Reed bed sewage treatment

What actually happens in such a system?
Mary
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In my understanding (And this comes from my own research as were looking at having one) Sewage is 1st separated from solids in a settling tank the resulting liquid is passed through the roots of reed, whereby Nitrogen fixation takes place in root nodules of the reeds (Same process as clover and any legumes) the water then passes out the other side clean and free from excessive nutrients and pollutants. The water is meant to be suitable for drinking, but cant say I would trust it. But it is suitable for discharge into water courses.
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Thanks for that - but what happens to the solids?
I didn't realise there was a separate settling tank.
You say you were looking into it - any suggestions of where to look?
Mary

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Shitty Mick comes and takes them away every April.
:o)
--
"The road to Paradise is through Intercourse."
[email me at huge [at] huge [dot] org [dot] uk]
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I Googled, it seems it's not really suitable for an inner-city semi ...
Pity, but it's very interesting anyway.
More than one system too. With tank, without tank. On one level, on more than one level. Permanent and semi-permanent. Pumped and not pumped.
Unless some things aren't mentioned until after one's got starry-eyed ...
:-)
Mary
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 14:35:41 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

You need an environment agency licence to discharge from one of these things, and you won't get one if mains sewage is avaiable.
The stuff is sort-of drinkable, my packaged treatment unit discharges directly into a river (I have a licencce), where the water board pump water out of the river, and give it to the scousers .........
The "solids" need to be pumped out every year, and the "mummies nappies" really are a bit of a nightmare........
Rick
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?
Mary
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 16:47:16 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

Vampire's teabags, jammers,.......
--

.andy

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... ?
Nope ...

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Mary Fisher wrote:

Sanitary towels
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Oh. I'd forgotten.
Why do they go into reed beds?
Mary
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 21:16:31 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

They go down the loo - they shouln't but they doo, and whatever treatment system there is has to deal with them. So these dicussions about people leaving the private sewage treatment systems years between pump outs seem a bit mad, these things do not appear to be very treatable.
Rick
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That's irresponsible and stupid. surely people who are caring enough to have reed beds wouldn't? Oh, there are commercial systmes toowhere the public uses them. Surely there are notices?
Mind you, there are no-smoking notices, no speeding notices ...

Yes. I'm very sorry to read that.
Mary

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Rick snipped-for-privacy@pen-y-geulan.com typed:

Ive got a reed bed, but have had to make a grease/oddment pre-chamber to catch all the foreign matter that Campers think should go down the Bog ! Anyone want to buy a gold watch, only slightly soiled ;-(
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typed:

Bet you only find things by going through the motions ...
Mary

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Mary Fisher snipped-for-privacy@zetnet.co.uk typed:

LOL
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On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 16:47:16 -0000, Mary Fisher wrote:

Female sanitory products, internal or external. Though they should not be ending up in the septic tank...
"Do not flush anything down this toilet that has not passed through you first (other than toilet paper)."
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
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Mary Fisher wrote:

No - use a kjlargester Mary,. It costs, but it works well - same sort of priniple of getting bacteria to break down the nasties, but the paddles encorage the aerobic types, which lead to better end products I suppose.
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I used to work at a small software company in Wheathampstead Herts. We were in what were once the offices of Murphy's Chemicals, who used to do insecticide R&D. Next to us was a large area of waste ground, which was apparently where Murphy's used to do their chemical processes. Sainsbury's bought this to build a large supermarket, but then failed to get planning permission. Then it was discovered this site was extremely badly contaminated and was contaminating an underground aquifer which had been detected tens of miles away. Sainsbury's now had to foot the bill for decontaminating the site, being the current owners. Strangely, the local council could find no connection between the company called Murphy's Chemicals in the insecticide business which occupied an office on part of the former site and the Murphy's Chemicals which had badly poluted the ground there, so it was not possible to get them to clean up the site.
Analysis of the contaminants revealed many known insecticides such as DDT, but also a lot of unknown chemicals, presumably things which were not developed through to being products due to some problem with them. The council tried to find former workers who might be able to shed some light, but strangely couldn't find any who were still alive -- it was not so long ago that they would have expected them all to be dead by then. Many local residents recalled a large fire at the factory in the 1950's or 1960's which lasted some time (days I think), and many chemical drums were bulldozed into large holes in the ground to prevent them exploding in the fire.
Anyway, to clean the site up, all the topsoil was removed and taken somewhere miles away where it was incinerated at very high temperatures. The lorries leaving the site had to be cleaned down just like in the foot'n'mouth era to prevent any of the contaminated soil dropping outside the site. Then large amounts of lime were ploughed into the remaining soil. Half of the site was then sold off for housing development (I bet they don't get any insects in their vegetable patches;-), and the other half was turned into a giant reed bed with pumps drawing up the contaminated water from deep wells, and letting it filter back through the reeds which apparently were chosen for their ability to absorb all the nasty chemical contaminants. It was expected this would have to operate for at least 25 years.
Just when the reed bed was finished being constructed (late 1990's), there was a change in the law that forbid discharging contaminated water into an underground aquifer. Since the reeds don't completely decontaminate the water in one pass, the discharge counts as contaminated water and would thus become illegal, even though the water originally came from the aquifer and the discharge was less contaminated that the original. This ended up putting the whole project on hold, but they did somehow get around this restriction, and I believe the reed bed has been operating for a few years now.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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