Sewage treatment maintenace in the bad weather

The UK has been under seige from the torrential rain and harsh winds that have battered the country for weeks now. Many MTM Environmental customers have been effected by the conditions with trees falling, electric supplies disrupted and damage to property, it seems the maintenance bill following the storms will likely be huge for many.

It’s important not to forget your sewage treatment equipment and septic tank at this time of year – in fact as my post in November 2012 (Winter considerations for your septic tank) explains – the colder weather can cause damage to the equipment, making it important to remember your annual maintenance checks before the frost sets in.

Completing interior DIY projects is one of the most popular passtimes in the New year, so many gardens in the UK become neglected and looking at the images on recent news reports it’s no wonder when most seem to be saturated with water!

However, this doesn’t mean a septic tank maintenance should be put to one side – in most cases our engineers will still be able to access report and maintain systems in effected places. It’s always better to ensure that the system is running efficiently and safely that wait for more issues saused by low temperatures and snow.

For more information on septic tank and sewage treatment maintenance for your home or business or just to check whether or not your system can still be accessed following damage to your property, please contact us.

Sewage treatment facility in Slough going green!

I was interested to see more ways that larger scale sewage treatment facilities are being utilised for recycling and greener purposes, especially after my post regarding the recycling of CD’s last month.

A Sewage Treatment facility in Berkshire is being used to create phosphate thanks to the unique make up of the waste water being sent to it by residents and workers.

A report earlier this month in the Daily Mail claims that:

“A new £2million sewage treatment facility is turning our waste into super fertiliser that could help secure future global food supplies.”

Reading the story in more detail it seems the plant utilises the phosphorus from the sewage to create fertilizer than can be used by crop growers here in the UK.

At present we (the UK) import 38 tonnes of fertilizer a year from other countries, so there are obviously benefits to the economy of using the facility this way.

Each year 150 tonnes of the special fertilizer will be created by the plant based in Slough . The chemical is said to be critical in the growth of crops, but it is thought that demand will overtake supply possibilities around the year 2030 as stock of the typically mined substabce starts to decline. This renewable way of creating the phosphate is therefore going to be welcomed by the agriculture industry, for whom a decline in supply would likely effect greatly.

The full report completed on the 5th November – It’s viagra for plants – can be found on the Daily Mail website.

Sewage treatment bill at Niagara Falls expected to exceed $2 million!

The Buffalo News (a publication from across the pond) has been reporting that following a storm in July, costs to repair damage to areas of the New York state areas sewage treatment facility could run into more than $2 million dollars.

Reports suggest that more than 25 million gallons of untreated sewage has been leaking into the Niagara River since the damage was caused by a storm last month. Fierce rainfall over the Friday and Saturday nights had resulted in flooding to many areas and was said to have ‘overwhelmed’ the citys pumps. Several towns besides Niagra have been effected by the damage, including the neighbouring villages and boroughs.

Although the damage happened a few weeks ago, the effects and timescale that the repairs are expected to take will mean there is likely to be an effect on local residents for some time.

Of course, plants like these are built to provide treatment on a grand scale for hundreds of thousands of households, although the principal of ‘treatment’ is still the same and if the facility was to fail, the environmental and practical issues would be raised as for a private sewage treatment plant.

As always, maintaining your own sewage treatment is important for the same reasons. Although many plants fail because of age and general degredation, freak weather and highs or lows in temperatures can also have an effect on the systems. Having them checked on a minimum annual basis can assist with ensuring your system is fully prepared for extremes like this and reduces the risk of plant failure.

More information and the full report along with a video surrounding the issue can be found on the Buffalo News Website.

Sewage treatment the subject matter of American novel!

American national press are reporting that author John Metcalfe (also known as Dodge Winston) is releasing a new novel about a sewage treatment plant!

Sound odd doesn’t it? But on reading more information about the thriller I can understand why there might be an appeal.

The Wastewater Plant Novel

The Wastewater Plant Novel

Having worked in a wastewater treatment plant in America he claims that the location has as much atmostphere as a ‘CSI set’. The book is a thriller (titled Wastewater Plant) and hosts the story of a monster that utilises the wastewater plant itself as a location to scare employees.

A team of workers (with political issues between themselves to consider) are placed in a quandary over the monster with the abridgement asking whether or not they will “wise up enough to work together and survive”?

I hadn’t heard of the author or his previous selection of novels before reading about this book – it seems he is a popular writer within the USA.

For those brave enough to want to know more, the original report online can be read on The Grist website or you can read more about it from the author himself on his blog.

National press are reporting that author John Metcalfe (also known as Dodge Winston) is releasing a new novel about a sewage treatment plant!

Sound odd doesn’t it? But on reading more information about the thriller I can understand why there might be an appeal.

Having worked in a wastewater treatment plant in America he claims that the location has as much atmostphere as a ‘CSI set’. The book is a thriller (titled Wastewater Plant) and hosts the story of a monster that utilises the wastewater plant itself as a location to scare employees.

A team of employees (with political work issues to consider) are placed in a quandary over the monster with the abridgement asking whether or not they will “wise up enough to work together and survive”?

I hadn’t heard of the author or his previous selection of novels before reading about this book – it seems he is a popular writer within the USA.

For those brave enough to want to know more, the original report online can be read on The Grist website or you can read more about it from the author himself on his blog.

