The Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant

The Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant is now replacing septic systems in many rural areas.  There are thought to be 800,000 small sewage treatment works including septic tanks in England and Wales.

Unlike Septic tanks sewage treatment plants produce a treated effluent suitable for discharge to water courses or drainage fields, providing they comply with Environment Agency requirements and consents.

Correctly serviced treatment plants will give a long and trouble free life, provided they are not overloaded either hydraulically or biologically and are operated within manufacturers specifications.

Indications of problems

  • Slow draining sinks, toilets, baths
  • Manhole covers lifting
  • Sewage level backing-up at the inlet to treatment plant
  • Sewage odours in vicinity
  • Land wet, soggy or waterlogged
  • Grey and cloudy final effluent
  • Pollution plume and fungi in watercourse.

Consequences of a poorly maintained system

  • Local Authorities have the power to enter and examine septic tanks and package plants to ascertain their efficiency and ensure they are not prejudicial to health or a nuisance to region.
  • The Regulator has the power to prosecute anyone causing pollution of a watercourse, lake or any groundwater.
  • The Regulation may require remedial work to be carried out.
  • Increased callout and repair charges.

Sewage treatment plants require

  • Loading within manufacturers specifications
  • Regular servicing to manufacturers specifications and British Water – Code of Practice (
  • Desludging (interval determined by manufacturer) and site specific loading
  • Correct environment for Aerobic bacteria to survive and breakdown the effluent
  • Regular and consistent use

Sewage Treatment Plants do not require

  • Fats Oils and Greases
  • Disposable nappies, baby wipes, cotton buds, etc
  • Excessive use of Disinfectants, garden chemicals, household bleach
The Packaged Sewage Treatment PlantThe Packaged Sewage Treatment Plant

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