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.
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 ...
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........
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
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 ...
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 ;-(
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)."
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
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.
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.
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