Marsh Ensign Sewage Treatment Plant

The following post is taken unedited from an email received from one of our clients. We normally publish short extracts of customer testimonials on our main site. Given the detail provide by Mr. Clements we have decided to publish the whole letter, warts and all. Where appropriate, we have taken the opportunity to link to the relevant pages on our site.

MTM Civils and Environmentals have just installed a 25PE Marsh Ensign Sewage Treatment Plant situated within the curtilage of our property but which also serves 5 other neighbouring cottages. This system replaces an old septic tank and soakaway which was no longer working efficiently. Although the new system has only been in operation for over a week, it seems to be working well and the whole installation process was completed in a highly professional manner.

Tony came out to quote for the works back in March and we were impressed with his knowledge and expertise in gauging what would be appropriate for our situation. He recommended a Marsh Ensign system and later submitted a quotation which was detailed and transparent. Although not the cheapest quote we received, we eventually offered MTM the work because we were satisfied they would do an excellent installation.

I say ‘eventually’ because choosing the make and type of Sewage Treatment Plant was very difficult. Obviously, when spending a considerable sum of money you want to ensure you are getting the most appropriate system for your situation. It’s not like buying a car, you can’t test drive a system first and neither is it easy to get any independent, objective reports unlike the Motor Industry. Manufacturers within the sewage industry will make extravagant claims about their system and quote all sorts of figures to show theirs is the best- facts and figures about the strength of materials used, the quality of their manufacturing methods, the effluent quality, the certificates they hold, the superiority of their warranty etc. They also tend to rubbish and dismiss the opposition as completely flawed. There needs to a lot more honesty and clarity in the industry because at the moment it is so difficult for the consumer to make an informed choice. Most contractors like MTM will promote only a few manufactures because this is in their interests as ‘qualified installers’. But I think it would be really helpful for a company like MTM to be really knowledgeable about all the various makes and to act more like consultants offering truly independent advice. Tony, to his credit, admitted from the outset that his main experience was with Marsh and he was confident that the system was good but as I said we wanted independent advice. We spent many hours finding out how the Marsh system stacked up against the opposition and eventually concluded that the Marsh Ensign was the best for our situation. OK rant over!!

The installation was completed in July and took a week in total. I can not praise the two guys employed through MTM highly enough. Jason and Scott worked like trojans and were thoroughly professional and competent in everything they did. Access to our property was somewhat difficult as an approach had to be made through a neighbouring field, a stream traversed and openings made in fences but nothing was too difficult for them. They were polite, cheerful, prepared to explain what they were doing and prepared to listen to any concerns we had. We fully expected the garden to look like a car crash afterwards but everything was reinstated and levelled so that all that was needed at the end was a rake over and some seeding. They were splendid ambassadors for the company.

Would we recommend MTM to others? Undoubtedly. ( but hope they might take on board some of the advice above)

Would we recommend the Marsh Ensign? Well its too early to judge really. As yet it works perfectly. It is quiet and there is no odour but we will have a better idea of performance after a year.

Nigel Clements

Templecombe,

July 2014.

So there you have it. A thorough, unedited, customer review of how we installed the Marsh Ensign sewage treatment plant for a customer in Somerset. Our thanks to Nigel Clements for diligently providing his honest feedback.

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 to breathe NEW life into OLD cd’s?

Researchers are always looking for new and innovative ways to make existing technologies more efficient, whether this is by upping their output, introducing money-saving materials and parts or simply by making the systems more environmentally friendly in order to reduce their carbon footprint. There is always an abundance of research taking place for these purposes.

Interestingly, It has been widely reported recently that Taiwanese researchers have found a new and innovative way of utilising old compact discs (CD’s) as part of the sewage treatment process. The researchers are said to have come up with a way of using the discs to grow zinc oxide – an element that is known for its properties that make it capable of breaking down the solids in the treatment process.

In my opinion, anything that assists the industry in creating more efficient ways of treating sewage whilst utilising materials that would otherwise be junk or obsolete has to be a good thing, although reading the various reports available online it seems that the technology itself is a long way from being utilised on a day to day basis, i’m sure researchers will find a way of utilising it eventually. More information can be seen on the report by clicking here.

In the meantime, old research means that MTM engineers are able to offer several different systems that are built to suit the varying needs of our customers. For more information contact MTM Environmental, where we can talk to you about the varying systems and the best options for your home or business.

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.

Septic tank causes ‘sink hole’ in America

Residents in a house in Ruskin, Florida were surprised when a ‘sinkhole’ that was 7 feet wide appeared at the rear of their property.

Sink holes are a natural depression in the earth and can appear quite randomly for a variety of reasons (in fact, recent reports show a town in Russia is currently dealing with a plague of them). But the ‘sink hole’ in this case actually turned out to be caused by an out of service septic tank.

Luckily the family were at home and were evacuated so the area could be checked and made safe. Reports suggest they were unaware the tank was even there as there was nothing connected to the property, despite it being located in the back garden.

According to reports following the incident, the sewage treatment system had collapsed on itself, causing the hole in the back yard.

Like many of the other news items I have mentioned on here, this is an unusual case, but prevention is always the best medicine really, so ensuring that any septic tanks and surrponding equipment are properly inspected and maintained on a regular basis is very important.

MTM Environmental will be able to assess any old or existing treatment facilities that need inspection and provide a care and maintenance quotation for future use. For systems that are no longer usable (which the one mentioned above is unlikely to be), we can also look at costings and suitability for an alternative system that can be properly maintained and suits the needs of the property in question.

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.

Hurricane Sandy effects New Jersey sewage treatment

American newspapers have been reporting that sewage treatment has been effected as a result of hurricane Sandy earlier this month and many local residents are suffering from the aftermath.

Many of the sewage treatment systems in the area suffered power outages and flooding as a result of the superstorm and authorities were reported to be asking residents to lower their use of tap water in order to “reduce stress on the system”.

Sewage treatment facilities are an essential part of any local infrastructure and as a result an incident like this can have a detremental effect on a grand scale. Many residents are probably finding it difficult to source suitable and safe drinking water at the time and its difficult to understand the impact this can have on day to day life.

Like many MTM customers, those that have their own personal sewage treatment equipment at home may have been less effected, but of course this is dependent on the system being well maintained and inspected on a regular basis.

Keeping the system in good working order and ensuring any maintenance is completed when needed is an essential part of owning any sewage treatment system. In some countries it is a legal requirement for owners to register their ownership and complete this maintenance programme in order to avoid a situation like this.

Thankfully it seems the infrastructure in the effected areas of the east coast of America is starting to recover from the damage caused.

More information on this article can be found on the Kingston Daily Freeman news website.

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.