24 hr Emergency Callout

How Does a Sewage Treatment Plant Work?

How Does a Sewage Treatment Plant Work?


Around 95% of UK properties are connected to the mains sewer. However, for those living in rural locations, the installation of a sewage treatment plant is essential for effective waste management.

If you are unable to connect your property to the main sewer system, there are three typical options: sewage treatment plants, septic tanks, and cesspools. However, sewage treatment plants are by far the most suitable option if you are planning on connecting your system to an existing drainage field.

How Does a Sewage Treatment Plant Work?

A sewage treatment plant works in a similar way to a septic tank, except that mechanical components provide additional processes to help break down solids, producing effluent that is environmentally friendly. Unlike a septic tank that simply stores household waste until the tank can be emptied and the waste transported to a treatment facility, a sewage treatment plant works by treating sewage so that it is no longer harmful or dangerous to the environment.

How a Sewage Treatment Plant Works in 4 Steps

Let’s take a look at how a domestic sewage treatment plant works in 4 simple steps. While it might seem like a complicated process, treatment plants are a simple solution to effective waste management. Discover the sewage treatment plant process for yourself below.

1. Settlement

The first step in the sewage treatment process is settlement. This is when the sewage and wastewater from a property enters the treatment plant and settles in the initial primary settlement zone. This section of the process is designed to allow solids to settle to the bottom of the tank, while liquids float to the top.

Inside this tank will form anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria survive with very little oxygen and are the first step in breaking down the water.

2. Biological Treatment

Once the waste has separated in the initial settlement process, it enters the treatment zone. This is where anaerobic bacteria get to work feeding on and removing contaminants from the waste. Many treatment plants add oxygen to the water mechanically using a small air blower which blows air bubbles up through the water in the tank, encouraging the bacteria to feed and speeding up the treatment process.

3. Final Settlement

Once the bacteria has broken down the waste, it enters into the final settlement stage. This stage allows small particles that are suspended in the solids to sink to the bottom of the tank. Often, the final settlement stage involves circulating the waste from the bottom of the chamber to the top to ensure settled solids don’t build up in the chamber.

4. Discharge

Following the settlement stage, the water is free from solids and has undergone a significant reduction in Ammonia and contaminants. As a result, it is safe to be discharged back into the ground via a drainage field. You will need a permit if you start a new discharge in an ancient woodland or within 50 metres of any:

  • Special areas of conservation
  • Ramsar sites
  • Biological sites of special scientific interest
  • Special protection areas

It is also important to be aware of the new rules for discharging wastewater that came into effect on January 1st 2015. You can read the rules for yourself on the Gov.uk website, where the new guidelines are clearly outlined.

Why are Sewage Treatment Plants Important?

Anyone planning a new development, whether domestic or commercial, should be connecting their property to the mains sewage line. Connecting to the mains sewer is the most common way waste is disposed of. However, unfortunately connecting to a mains sewer isn’t possible for everyone – particularly those living in rural locations. This is where sewage treatment plants come in.

Sewage treatment plants help properties safely and effectively dispose of their waste. Our sewage treatment plants can be installed almost anywhere. As long as you have an electrical connection, you can have one installed on your property.

The Advantages of Sewage Treatment Plants

Clean water is one of the world’s most important resources and sewage treatment plants can be used not only for the reuse of wastewater but also the protection of watercourses. Some of the other significant benefits they provide are as follows:

  • Sewage treated to a higher standard
  • Suitable for larger developments
  • Operation and maintenance costs are affordable
  • Extremely reliable and durable
  • Made from long-lasting materials
  • Can be installed even on challenging sites
  • Unlikely yo encounter problems, if regular maintenance is carried out.

As you can see, there are so many benefits to having a sewage treatment plant installed on your property. At Coastal Drains, we are passionate about introducing our customers to these incredible sewage systems because they are transforming sewage removal treatment in both domestic and commercial properties. Contact us today and discover the advantages of sewage treatment plants for yourself.

Do Sewage Treatment Plants Need Emptying?

While sewage treatment plants treat waste before discharging it, they still need emptying every now and again. Over time, sludge can build up, causing the system to slow and work inefficiently. Despite the fact that sewage treatment plants can deal with more waste than a septic tank, the sludge that builds up does need removing. So, we suggest it is best to get your sewage treatment plant maintained by our professionals once a year.

We have a team of experts who are experienced at carrying our sewage treatment plant installation, emptying, and maintenance. Contact us today if you need your tank emptied. Our services are affordable, reliable, and professional.

We Install New Sewage Treatment Plants

Here at Coastal Drains, we replace septic tanks with highly efficient sewage treatment plants. All of our treatment systems are made to meet the British Standards that are in force, including:

  • BS EN 12566 for septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants
  • BS 6297:2007 for drainage fields

As experts in the industry, we are also aware of the building regulations and planning permissions that may be required before installation. So, if you have any questions about that, please do not hesitate to ask us. We would be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

We Provide Professional installation

If you are considering having a new sewage treatment plant installed, look no further than the experts at Coastal Drains. We carry out professional installments that have enough capacity to easily serve the number of occupants in your home or commercial building. We will discuss your requirements with you and work out the maximum daily waste discharge from your property so that we can advise you on the best tank size for your requirements. We will then install your system for you to the manufacturer’s exact specifications.

Professional Tank Emptying and Maintenance

When you have a sewage treatment plant installed, it is essential to have a professional company, like Coastal Drains, carry out the tank emptying and maintenance. As we have already mentioned, sludge does build up in sewage treatment plants over time and it is this that needs to be removed so that your treatment plant can continue working to its full ability.

As a minimum, we suggest to our customers they must have their sewage treatment plants desludged once a year. At Coastal Drains, we don’t just empty your sewage treatment plant, we also carry out any required maintenance.

When Does a Sewage Treatment Plant Require Maintenance?

It is important to have your sewage treatment plant professionally maintained once a year. However, if you are unsure when maintenance was last carried out, some telling signs are as follows:

  • Cracks in tank walls or pipes
  • Leaks
  • Blocked pipes
  • Effluent that is not draining properly
  • A failed electrical supply
  • A failed motor
  • Smells of sewage
  • A failed pump

Our team of experts carry out maintenance on sewage treatment plants that ensure full functionality all year round. By having regular maintenance carried out, we can ensure that your sewage treatment plant will last for many years to come and will continue to work efficiently.

Contact Coastal Drains Today

We are proud to install new sewage treatment plants for our customers in the UK. We are not only ready to take your call and discuss your requirements, we are also dedicated to ensuring that our customers can enjoy a reliable service at all times. That’s why we have dedicated ourselves to installing the best sewage treatment plants on the market.

We know what it takes to have an effective, properly maintained, and fully functioning treatment plant. So, call us today to learn more about the installation and maintenance of sewage treatment plants. We would be more than happy to answer your questions and provide a professional installation you can rely on.