Do sewage treatment plants pollute water?
Sewage treatment plants are often installed when a property does not have access to the mains sewer system – for example in rural locations or on caravan sites. They provide an efficient and environmentally friendly way to dispose of wastewater without polluting the surrounding waterways or soil.
What is the sewer treatment of wastewater?
Wastewater is any water used in the home or business, including toilet, sink, and drain water from the bathroom and kitchen. Whereas a septic tank stores wastewater and needs to be emptied regularly, a sewage treatment plant has two chambers that enable wastewater to be processed so it can be safely released into the watercourse, a ditch, or a soakaway.
During this process, wastewater enters the first chamber of the treatment plant where sludge and scum are separated from the water. Sludge is made up of solids, and scum is fats and oils. After passing into the second chamber, the water is aerated by a pump. This encourages good bacteria to develop which break down harmful bacteria, resulting in clean water that can be disposed of.
Can a sewage treatment plant discharge into the watercourse?
The watercourse consists of any natural or manmade channel through which water flows. This includes rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, and canals. Once wastewater has been processed in a sewage treatment plant, it is clean enough to be discharged into the watercourse without harming the environment.
Can a sewage treatment plant discharge into a ditch?
If a sewage treatment plant is located on a site without easy access to a river or other waterway, an alternative option is to discharge wastewater into a ditch after processing, where it will soak gradually into the soil. Like the watercourse, a ditch provides a solution for disposing of water from a sewage treatment plant without the need to alter the landscape where the plant is located.
Can a sewage treatment plant discharge into a soakaway?
Also known as a drainage field, a soakaway is a large hole or pit which is lined with coarse stone or attenuation crates. Water filters through this lining to soak steadily into the ground. Although a sewage treatment plant can discharge into a soakaway, these require a large area of land and good natural drainage. This means that it may not always be possible to install a drainage field, and wastewater will need to be discharged into the watercourse or a ditch instead.
Rules and permits for sewage treatment
It’s essential to ensure wastewater is disposed of safely, responsibly, and legally. For up-to-date guidance on operating a sewage treatment plant at your home or commercial premises, check GOV.UK to find the latest rules and permit information.
Speak to the experts
At Pumping Solutions, we specialise in helping our customers process and dispose of wastewater by installing sewage treatment systems that are safe and reliable. To find out more, speak to our team on 01775 711960 or get in touch to begin your enquiry.
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