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A free septic tank upgrade as part of a scheme to reduce phosphates

Owners of a three bedroomed detached property in Taunton were keen to take part in WCI’s scheme to upgrade septic tanks and, in turn, do their bit to reduce nutrient pollution.  

Upon registering for a free upgrade, WCI checked the property’s credentials and confirmed that installation of a sewage treatment plant could be used to offset a phosphate deficit for a proposed development elsewhere within the River Tone catchment.

This wasn’t to be a straightforward project, but it was definitely right up our alley.

The subsequent site survey revealed a septic tank located in an adjacent field on neighbouring land with drainage to ground via a soakaway. As per the conditions of the upgrade, the sewage treatment plant was to be relocated in the customer’s garden and the discharge pumped to the existing soakaway in the neighbouring farm. Access to the garden was via a field which backed onto the property and we would need to remove field fencing to enter the site with our heavy machinery. A GRAF one2clean package treatment plant was selected for its reliability, discharge quality and eco efficiency and contracts were prepared and signed.

As anticipated, access was tricky but possible, requiring a partial lift of the patio and decking to reach the existing drainage. Once the decking was lifted it was apparent that the existing drainage from the property was installed at a greater depth than site level indicated. Fortunately, this wasn’t an issue since the GRAF system has an airlift discharge and with the help of the telescopic dome shaft, levels were not a problem.

The new sewage treatment plant was sited and installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions, surrounded in concrete and backfilled with soil. The air blower kiosk was discreetly positioned next to the garden fence and then the whole system was commissioned by a WCI British Water accredited and GRAF trained service engineer.

Having completed the installation, the team got to work restoring the grounds. The garden was returfed, the fence erected and the patio and the decking reinstated. The owners were left with a fully compliant and eco-efficient treatment plant which we’ll service free of charge for the next five years. The new system has brought about a reduction of 1.01kg of Total Phosphorous (TP) per year.