Reed Beds: Finding the Right Sewage Treatment System

The topic of domestic sewage treatment systems isn’t always the most inviting, due to preconceptions of filth and effluent. However, with the development of technology and research, there are now far more palatable methods of treatment available – such as reed bed sewage treatment systems.

Used in conjunction with traditional options such as septic tanks or a settling, reed beds serve to disguise their purpose, whilst removing excessive odour and swiftly transporting the waste to the desired area.

Surprisingly, the common weed (also known as Phragmites Australls), boasts the ability to transfer levels of oxygen from its leaves to its stem and then, subsequently, into the reed bed. This promotes the production of micro-organisms, which break down the waste.

Types of Reed Bed

There are three primary types of reed bed Sewage Treatments, which are fitted accordingly with the environment they are needed in. Through a consultation with a trained professional, you can work out which option is the most suitable for you.

Intricately developed and improved over the past 25 years, the three methods are as follows:

  • Vertical-flow reed beds
  • Down-flow reed beds
  • Horizontal-flow reed beds

Vertical-Flow Reed Bed Sewage Treatment: For more heavy-duty removal, opt for a vertical-flow reed bed, as they can handle higher levels of effluent with ease. Working to reduce levels of ammonia, SS and BOD, they are the most popular option when dealing with commercial or domestic waste.

Due to the vertical-flow nature of the design, there are usually two beds included in the set-up, with one on a higher level, so as to let the effluent travel downwards, filtering in the process. The waste travels from the septic tank, through the two or more reed beds, until it reaches the humus tank at the bottom of the ‘hill’.

Down-Flow Reed Beds: This method involves doubling up on vertical-flow reed beds, which creates a sewage treatment system of ‘fill and drain’, whereby the effluent drains through the gravel in the bottom – inviting more air into the area. The air, as with the other methods of reed bed, then works to increase the bacterial colony.

Similar to the vertical-flow reed bed family, the down-flow works predominantly with septic tanks. However, the complexity added here comes in the extra equipment, with the requirement of electric pumps, control panels and timers to allow the shift between each reed bed.

Horizontal-Flow Reed Bed Sewage Treatment: For small domestic cases, horizontal-flow reed beds are the best course of action. Due to their less intense composition, they are unsuitable for use with septic tanks, instead better suited to treating small amounts of discharge.

Unlike the other two options, horizontal-flow reed beds also do not hold any function with regards to ammonia reduction, only managing to impact on BOD and SS levels. These beds should only be used after the installation of a more intense means of sewage treatment.

If you’d like to see how you could implement a sewage treatment system in your home or commercial setting, contact us at ASAP Septic Tanks on 01623 232240, where one of our professional advisors will assist you with exploring your options.

For jobs requiring a larger piece of equipment, we also cater to large hospitality facilities or industrial factories – simply contact us to discover what ASAP Septic Tanks can do for you.

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