Private sewage treatment plant, anyone know costs?

I recently moved on to a brand-new estate which has a privately run sewage treatment plant, completely separate from the water company for this area. There was supposed to be a management company set up to run this plant, but it appears to be going pear-shaped, with volunteers pulling out, a mounting debt, and certain individuals complaining to the point of having their solicitor write a letter.
Does anyone know what these small estate-based sewage treament plants typically cost to run? I have been told the plant here needs emptying three times a year. The development contains approximately 40 dwellings, and all residents pay a proportionate amount.
In another part of the village, houses are also connected to a similar local sewage treatment plant, yet that one is entirely run by the water company, as if one were on mains sewerage and simply paid the water and sewage bill. Perhaps it would be best if 'our' proposed management company simply transferred (sold?) the plant and the responsibility for running it to the water company?
MM
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Not sure if this will help. I have an Entec plant with a capacity for ten people. An annual service costs about UKP150 and emptying twice a year about UKP60. The cost to install a new one in place of the existing one would be about UKP5000. The plant serves just my house.
Peter Scott
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Is that the type with rotating discs which the bacteria colonise as they digest the various biological materials in the tank? AIUI they consume the digestible part of the liquor eventually leaving a clear liquid outfall which is supposed to be acceptable for discharge into the ground drainage. How does this differ from a traditional septic tank where moving parts are not required? (Except in size, needing a power supply, and a mechanical maintenance requirement) We had a traditional septic tank for many years and I recall it needing emptying about once every ten years as the undigestible sediment in the tank built up very slowly. Our tank served a household of five and did not cause any problems as to smells etc. We used to chuck a dead rabbit in when it was emptied as a starter for the bug colony but country lore used to say a dead cat was the ideal<g> As we had a septic tank we got a reduction in water bils so it paid for itself as to emptying charges
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Because in many areas traditional septic tanks are not allowed for new installations. For some reason the moving part version you describe is preferred, though I can't see why.
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Mike wrote:

Becaus it is more reliable in complete breakdown of organic waste - the bacteria get to finish the job with the help of a bit of oxygen.
From experience, this is a true statement. The outflow is not smelly, and runs very clear indeed.
No dount its loaded with nitrpgen and other basic chemicals, but by teh time its soaked away its pretty much clean water than get into teh watercourses.
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ten
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every
My plant has three tanks. The first traps the solid matter and has to be emptied once a year usually. The foul liquid then flows into a second tank where it stays for some time. Away from the plant I have an air pump. This pushes air through a plastic pipe. This goes to the bottom of the second tank and bubbles up into a vertical pipe about 4 cm dia. The bubbles carry the foul liquid with them. The pipe forms a 'T' at the top. Each branch has a spreader cone on it. This splashes and spreads the liquid across two filter beds each about 30 x 50 cm. The water trickles down the beds and is purified. The other function of the air is to oxygenate the water for the filter beds. The 'clean' water then flows to a third tank where it is stored before flowing out to a stream. The Environment Agency is allowed to test it for purity. The whole plant is about 2.5 m cube and mostly underground. I like the fact that no electricity has to be run to the plant. The middle tank is by far the biggest.
Unless it is an existing system you may not use a septic tank unless you can prove that the sub-soil will allow the soakaway to drain freely. You dig a 30cm cube hole, fill it with water and time how long it takes to drain. Existing 'illegal' systems can remain unless they start to cause pollution or excessive smells.
Taking the original install cost of UKP2500 and annual running costs into account I reckon I've better than broken even with Anglian Water high charges.
Peter Scott
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John wrote:

That is basically it.
The biosdiscs simply stir the shit to encourage aerobic breakdown.
Compared with my old three chamber septic, they don't smell at all.
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Peter Scott wrote:

I have similar, but I haven't touched it in three years - only two of us - yet the size of house dictates it must be that big.
I wo;t emty it unless and until it starts ponging.
Probably every 5 years. And then I may spoon it out and put it on the compost heap anyway.
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