These plans provide the suggested annual maintenance that allow you to be pro-active with your system and catch any potential problems early, before they can become big problems.

Q. Can I use a garbage disposal with my system?

A. Septic systems in general do not “like” garbage disposals; however, the SeptiTech installation requires that the septic system is fitted with an effluent filter which helps nominally. Basically, we recommend that you use your garbage disposal minimally, and limit the quantity of fats, oils and greases down the drain.

Q. Should I be concerned with detergents or cleaners with my SeptiTech system?

A. You should read your owner’s manual for a detailed outline about what should not be used with your SeptiTech system, but in general – detergents that are low in phosphates, nitrates and chlorines are recommended – such as Mighty Mike products. (Please contact SeptiTech at 800-318-7967 for pricing on the Mighty Mike line.)

Q. Should I put septic tank additives into this system?

A. No, the SeptiTech system is designed to work with a conventional septic system and no additives should be placed directly into it.

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