Septic Tanks vs AWTS: Which Is Better for Your Sydney Property?

When it comes to managing wastewater on your Sydney property, two common options are often considered: traditional septic tanks and Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS). Both have their merits, but the choice between them can significantly impact your property and the environment. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of each option to help you decide which is better suited to your needs as a regional consumer.



Understanding Traditional Septic Tanks

Traditional septic tanks have been a staple of wastewater treatment for decades. They work by collecting household wastewater, allowing solids to settle, and then letting the clarified effluent flow into a drain field, where it is further treated by the soil. Here are the pros and cons:

Septic Tank Installation

Benefits of Traditional Septic Tanks:

Simplicity and Reliability
Traditional septic tanks are simple in design and typically have fewer components, making them easier to install and maintain. They are known for their reliability when properly cared for.

Lower Initial Costs
Septic tank installations are generally less expensive upfront compared to AWTS systems, which can be appealing to budget-conscious homeowners.

Lower Energy Consumption
Traditional septic tanks do not require electricity to operate, leading to lower energy bills and reducing your environmental footprint.

NEgatives of Traditional Septic Tanks:

Limited Treatment Efficiency
Traditional septic tanks provide basic treatment but do not achieve the high-quality effluent that AWTS systems produce. This can lead to potential environmental risks, especially in sensitive areas like Sydney.

Space Requirements
Septic tanks often need more space for installation and larger drain fields than AWTS systems, which may not be suitable for smaller Sydney properties.

Regular Pumping
Septic tanks require periodic pumping to remove accumulated solids, which can be an ongoing maintenance cost.

Exploring Aerated Wastewater Treatment Systems (AWTS)

AWTS systems are a more advanced alternative to traditional septic tanks. They incorporate mechanical aeration to enhance the treatment process, resulting in a higher level of wastewater purification. Here’s a closer look at their pros and cons:

Benefits of AWTS Systems:

Efficient Wastewater Treatment
AWTS systems use aeration to break down organic matter more effectively, resulting in a higher quality of treated effluent. This cleaner water can often be reused for irrigation or discharged more safely into the environment.

Space Efficiency
AWTS systems are typically more compact than traditional septic tanks, making them an excellent choice for smaller Sydney properties with limited space.

Reduced Environmental Impact
These systems are designed to treat wastewater to high standards, minimizing the risk of groundwater and surface water contamination, which is particularly crucial in preserving Sydney’s natural beauty.

Negatives of AWTS Systems:

Higher Initial Costs
AWTS systems generally have a higher upfront cost due to their advanced technology and installation requirements. However, this cost can be offset by long-term savings.

Electricity Consumption
AWTS systems require electricity to power the aeration process, which can lead to increased energy bills. Nonetheless, many models come with energy-efficient features.

Regular Maintenance
Like traditional septic tanks, AWTS systems need regular maintenance, including inspections and cleaning. This may require professional service.

Choosing the Right System for Your Sydney Property

The decision between a traditional septic tank and an AWTS system ultimately depends on your specific circumstances and priorities as a Sydney homeowner. Here are some key factors to consider:

Property Size: If you have limited space, an AWTS system’s compact design may be more suitable.

Environmental Concerns: If you prioritize environmental sustainability and minimizing your impact on Sydney’s ecosystems, AWTS is a strong choice.

Budget: Consider the initial costs as well as long-term savings when making your decision.

Energy Availability: Ensure you have reliable access to electricity if you choose an AWTS system.

Maintenance: Think about your willingness and ability to commit to regular system maintenance.

Local Regulations: Check with your local council for any specific requirements or regulations regarding wastewater treatment systems.

Consultation: Seek advice from professionals experienced in septic tank and AWTS installations in the Sydney region.


The choice between a traditional septic tank and an AWTS system is a significant decision for Sydney homeowners. While traditional septic tanks offer simplicity and lower initial costs, AWTS systems provide advanced treatment, space efficiency, and reduced environmental impact. By carefully considering your property’s characteristics, budget, and environmental priorities, and consulting with experts, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and values. Whether you opt for a tried-and-true septic tank or a modern AWTS system, proper maintenance and compliance with local regulations are key to ensuring efficient wastewater treatment and preserving Sydney’s stunning natural surroundings.

For a Free Quote and Sizing on all Septic Tanks Made in Australia call the team at Eco-Septic on 1800 808 135