Wastewater is a fact of life. It’s something we all produce every time we flush the toilet, drain the bath, or do the dishes. Once the water vanishes down the drain, we often stop thinking about it after that. Where it goes, what happens to it, and how it impacts the environment. The truth is that wastewater is actually more interesting than you might think.
The wastewater that you produce makes its way to wastewater treatment plants where it can be processed and made safe before it is discharged into the environment. It’s an essential process that prevents potentially toxic waste from entering the environment. But there’s more to the process and we’d love a moment to take you through it.
The Sewage and Wastewater Treatment Process
If you think about the way a septic tank works, a sewage treatment plant isn’t much different – it’s just on a larger scale and far more advanced than one chamber. The wastewater flows from your property and ends up in the first chamber of the treatment plant, similar to the way in which your septic tank operates.
At this point, the water is left to sit until all oil, grease, and scum has floated to the top and any solids have settled at the bottom of the chamber. Next, the liquid is separated and sent into the next chamber. There is an air pump installed in this section of the treatment plant and it is left running to encourage the growth of aerobic bacteria.
The purpose of the bacteria is to help break down the contaminants in the water, part of the process of cleaning it and removing toxins. The final tank in the treatment process allows any remaining solids to sink to the bottom so that they are left behind when the water is discharged into a soakaway or watercourse.
When the treatment is finished and the water is as clean as it possibly can be, it is safe to be discharged into the environment. The high-quality cleaning capabilities found in wastewater treatment plants mean that putting the water back into local water sources is a completely safe process.
Why Wastewater Treatment Systems are Needed
You might be thinking that a wastewater treatment system isn’t needed because most developments are connected to mains sewers – negating the need for a system like this to be installed. However, it is important to note that this is not possible for every property – even new developments can sometimes struggle to get a connection to the mains.
If your property cannot be serviced by the mains system, you will need to have a wastewater treatment system installed for the most efficient disposal of your wastewater. As long as you have an electrical system you can have this installed just about anywhere, all you need to do is be mindful of the fact that it will need annual maintenance.
In fact, you will find that the installation process is actually very simple, and it can be done for your home or business – whichever one needs it. This tends to be the steps required:
- Liaising with highway agency where necessary
- Excavation and installation of pump chamber and control panel
- Enabling works for gravity drainage
- Thrust boring/open-cut installation of rising main
- Making connections to the mains sewer
- Test and commissioning
Maintenance in Sewage Treatment Plants
Generally speaking, pumping stations only need annual maintenance and it’s uncommon for them to need anything between visits. This is why it is important to go with a company like Filta that you know uses the best components in the construction of treatment stations so that they survive the period before replacement.
While the general consensus is that maintenance tends to be undertaken annually, there are also six-month and quarterly plans available from Filta so that you have peace of mind. The frequency of maintenance can also depend on what the pumps are servicing. For example, a school will need more regular maintenance than a private home.
If you do not keep up with the required maintenance for your pump stations, it can cause serious environmental pollution as well as pose a health and safety risk for those in the area – especially if untreated sewage ends up passing through a watercourse. All of this can result in prosecution from the Environment Agency, so make sure you stay on top of things.
Wastewater plants are an essential part of the way we function. If you are connected to the mains sewer system, you need one of these to ensure that you are disposing of your sewage in a manner that is safe and unintrisuve. With Filta, we can ensure all of this and more while also promising regular maintenance and high-quality installations that are made to last.