WASTEWATER TREATMENT plants

Tricel wastewater treatment plants and septic tanks

In Ireland, approximately half a million homes are using domestic wastewater treatment systems (either septic tanks or packaged systems) to treat wastewater. The article below relates to the desludging of septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants.

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Desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

Overview

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body. It is responsible for supervising Local Authorities (LA) when they inspect wastewater systems. It is done to ensure that the systems are suitable and well maintained. Indeed, a quarter of wastewater systems inspected failed the LAs inspection due to poor operation and poor maintenance. More details from the EPA website and on DWWTS Inspections and Enforcement 2019 summary available on this site. 

Desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

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Forewords:

  • The de-sludging of the Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant or Tricel Vento septic tank is the responsibility of the homeowner.
  • There is the potential danger of falling into the tank during de-sludging when manholes may be opened – take all necessary safety precautions when de-sludging.
  • The access cover should never be left off unattended.
  • Tricel recommends the use of a licensed company to carry out the de-sludging. This should be done with a vacuum tanker.
  • The property owner has a legal responsibility to ensure that the system does not cause pollution, a health hazard, or nuisance.
  • It is recommended that the tank should have the capacity to store at least 1 year’s sludge production and be de-sludged once per year.

Does your septic tank or waste water treatment plant need desludging? How to check?

By law, homeowners must ensure that their wastewater treatment solution is installed, operated and maintained to make sure it doesn’t pose a risk to public health and the environment. On a regular basis, maintenance and desludging are therefore essential to maintaining a waste water treatment system running smoothly.

 

Sludge level in the tank

As the height of sludge/organic solids increase over time in the septic tank / primary settlement chamber (closest to inlet), this reduces the settlement time for solids and the ability of the system to treat the effluent is reduced. A system that is never desludged is at risk of failure i.e. environmental hazard, and causing problems e.g. bad odours.

 

When to desludge?

  • Desludging of the Tricel Vento is recommended on a yearly basis but this depends on tank capacity and use. Best practice is to desludge when the septic tank/primary settlement chamber when half full. It is done to prevent solids rising to the height of the outlet pipe and being carried along with the liquid into the percolation trenches. This, in turn, can block the percolation area and can cause flooding resulting in high costs to rectify.

 

  • For the Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant, desludging is required when the sludge reaches 50% (or 700mm deep) of the water level in the primary settlement chamber.

Note: in Tricel Novos with a pumped outlet, the pump may have just activated prior to measuring the sludge level. If this has occurred, there will be a lower than normal water level in the tank resulting in an inaccurate sludge level reading. In this case, please measure from the high water line evident on the side of the tank.

 

How to check the sludge level Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant?

To check the sludge level in the septic tank/primary settlement chamber, you will require a transparent measuring cylinder with measurement marked the length of the cylinder. Ensure the measuring cylinder is long enough to reach the bottom of the tank without having to bend down into the tank.

We recommend you to book a yearly service during which the sludge level would be checked and advice given whether desludging is needed or not.

 

Separation Distances

  • Do not allow machinery/traffic drive over the tank.
  • Rolling loads i.e. traffic must not come with in 4m od the tank.
  • Static loads i.e. sheds, houses etc must not be within 3m of the tank.

 

The access for desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

During the desludging or the septic tank emptying, both chamber 1 and chamber 2 should be emptied.

Notes:

  • The access cover should never be left off while the unit is unattended.
  • De-sludging should never be carried out alone.

 

Vento Septic Tank Desludging Illustration

For the Novo sewage treatment plants, the access for desludging is through the desludging access cover (see below). Note: on large plants, an access cover may also need to be opened. The section of the tank to empty is the primary settlement chamber. This chamber is closest to the inlet and will have no aeration bubbles in the chamber under normal operation. Note that in normal operation there is no need to empty the aeration chamber or the final settlement chamber.

Notes:

  • There is the potential danger of falling into the tank during de-sludging when manholes may be opened – take all necessary safety precautions when de-sludging.
  • The access cover should never be left off unattended.

 

Novo Wastewater Treatment Plant Desludging Illustration

Should the air blower be turned off during desludging on a wastewater treatment plant?

No, there is no need to turn the air blower off during the desludging of the Tricel Novo.

 

What to do after desludging the Tricel Vento septic tank and Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant:

Both require filling in after desludging/emptying. The septic tank/primary chamber must be refilled with fresh water after desludging.