MTM Environmental become NICEIC domestic installers

The team at MTM Environmental are pleased to announce we have been registered as approved domestic electrical installers with NICEIC (what was the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting).

This means that MTM Environmental, it’s premises and staff have been assessed to ensure compliance with current electrical installation legislation as well as confirming competence and safety of the team for this purpose.

MTM Environmental NICEIC Certificate

MTM Environmental NICEIC Certificate

Electrical maintenance and installation is an important part of the work that we do with septic tank and sewage treatment works from installation to inspection and forms part of most maintenance regimes.

This image of our certificate proves the registration and we are now able to display the NICEIC logo on our website, which has been uploaded in the last week.

For more information on the approved contractor scheme, please visit the NICEIC website. For help and assistance with

60% of Irish septic tank owners sign up to register

Recent reports show that a massive 60% of the septic tank owners in Ireland have signed up to the ownership register so far – this equates to around 300,000 households. With the deadline looming, the environment minister is encouraging the remaining 40% to sign up and receive the benefit of grant schemes to help with repairs if they are necessary.

February 1st is the cut off date to receive these ‘benefits’ which include up to 80% of costs (maximum value 4,000 euros) for those earning up to 50,000 euros per annum.

I suspect many people are nervous about signing up, as the register requires that all septic tanks undergo an annual inspection as part of their maintenance regime. This, of course, will assist in maintaining a healthy water supply for owners and the rest of the country, but the costs associated are likely to concern many.

However in the long term, maintaining your septic tank system is likely to make it less likely that the whole system has to be replaced because of long term issues. Having a regular inspection can mean that problems such as cracks and broken parts are spotted far earlier and can sometimes be repaired rather than replaced.

Sewage treatment works to be powered by wind!

Most private sewage treatment plants are self powered and being exclusively for the use of one home means they have a far lower energy requirement than regional sewage treatment facilities.

Many utility companies have been looking at their carbon footprint and as a result some are looking at renewable energy sources to assist with powering facilities like this.

A Thames Water sewage treatment plant in East London is going to be partly powered by the renewable energy generated by an exclusive wind turbine at a cost of £5million!

The sewage treatment plant itself also creates electricity via the solid waste that goes through it – enough electricity in fact to power 7,000 homes a day!

However, despite the wind turbine creating enough energy to power 13,000 homes on a windy day, it will only provide 4% of the required electricity to power the plant.

This sewage treatment system is obviously on a far grander scale than most of the systems you at home will be maintaining. However keeping the systems well maintained (just like home owners plants) is a necessity and failure of a plant like this can cause untold problems, as the aftermath of the hurricane in New York proved last year.

For more information on sewage treatment maintenance for your home contact MTM Environmental.

Biorock Sewage Treatment Plant

MTM has recently been appointed as a registered UK installer of Biorock sewage treatment plant. The Biorock plant is a low cost, easy to install and energy-efficient way of dealing with sewage.

The Biorock sewage treatment plant requires no electrical power to work and meets the EN12566 environmental standard.Biorock units need a simple primary/septic tank upfront which need only be emptied once each year.

Key features of the Biorock sewage system are:

  •  A highly efficient and sustainable domestic sewage water solution
  • Value for money for them with costs savings throughout the year

Biorock are based in Luxembourg.

Unusual things found in septic tanks

When MTM environmental complete septic tank inspections or routine maintenance sometimes we can be surprised by what we find in the process. One of our previous posts mentions the carcus of a mouse found in a customers electric box!

But having researched the things found in some tanks it seems foreign bodies can be a much bigger problem in other places internationally.

Engagement Rings in Hotel Septic Tank

A report on the BBC News website in July claims that 8,000 euros worth of engagement rings were flushed down a toilet accidentally whilst wrapped in some tissue. Several workers tried to locate the rings, but so far have been unsuccessful. The incident happened at a hotel in the Irish Republic and at present it looks as though they will have to be re-purchased!

Man hides in Septic Tank

Over in America, police were chasing a man after receiving reports he was “obstructing traffic”. When the alleged offender fled the scene, he proceeded to the back streets and entered a septic tank through a hole no more than 18 inches wide in order to hide from the authorities. However he became stuck and after a short while had to be freed. Despite having been shoulder deep in human waste, he refused to be hosed off!

So finding the unusual in a septic tank is actually more common than you might think – both of these reports were made in national press within the last month!

Wastewater treatment facilities upgraded in Italian tourist region

A recent report in a popular engineering publication highlights the importance of sewage treatment works on both and individual and province based scale.

The region of Loano in Italy is a popular tourist destination and is visited by many people on a yearly basis. However, prior to the installation of a new sewage treatment works, local residents and the surrounding environment were facing issues which, (according to the report) could have resulted in negative consequences.

Engineers installed a new system that now serves more than 140,000 residents and treats enough water to fill 14 olympic sized swimming pools.

Of course this system is on a much grander scale than many of the individual sewage treatment plants installed and maintained by MTM environmental, but the surrounding concerns, maintenance regime and environmental considerations are essentially the same.

Ensuring your system is fit for pupose is an important part of owning treatment works like this, so inspections and maintenance should be completed on a regular basis.

The orginal report regarding the italian treatment works can be found here, but if you are looking for assistance with your own sewage treatment works contact MTM Environmental who would be pleased to discuss your needs further.

We operate throughout most of the southern and home counties and provide regular maintenance and inspection reports for many of our existing customers on a regular basis.