Why would I need a wastewater treatment system?

Posted by Callum Vallance-Poole, on March 1, 2021.

Why would I need a wastewater treatment system

There are several reasons why you might need a wastewater treatment system…

You could be having to replace an existing septic tank which no longer meets the Environment Agency requirements under the General Binding Rules.

Or 

You might be building a new home in a remote location and there is no mains drainage network for you to connect your wastewater into and therefore you have to deal with the treatment of it yourself, on site.

Or 

You might be building a new home or extending your home where there is a mains drainage network nearby, but you’re not allowed to connect into it because it’s already at maximum capacity. You’ve therefore got to provide your own system for treatment of your wastewater. 

Or 

You may simply be replacing an existing septic tank or full sewage treatment plant because it’s old and is no longer efficient or no longer working at all. 

Whichever of these reasons, or any other reason that isn’t listed above, the likelihood is that you need a wastewater treatment system to manage your own treatment of waste on site, without sending it elsewhere for it to be treated and dealt with by the water authorities. It’s therefore your responsibility and that’s why you want to make sure you research what is the best solution you can choose and get a proper understanding of how they work and what’s important. 

In simplistic terms, a wastewater treatment system is used to turn your wastewater, which is both black & grey water from your home (black water is from toilets and dishwashers, containing either food particles or human waste, and grey water is used water from showers, baths and sinks), into a clean and clear water that meets certain effluent quality standards to allow it to be released into a watercourse without causing any harm or pollution. 

In the most simple terms… sewage in —> clean water out. 

You wouldn’t use it, not to water your plants or take a shower in, and you certainly wouldn’t drink it, but to look at it you probably wouldn’t notice that much difference to a glass of water poured straight from the tap. That’s how clean many wastewater treatment systems can get the water. Visibly clear, without any sign that prior to entering the wastewater treatment plant it was in fact, raw sewage. Incredible. 

The environment agency, for very obvious reasons, have very stringent rules and requirements about what water can enter rivers, streams and the sea. Perhaps you’ve seen horrifying videos online of raw sewage being pumped directly into the sea or finding its way into a river, well this should not be a possibility these days. It’s now quite the opposite, that you won’t even be allowed to discharge your water into your local river or stream without prior consent and without making sure the water meets a high standard of cleanliness. You may have to deal with it on your own property, through the use of large drainage fields or a large soakaway. Meaning you may be glad you went for that bigger plot of land after all! 

The positive side of having to manage your own wastewater and disperse of it within your own land, is that you are in control. You get to decide which system and you get to understand how it works and what might go wrong with it. Nothing is in the hands of others. Your system will be completely independent and yours alone. No one can block it, damage it or turn it off! It’s your responsibility and therefore the power is in your hands.

Marketing Coordinator - Based at our UK HQ in Banbury, Oxfordshire, Callum is responsible for promoting Water Management Systems, Attenuation Tanks, Treatment Plants, Rainwater Harvesting Systems and more!