20 Years of Installing ATUs Prepared Contractor for Tough Commercial Project

Advanced treatment units are the rule for onsite systems in the environmentally conscious communities served by Topanga Underground
20 Years of Installing ATUs Prepared Contractor for Tough Commercial Project

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Environmental protection is paramount where Topanga Underground does business in Malibu and neighboring California communities west of Los Angeles. That means nearly all onsite treatment systems the company installs use aerobic treatment units.

Owner Richard Sherman notes that conventional soil treatment is locally allowed only on lots where room exists for a drainfield. Such lots are uncommon in Topanga’s territory; most systems discharge to seepage pits and require secondary-treated effluent. In Malibu, effluent destined for seepage pits must also be disinfected.

Topanga Underground has installed several makes and models of ATUs during more than 20 years in the onsite treatment business. They include units from Jet, Presby Environmental (Advanced Enviro-Septic units), Bio-Microbics (FAST systems), MicroSepTec, and AdvanTex systems from Orenco and its local distributor, BioSolutions.

The company has installed both residential and commercial models of AdvanTex systems. Among its most challenging jobs was a 2014 rebuild of the treatment system for the Inn of the Seventh Ray, a natural foods restaurant located beside a creek in Topanga.

That $550,000 project included a 15,000-gallon grease trap, a 25,000-gallon septic fiberglass septic tank (Xerxes), and an 8,000-gallon tank split in half as a recirculation tank and a storage tank for effluent to be pumped to the drainfield. The heart of the system consists of three AdvanTex AX100 commercial-grade treatment units.

These units use media filter technology for advanced treatment. In systems of that type, septic tank effluent trickles through a moist, porous media where microorganisms remove impurities. This approach minimizes electricity consumption and provides stability against upsets caused by flows of variable volume and strength.

AdvanTex systems are recirculation filters that use high-efficiency, lightweight textile media with a large surface area on which microorganisms can grow. The units can provide the same level of treatment as sand filters while processing commercial-sized volumes of residential-strength waste in a compact footprint.

Read more about Topanga Underground in a full profile in the November issue of Onsite Installer.


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