Aeration systems, also known as air stripping systems, combine air and water. The idea is to create as much air-water contact area as possible so that volatile organic compounds and dissolved gases like radon and hydrogen sulfide can migrate from the water to the air.
A distributor is used in packed tower systems to uniformly distribute water across the top of a tower filled with plastic, ceramic, or metal items designed to optimize air-water interaction. Air is forced or dragged upward via the tower in the opposite direction of the water flow.
Tray aeration systems drop water through vertical trays containing packaging materials.
Compressed air is forced via diffusers at the bottom of a basin in diffused aeration systems. Mechanical aeration systems use a mixer to forcefully agitate the water surface.
While simple in principle, air stripping systems are prone to clogging because of particulates, rust-producing bacteria, and precipitation of calcium carbonate. Treatment costs increase significantly if water must be pre-treated or if system air must be purified before it is released into the atmosphere.
No air stripping system is intended to be efficient against germs. Except for tray aerators, which are developed to use natural air convection and gravity and may therefore often be operated without electricity, all require a steady power source.