A Buyers Guide to Sewage Treatment Plants

When you can’t connect to mains sewerage infrastructure, a sewage treatment plant is the recommended solution for waste treatment and disposal.

With septic tanks and cesspits slowly being phased out due to changing legislation and environmental consideration, many buildings across the UK are opting to have sewage treatment plants installed.

If you are thinking about having a sewage treatment plant installed at your commercial or domestic premises, our guide helps you understand what sewage treatment plants do, when they are suitable, how much they cost and what the benefits are.

What Is a Sewage Treatment Plant?

A sewage treatment plant is a below ground vessel that acts as an off-mains drainage solution for those that can’t connect to mains sewage.

Unlike cesspits and septic tanks, sewage treatment plants treat incoming wastewater to an acceptable level for discharge, making them more environmentally friendly.

How Do They Work?

Sewage treatment plants are multi-chambered units. First, the wastewater produced from the building through toilets, baths and sinks is deposited in the first chamber where the liquids and solids are separated by gravity.

The solids remain in the first chamber but the liquids flow into a biological chamber which is filled with compressed air, this helps to speed up the naturally occurring formation of bacteria.

Finally, the treated liquid is moved into the final chamber of the tank. Here the bacteria settles at the bottom of the tank to allow it to be moved back into the first tank whilst the clean water remains at the top of the tank.

The water at the top of the final tank can then be safely discharged out to a watercourse or to a ground soakaway field.

When Do You Need One?

Under the UK Building Regulations, if you can connect to the mains sewer then you should do this for the removal of sewage and wastewater.

However, if you are unable to connect to the mains sewers due to being in a remote location then you can review options for managing wastewater within your property.

It’s important to note that the responsibility for the waste produced lies with the owner of the property, so it’s critical that an appropriate solution is installed and properly managed if you cannot access the mains.

How Much Do They Cost?

As sewage treatment plants are far superior to cesspits and septic tanks in how they break down waste to a safe level, they do have a higher upfront cost and there are also additional costs to consider.

Once installed, you will need to budget for an annual service of the unit as well as emptying costs. In order to release sewage from the plant, you must first pay a small fee to get Discharge Consent.

Other considerations include the electricity costs to run the unit (which are very low due to the efficiency) and any repair and callout costs in the event of a pump breakdown.

To find out more, take a look at our blog posts which details all of the costs involved with installing and operating a sewage treatment plant.

What Are the Benefits of Sewage Treatment Plants?

A sewage treatment plant offers several benefits over other methods of sewage treatment such as septic tanks and cesspits. The key benefits include:

  • Treats wastewater to a safe level meaning that it can legally and safely be discharged.
  • Sewage treatment plants are modern technology which is reliable and extremely efficient.
  • Low running costs which offset the higher cost of installation.
  • Installation is simple and easy, though it should be done by a professional installer.
  • Whilst septic tanks and cesspits can reduce the resale value of your property, having a sewage treatment plant can make it worth more.
  • The system is compact and does not take up much room. Being underground, it will not impose on your outdoor space.
  • Alternatives such as septic and cesspits pose a number of potential dangers including gases, flooding and pollution. Sewage treatment plants are far safer in comparison.

Talk to the Experts

At Mawdsleys Pumps, our expert team has vast experience in the design, installation, ongoing maintenance and emergency repair of septic tanks and sewage treatment plants.

If you want to find out more about sewage treatment plants, or if you are having a problem with your unit – we can help.

For more information, call us now 0117 954 8030 or fill out a contact form and a member of our pumps team will get back to you.