Our small sewage treatment plant

by Mars
aerobic septic tank

The property we purchased came with a small sewage treatment plant that is capable of receiving wastewater from buildings not connected to mains drainage and processing it so that only a clean, clear effluent is discharged into the environment.

The Vortex Wastewater Treatment System (that’s its formal name) is an eco electric sewage treatment plant and has been designed to treat both solid and liquid components of waste coming from our house, which is cleverly accomplished by using a combination of coarse and fine air bubbles.

Important: You can see the tank in action in our video – naturally, the contents of a small sewage treatment plant may not be suitable for everyone, so we advise viewer discretion. We provide you with a heads up when we open the lid and show you the inside of the tank in case you want to skip that portion of the video. This happens at the 3 minute, 30 second mark.

Please watch the video below to get a quick overview of our small sewage treatment plant.

Vortex Wastewater Treatment System

Things we like about our small sewage treatment plant

  • It is odourless – when you open the lid it smells earthy (no nasty smell)
  • The processed effluent is very clean and clear
  • Low electricity consumption with low running costs

The Vortex is sold in the UK by WTE Ltd.

Fun (disgusting) facts about fatbergs

This has nothing to do with sewage treatment plants or septic tanks, but it does go to show what people flush and empty down their sinks.

Fatbergs (what a great name) are composed of excrement, wet wipes, sanitary products, drugs, contraceptives and other insoluble items, which are covered in, and bound together by, congealed fat, and are a direct consequence of people flushing whatever they want down toilets and pouring litres of various fats, lard and oils down their sinks.

Recently, South West Water in Sidmouth, Devon, discovered a 64-metre fatberg. We’ve been to Sidmouth and neighbouring towns and villages, and it goes to show that even sleepy country settings are not immune to lavatory horror stories that we thought were reserved exclusively for major cities.

Sidmouth’s berg, however, was no match for the Whitechapel beast – Fatty McFatberg – that weighed in at an astonishing 143 tonnes and measured 250 metres from end to end. It was reported that it took a crew of eight workers several weeks to break it down using power hoses. Disgusting.

But the undisputed champion is the phenom that was discovered close to the South Bank in central London in 2018, a 750-metre long giant. To put that in context, the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is 828 metres high.

5 comments

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Charlie Pincott 12 October 2020 - 19:24

Hi,liked your info on the Vortex STP. We had one installed for our new build but it’s not really worked that well from the start. The water going out to the river is never that clear so really want to get this sorted.
Ive followed the manufacturers instructions regarding the blower settings but the scum never seems to recycle and compared to yours the water in the treated part of the tank is very cloudy. Any tips on what’s the best detergents,dishwasher tablets etc to use would be much appreciated.
Thanks
Charlie

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Mars 13 October 2020 - 15:53

Thank you for your comments and questions Charlie.

Regarding the scum/sludge, we discovered that when it’s ‘set’ and quite hard, and the sludge return cycle is on, it’s quite easy to get a long stick and a hose up, and mix the sludge up to make it runny. It then gets down the sludge return pipe quite easily and returns to the main tank. That’s one aspect. Once that’s done, it’s time to maintain it. We’ve started doing the following this year:

1. We are using Muck Munchers to keep the tank ticking over with good bacteria. This is working a treat, and we’re just waiting for our lab results to return. Our tank is looking super healthy now: https://myhomefarm.co.uk/improving-the-health-of-our-home-sewage-treatment-plant

2. We use septic tank friendly products for everything. For the laundry detergent we use Ecover. We’re trying to get cleaning products to test, but our new go-to dishwashing tablets this one from Smol – we’ve just purchased a year’s supply from them: https://myhomefarm.co.uk/small-environmentally-friendly-dishwashing-tablets

I hope that answers some of your questions – we have quite a few different cleaners that are set to be reviewed in the weeks ahead, and we’ll be posting them on our site.

Reply
Tom 4 November 2020 - 16:54

Hi Charlie,
It sounds like your system is set up incorrectly. Did you have a WTE trained engineer install it for you? There are three valves that need to be properly balanced while using a pressure gauge. Failure to balance the system correctly with a pressure gauge can result in improper operation.
if your settled sludge return is not working then it needs to be looked at quickly. Please contact WTE to find an engineer in your area.

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