ReedBed for sewage treatment...

Hi not strictly a DIY Q's but thought I would just ask. We are soon to renovate an old barn tho there's a few things
1) The local planning department is opposing the development on the grounds that it will cause negative impacts on the surrounding area (At present the barn is falling down and if nothing is done it will be lost)
2) We have a very large deep pond with no water in cos of its size it has no obvious inflows and would like to be able to use it as a pond.
3) Were keen environmentalists and as such looking at certain things we can do to decrease impacts from the development.
As such we are looking at having a reedbed constructed to deal with our sewage and let the fresh water go into the pond, upon Environment Agency approval. The reasoning behind the reedbed was: 1) To try to prove to the council that impacts will be minimal. 2) To fill the pond up with freshwater and maintain the water level 3) To avoid paying sewage charges 4) To reduce impact of the property.
What I was after was any experiences of such a system pros/cons etc if it would be suitable to fill a pond. Any possible problems. Cheers Oli
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The Question Asker wrote:

I fail to see how a well presented revovation will cause a negative inmpact. A rotting old barn is an eyesore. There was a similar situation in Wroughton nr Swindon with the LA refusing to give permission to renovate an old barn right in the middle of town. Some kids (I assume) burned it to the ground. Problem solved. However if someone is prepared to make the effort I feel the LA is overstepping their mandate. Touch of the old "I'm in charge" I think. Steve R
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On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 21:33:36 UTC, "The Question Asker"
: What I was after was any experiences of such a system pros/cons etc if it : would be suitable to fill a pond.
The Centre For Alternative Technology (www.cat.org.uk) would be very good people to ask about this.
Ian
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[reedbeds]

Sewage as such is a bit of a problem for constructed wetlands. Runoff and grey water aren't such a problem.

What is your local soil permeability? You may have to consider puddling the pond to retain the water.

More importantly, you should try to prove to the council that the impacts will be large and positive. Should they at this point refuse, you should suggest that the next time you see them, it will be in Strasbourg, as they are violating your human rights.

Directing your roof runoff there is a good start.

Probably not an option.

An old barn is an old barn. I cannot really visualise it is going to impinge on the rural idyll unless you paint it day-glo orange.

Going on the experience I have had with the constructed wetlands at Heathrow, the local bird population will increase. Buy some binoculars. The Heathrow scheme is to remediate their runoff, particularly the de-icing fluids, and is located to the south of the airport. As the runways run east-west, this means that the birds do not generally cross the path of the airliners, which would be a bad thing for birds and aircraft alike. The site is large, it took me about 10 minutes to cross it on foot. BAA can probably give you some shiny brochures to wave at the council.
John Schmitt
-- If you have nothing to say, or rather, something extremely stupid and obvious, say it, but in a 'plonking' tone of voice - i.e. roundly, but hollowly and dogmatically. - Stephen Potter
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John Schmitt wrote:

Ethylene Glycol ? What eats it, and what is turned into, out of interest. I know that yeast eats stuff and turns that into ethanol. Is there anti-yeast !
Steve
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It isn't just ethylene glycol. The two main sellers are are Konsin and Kilfrost, both blends of glycols. Sodium acetate formulations are coming in and all are readily (or is that reedily?) biodegradible and of low toxicity. The degradation appears to be a combination of microbial activity in the soil substrate and metabolism by the reeds. As the reeds live in a carbon-poor environment, this is mostly turned into reeds. Obviously there is a variety of biota in the reedbeds which is what attracts the birds (I should be so lucky!) who come to dine on them. There is probably some carbon dioxide released, but when you consider that a 747 is converting in excess of 11 tonnes of JP4 (which is a petroleum distillate) to carbon dioxide and water (hence vapour trails) every hour, any environmental considerations about this are negligable. Per mile, jet is the way to travel long distances with regard to the environment. I have quite lost track of the number of times I have crossed the Atlantic, all I know is that it is now an odd number. The first time was in a Super Connie and we made stops at Keflavik and Gander before landing at Idlewild (now JFK). Of course the Super Connie was a prop-jet, but it was the best option at the time. Nowadays, of course, the Atlantic can be done without refuelling stops, and those seat-back screens seem to make the time fly by. Last time, it was really only the seat belt light that alerted me to the fact that something like 6 hours had passed.
John Schmitt
-- If you have nothing to say, or rather, something extremely stupid and obvious, say it, but in a 'plonking' tone of voice - i.e. roundly, but hollowly and dogmatically. - Stephen Potter
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Hi
I saw a piece one time on a hotel which used a series of ponds to treat all sewage, and the guests wandered round them without realising what they were, so that tells you how effective it can be.
Regards, NT
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