Don't just flush it!
Friday, 14 September 2018
Ah, the summer holidays...
We all seem to spend 9 months of the year looking forward to them, 2 months enjoying and 1 month being glad they’re gone; looking forward to sunbathing in the lush weather along the coast, taking the kids camping in spectacular countryside and the smell of a sewage tanks being filled to the brim… Okay, maybe not the latter part!
Summer holidays are undoubtedly the busiest period for most commercial establishments, especially the likes of caravan parks and pubs where holiday makers flock in their thousands. Along with business requires the need for toilet facilities and for the remote destinations this is where a sewage treatment plant comes in.
Although many sites battle to make sure their systems are regularly and sufficiently maintained the issue that many face is that a large quantity of the general public are sadly misinformed about what can be flushed down the loos. Flushing certain items down the ‘bog’ can cause horrendous and costly amounts of damage and it can ALL be avoided with due diligence.
Sanitary items are generally the biggest culprit and many of our callouts to blocked drains, pumps and choked up system are victims to this. Although many sites put certain procedures in place this does little to deter those who see no harm and are sadly misinformed.
Another issue many sites have is building rubble entering the drain, now we all know that building sites are generally not the cleanest however chunks of brick, gravel, sand and cement in the bottom of your tank can become a logistical nightmare when it comes to emptying the tank out.
Now I hope this isn’t your choice of lunchtime reading as this may make some of you feel slightly queasy but imagine chunks of rocks mixed into months of human sewage that has been settling in the bottom of the tank creating a thick sludge - then think of how a suction hose is meant to remove this without damaging their hose, pump and tanker. This, will eventually mean some poor soul will have to jump into the tank with a shovel and bucket to manually remove the waste (this may not even be possible on some tanks and may mean the tank needs replacing!).
Surprisingly Chemicals also travel along similar destructive paths and can damage both the structural element of the tank and the biological process. Items such as paint thinners, large quantities of common household detergents/bleaches and certain medicines can kill all the helpful bacteria that a treatment plant optimises to break down the solids and improve the effluent quality.
To put this into perspective the wrong things entering the system on larger sites can cost up to £10,000+ in repairs, replacement parts and desludging and worst case scenario a new treatment plant may be required if the damage effects the structural integrity of the plant – this can cost upwards of £100,000 to site a new system and decommission the old.
But alas these are not the only things we find have somehow managed to enter sewage treatment plants! Everything from items of clothing wrapped around the shaft of a BioDisc to the estranged My Little Pony in a pump station, you name it we are chance to have seen it all!
It is understandably a bugbear to both the owners of these systems and the companies that service them too as it is completely avoidable – all you have to do it think before you put it down the loo!
At the end of the day it all ends up being the site’s responsibility to ensure that the system is being maintained to its optimum efficiency, for more information on maintenance services we can provide why not give us a call on 01388 537030.