Comparison of Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems

Why Norweco Singulair is the Superior, Affordable Solution

Overview photo of the NORWECO Singulair wastewater treatment system

Choosing a Septic Treatment System is an important decision for homeowners – especially for residences throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Northern Massachusetts that require small leach fields on uniquely-positioned properties. A value-engineered system that offers affordable efficiency and longevity will provide homeowners with comfort, protection and peace of mind that their septic treatment system is a wise investment.

Since a quality septic treatment system is vital to your home’s health and your property’s value, it’s important to understand the major differences.  Key considerations include short and long-term costs, system components, efficiency, certification by NSF International, installation and maintenance, and leach field footprint reduction.

This report compares the major differences between the Norweco Singulair system and the closest alternative available on the market today, which we will refer to as The Competitor’s Solution.

Norweco Voucher

System Component Considerations

The Norweco Singulair is a value-engineered, self-contained septic treatment system – essentially, a residential wastewater treatment plant.  It is designed with minimal key components that work together to maximize efficiency, ensure flow equalization, minimize your leach field footprint, and ensure NSF-Certified performance.

Diagram of the Norweco Singulair Wastewater Treatment System

Photo of the bio-kinetic systemIt features the Norweco Bio-Kinetic System, the only non-mechanical flow equalization device available for use in a residential wastewater treatment system. This septic system’s robust aerator and bio-kinetic filter provides consistent flow equalization, ensuring that all waste water is fully treated before leaving the tank. The exclusive Norweco aerator is designed to run only every 30 minutes (just 12 hours/day), and unlike The Competitor’s Solution, no added media is required for system performance.

Norweco’s Singulair also features a central monitoring and alert system and available telemetry (via land-line phone, mobile phone, or Internet) to connect with the monitoring service. This protects your investment by alerting you to issues before they can become problematic. The Norweco monitoring system is especially ideal for vacation homes, to alert owners of septic system issues, while the audio and visual alarm is typically sufficient for year-round homes.

Photo of the NORWECO Singulair wastewater treatment system control panel

Click here to view the key features and components of the Norweco Singulair Wastewater Treatment System.

The Competitor’s Solution is promoted as a septic system alternative, yet it does not provide the cost-effective, NSF-Certified, consistent performance and overall value of the Norweco system. For example, The Competitor’s Solution requires a 24-hour continuously-running air pump to be installed in a homeowner’s basement, garage, or outbuilding. If this pump (similar to a fish tank air pump) malfunctions or stops working, it does not automatically alert the homeowner.

The design of The Competitor’s Solution usually requires an additional tank/chamber component, and does not consistently equalize flow, which risks incomplete water treatment during peak system use. The design also relies on hundreds of plastic media balls as system components in order to treat the wastewater. With system pump-outs required every two years on the Competitor’s Solution, this media can be costly to replace if special equipment is not used to pump out the inorganic material in the treatment chamber.

Efficiency and Certification Considerations for Wastewater Treatment Systems

A quality residential septic treatment system should consistently provide effective, energy-efficient wastewater treatment.

Photo of pump station solids test

The Singulair provides homeowners with a worry-free, energy-efficient and affordable septic system alternative. Norweco’s proven, patented design works to quietly, efficiently and automatically treat all incoming wastewater, returning only harmless effluent to the environment in just 48 hours. Unlike other septic treatment systems with continual 24-hour operation such as The Competitor’s Solution, the Singulair is designed to operate only 30 minutes of each hour, or 12 total hours per day.

The Singulair is crafted by licensed, factory-trained distributors to meet (and typically exceed) the rigorous standards of the public health and safety agency, NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation). Other septic treatment systems such as The Competitor’s Solution have not been certified by NSF International, and therefore are not guaranteed to meet the NSF’s strict standards.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations

Singulairs are manufactured with proprietary Norweco-designed precast concrete forms, and installed and serviced only by a licensed, factory-trained distributor. Farmington, NH-based A.J. Foss, Inc. has earned the area-license to manufacture, install and service Singulairs and Norweco Service Pro Control Centers in New Hampshire, Maine, and Northern Massachusetts.

The system is provided complete from A.J. Foss, including delivery, tank setting, equipment installation, plant start-up and service. Installation and maintenance are performed by Norweco factory-trained technicians with at least an Operator 1 Wastewater License. The included first two years of service and adjustment inspections ensure that the septic system maintains optimal performance. A.J. Foss also offers cost-effective extended service contracts.

Septic Systems such as The Competitor’s Solution may not always be installed by technicians with at least Operator 1 Wastewater Licenses. Also, although the owner’s manual of The Competitor’s Solution recommends regular system inspections, no service or adjustment inspections are included in his cost of the system.

