The Ullenwood Estate: Reed Bed Sewage Treatment Case Study
Ullenwood Estate Started its life as an American WW2 hospital. All of the effluent flowed into a sewage processing works which had not been maintained since wartime. The whole system was rather complex and required electricity and a regular labour force to operate the gravel filters and the pumping system. The estate had evolved to comprise of the owners house, 3 holiday cottages and the 28 businesses who were based on the estate.
From war to peace
The site was very overgrown. The first task was to clear the site and evaluate what was on site and it’s condition. Once completed the large primary tankage was cleared out, cleaned and the existing pipe work modified to allow the tank to be used for current practices. The tankage was made safe and signage attached to warn of its existence. Existing pipe work, valves and control devices were reconditioned. Next the historic sludge drying beds were unearthed, repaired and re-built (were necessary) to make them useable for reed bed cells. Free water reed beds and ponds were also created in the scheme for tertiary treatment and habitat creation.
The Ullenwood Estate staff were able to rectify a WW2 sewage treatment works to meet current leglislation. Not only was it a rewarding project in terms of cost but the site looks fantastic and the staff gained a great deal of personal satisfaction from the work.
- Rectification work on an existing WW2 primary tank, valves, pipe work control devices.
- Creation of reed beds from historic sludge drying beds
- Installation of free water reed beds and ponds
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“Our estate began its life as an American WW2 hospital which we took over 50 years ago. All of the effluent from that estate flowed into a sewage processing works which had been unused since wartime. The whole system was derelict, rather complex and it required electricity and a regular labour force to operate. Whilst thumbing through a magazine one day I saw an article written by WCI about reed beds. A meeting was arranged with David Trump. The new system design used part of the old War Department system which catered for our own house, 3 holiday cottages and the 28 businesses who are now based on our estate. We have done all the work ourselves with guidance from David and when he visited recently he was surprised at what we had achieved. It may sound as though I have been paid to say this but I can honestly say that David and his daughter Naomi have been a joy to work with. He made it so easy. The system is working well and I am happy to show anyone what we have created.”
M and P Cuttell
Ullenwood Estate, 2011