In relation, to the wastewater treatment system (Tricel Novo), fill the primary settlement chamber until level with the aeration chamber.

Please note that regular maintenance is also part of looking after your septic tank and sewage treatment plant, check our manuals to see what is the recommended regular and annual maintenance.

View maintenance details in the Novo and Vento manuals

Contact us to book your maintenance

How to desludge a septic tank (Tricel Vento)?

Remove both access covers. 

Remove the filter.

Empty the Tricel Vento septic tank using a vacuum tanker. Care must be taken not to damage the tank with the hose of the vacuum tanker.

Ensure that all the solids are removed from the tank.

Replace the de-sludging access cover securely.

Only competent approved personnel should carry out de-sludging.

The access cover should never be left off while the unit is unattended.

De-sludging should never be carried out alone.

The property owner has a legal responsibility to ensure that the system does not cause pollution, a health hazard or nuisance

What are the steps to desludge a wastewater treatment plant (Tricel Novo)?

Remove the desludging access covers.

 Empty the Tricel Novo using the vacuum tanker. Ensure the solids get removed with the liquid.

Care must be taken not to damage the Tricel Novo with the hose of the vacuum tanker.

Replace the desludging access cover securely. 

Only competent approved personnel should carry out de-sludging.

There is the potential danger of falling into the tank during desludging when manholes may be open – take all necessary safety precautions when desludging.

The access cover should never be left off an unattended Tricel Novo.

De-sludging should never be carried out alone.

The desludging of the Tricel Novo is the responsibility of the homeowner.

How often should you desludge a septic tank or wastewater treatment plant?

In both septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants, a build-up of all solids occurs. This is called “sludge”. Both septic tanks and sewage treatment plants do require desludging or emptying. The frequency of which varies depending on the system in place and the usage. The general recommendation is every 1 to 5 years. We advise checking the manufacturer’s recommendations and manuals.

Tricel Vento septic tank desludging frequency

For Tricel Vento septic tank, desludging should be carried out yearly to prevent solids rising to the height of the outlet pipe and being carried along with the liquid into the percolation trenches. This blocks the percolation area and can cause flooding. Depending on usage and house population, this period may vary. The minimum recommended desludging period is 1 year for all tank sizes.

 

Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant desludging frequency

When the sludge is occupying 50% of the volume of the primary chamber desludging is required, this is when the sludge is 700mm deep. Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant desludging frequency depends on usage and might be necessary every 1-3  years. The Tricel Novo will require a full service every year to guarantee the efficiency of the plant.

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Further information about desludging:

Further information about desludging:

Keep records of your septic desludging or wastewater treatment plant desluging.

We recommend that you keep a log along with the receipts from the licensed company. This might come handy to prove that your system has been regularly maintained, in the following situations:

  • Inspection from the EPA.
  • If you decide to sell your house.
  • Moreover, it is required by law to keep records of sludge removal and maintenance for five years.

Desludging should be done by licensed waste collection companies. Only registered and licensed waste collection companies should be used to desludge your septic tank or wastewater treatment plant. They are insured as well as trained to safely & efficiently handle and dispose of the sludge. They make sure the sludge doesn’t pose any health hazard to the public or cause pollution to the environment.

To find details of a licensed desludging company near you, research online or contact your local authority for a list of contractors. There is the potential danger of falling into the tank during desludging when manholes may be open – take all necessary safety precautions when desludging.

Farmers with their own land, you can spread their own sludge but only in accordance with the Waste Management (Use of Sewage Sludge in Agriculture) Regulations.

Only competent approved personnel should carry out de-sludging.

Desludging costs vary between counties and suppliers, as a rule of thumb the costs are situated between 200€ and 400€. Make sure to get a waste disposal certificate from wastewater disposal company.

Where does the sludge go? Permitted contractors bring the sludge to authorised facilities for treatment, details of which are available from your local authority.

Why choose Tricel and their service partners

Desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

Fast delivery

Fast delivery and rapid response to all of our customers.

Desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

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Combined knowledge of service partner network throughout Europe

Desludging septic tanks and wastewater treatment plants

Technical expertise

Unrivalled technical expertise in the installion, commissioning and maintenance of WWT solutions

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Tricel (Killarney) Unlimited Company
Ballyspillane Industrial Estate, Killarney, Co. Kerry, V93 X253, Ireland
Tel: 00 353 (0)64 663 2421