Short and Long-term Cost Considerations for Wastewater Treatment Systems

Complete installation of a Norweco system by Farmington, NH-Based A.J. Foss, Inc. costs approximately $6,100, and includes the system’s first two years of service. Thereafter, A. J. Foss offers cost-effective service contracts for approximately $150/service visit.

Complete installation of The Competitor’s Solution costs approximately $8,500, and does not specify or include any subsequent servicing. The Competitor’s Solution also requires components such as plastic media and one more tank than the Norweco solution in order to adequately treat the wastewater.

Other long-term cost protections that merit consideration: Norweco’s Singulair is the only aerator with a three year warranty and lifetime exchange program. The system also carries the longest warranty protection in the industry, and up to a 2-ft Soil Credit. This Soil Credit is very valuable in that it shortens the system’s required distance from the water table by half, in typical cases. For example, traditional installation using pipe & stone or concrete chambers requires a distance of 4-ft from the water table. This requires the additional expense and time of bringing in more material, and sometimes adding a pump because a higher field cannot be gravity-fed. Norweco Singulair is the only ATU (Aerobic Treatment Unit) that has earned the valuable 2-ft. Soil Credit.

Leach Field Footprint Reduction Considerations for Wastewater Treatment Systems

Photo of the NORWECO Singulair wastewater system leachfield

The Singulair has earned a general waiver for a 75% leach field footprint reduction. This valuable general waiver is applicable to any site that meets the requirements, versus a site-specific waiver that requires individual approval.

Photo of the NORWECO Singulair wastewater treatment system footprint

The Singulair tank footprint is smaller because of its smaller tank dimensions. This is a critical factor for properties with small lots and tight setbacks. The dimensions of a Norweco tank are 12-ft x 6-ft, while The Competitor’s Solution tank is typically larger. This difference is critical to the system’s footprint, especially since the design of The Competitor’s Solution can require two tanks.

The Competitor’s Solution purports to provide up to 90% leach field footprint reduction, but this includes only a very limited scope of properties. Key factors including the soil percolation rate, type of leach field, whether the system is gravity fed or pumped will affect it.

The Norweco system is proven to comply with stringent NSF International standards for generation of clean effluent. NSF Certification involves 26 weeks of rigorous testing of the system, and is your assurance that the system will consistently perform to exacting standards. Since The Competitor’s Solution is not certified by NSF International, there is no proof that the effluent it generates meets stringent NSF standards.

It also takes more time to use The Competitor’s Solution to design a system than it takes for the Singulair. The Competitor’s Solution guidelines require that plans be obtained from the designer before the system is submitted to the state for review and approval. This can delay the project, especially if additional adjustments and exchanges are needed before the finalized plans can be submitted to the State DES (Department of Environmental Services) for approval.

Comparison Summary:

KEY DIFFERENCES in Residential Wastewater Treatment Systems

System Components

NORWECO: Self-contained system with robust aerator and bio-kinetic filter provides consistent flow equalization to ensure that all water is treated before leaving the tank; Aerator runs only 12 hours (every 30 mins); No added media is required. Value-engineered with minimal key components and built-in web-based monitoring with alert system.

The Competitor’s Solution: Requires 24-hour continuously-running detached air pump in basement, garage or outbuilding; Inconsistent flow equalization risks incomplete water treatment during peak system use; Requires added media and additional tank/chamber component; No automatic audio or visual monitoring or alert system.

Efficiency

NORWECO: System is designed to quietly, efficiently and automatically treat all incoming wastewater, and return harmless effluent to the environment in just 48 hours. No added media ensures that special equipment is not required to pump the tank.

The Competitor’s Solution: System’s additional media component requires special equipment to pump the tank. System is not designed to consistently treat all incoming wastewater as efficiently as a Norweco system.

Installation & Maintenance

NORWECO: Installation is performed by factory-trained technicians with Operator 1 Wastewater Licenses who also perform the included 2 years of service, to ensure optimal system performance

The Competitor’s Solution: Installation may not be performed by technicians with Operator 1 Wastewater Licenses. No maintenance is included or specified, risking sub-optimal system performance

Cost

NORWECO: Costs approx. $6,100; includes first 2 years of service; then approx. $150/service thereafter

The Competitor’s Solution: Costs approx. $8,500; no service included; requires additional components and extra tank

Certification

NORWECO: NSF Certification ensures the system is manufactured and installed to exacting standards

The Competitor’s Solution: No NSF Certification risks inconsistencies in design, installation and performance

Leach Field Footprint & Soil Reduction

NORWECO: Achieves 75% leach field footprint reduction without the extra tank that The Competitor’s Solution typically requires. Complies with NSF standards for clean effluent generation.

The Competitor’s Solution: The Competitor’s Solution may provide up to 90% leach field footprint reduction, but this includes a very limited scope of properties. Lack of NSF certification means uncertain clean level of generated effluent.