Disposing of our own waste is not something we would choose to do but if you wish to reside in a rural or private enclave, the chances are you won’t have access to a mains sewerage system. If that’s the case, you have two main options; a septic tank or a sewage treatment plant, both of which must comply with the regulations stipulated by the Environment Agency (which changed on 1st January 2020).
We take a look at sewage treatment plants in more depth below. Click to read about septic tanks.
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What Is A Sewage Treatment Plant?
Sewage treatment plants are similar to septic tanks in that they have a system of chambers to separate the waste which ultimately lead to a drainage field. The waste splits into three layers in the first chamber:
Top – this is the crust which will need removing when the septic tank is emptied. It is made from solids, fats and oils.
Middle – this is the water waste that upon reaching the outlet pipe, flows into the next chamber for more treatment before passing to the drainage field to be absorbed safely into the ground.
Bottom – neither solid nor liquid, this is the sludge that will also require removal during the emptying of the septic tank.
The key difference is that there are three chambers in a sewage treatment plant, as opposed to two in a septic tank. This additional chamber is there to better treat the wastewater by introducing certain bacteria (which is why it is often called the biozone). This chamber has an air pump to facilitate this process and as such, a sewage treatment plant requires a constant power source.
A sewage treatment plant is the most effective way of treating your household waste and given the new law from 1st January 2020, it makes more sense to have one of them installed. If your septic tank does not comply then you could install a drainage field but speak to Proseptic regarding changing it for a sewage treatment plant instead.
Sewage Treatment Plant Regulations
As with septic tanks, there are certain regulations to observe in order to ensure they are safe from the outset and are properly maintained throughout their lifetime. Here, we run through sewage treatment plant regulations to help you comply.
- Sewage treatment plants must be EN 12566-3 tested and approved (this is a European Standard test for efficiency)
- They must be at least 10 metres from any buildings or water courses
- Regular servicing of the power source is required to maintain its integrity
- The plant should be able to function without power for up to 6 hours or have an uninterruptible power supply
The drainage field into which the wastewater will eventually pass must also meet certain criteria in order to be legal (but also to ensure no harm comes to the environment!). These regulations are:
- Neighbouring boundaries must be over 2 metres away
- Watercourses need to be over 10 metres away
- Any buildings (including houses) must be over 15 metres away
- Wells, reservoirs or any other water sources should be over 50 metres away
- No access roads, driveways or paved areas should be nearby
At Proseptic we are the experts in sewage treatment plants and their regulations. All of our drainage services are carried out according to sewage treatment plant regulations. Contact us today and we will be happy to help.