Frequently asked questions


All the important questions you ask yourself, about individual sanitation, wastewater treatment plants, compact filters, septic tanks etc.

Different products sold by Tricel

Tricel Novo & Vitae: Both are wastewater treament plant solutions manufactured by Tricel. Wastewater treatment plants offer a superior quality of treatment. For example, the Tricel Novo comprises of three independent wastewater treatment zones and offers an average of efficiency of 95.9% BOD removal.
This is a higher treatment standard than the effluent from a septic tank. Please note: all wastewater treatment plants used in Ireland must comply with the EN12566-3 standard and all septic tanks must comply with the EN12566-1 standard..

Tricel Vento: The septic tank from Tricel is manufactured as a primary treatment. Designed for the settlement of your effluent. This product may need an additional treatment like the Sandcel or Puraflo.


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My septic tank needs to be replaced to comply. What do I need to do? What should I do first?

Contact an engineer or site assessor to conduct a site survey and percolation test. Based on the results, our team is there to answer your questions, discuss your project, and do site visits.

Contact us.

What is domestic wastewater?

Domestic wastewater refers to all wastewater generated within the home, including waste from sinks, showers, baths, and toilets. 

The rainwater should never mix with the wastewater and should be disposed of in a separate soakaway.

Tricel Novo 

When should I use a septic tank rather than a wastewater treatment plant?

The choice will depend on a few factors, one being the subsurface value (or percolation value) and the other the depth of subsoil on the given site This is determined during the site assessment, which is a part of the overall site suitability test conducted by a qualified site assessor.

For more information, please refer to the 2021 Code of practice Section 6.4

What is PE ?

PE represents the initials of Population Equivalent. Population equivalent: conversion value which aims at expressing non-domestic applications in terms of domestic loading based on 1 person creates 60 g/day BOD5 and 150l/day. (Code of Practice: Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (p.e. < 10), EPA)

How does the Tricel Novo plant treat wastewater?

The Tricel wastewater treatment plant is a submerged aeration plant, and it’s divided into three chambers.

First chamber: Solids are settled in this chamber, removing heavy substances. The effluent enters the primary settlement chamber. Settlement occurs when the heavier solids drop out of the wastewater and settle to the bottom of the tank to create sludge, and the lighter solids float to the top of the water to form a  scum. The top layer acts as a seal and stops odours from escaping. This chamber separates up to 70% of the solids present.

Second chamber: Next is the aeration chamber, where masses of naturally occurring bacteria inhabit specially designed plastic filter media. The bacteria feed on the waste removing it from the liquid. A continuous air supply from a low pressure, high-volume compressor in the top section of the unit sustains these bacteria. Wastewater passes through the filter media repeatedly, ensuring a very high treatment efficiency.

Third chamber: The wastewater then proceeds to the final settlement chamber. Any remaining minute bacterial particles separate from the wastewater within this chamber before discharge from the plant. This process slows the liquid’s velocity, allowing for any final trace impurities to settle into the bottom of the tank. A sludge return system then returns these impurities to the primary settlement chamber.

Learn more: Tricel Novo 

Is it possible for more than one house to share a wastewater treatment plant?

Various plants are available from Tricel for different options. It is best to discuss this with your local council to determine a suitable solution.

How long does it take for the plant to start working?

The biomass may require up to 16 weeks to reach optimal purification, but it is usually achieved within four to eight weeks.

Is the plant noisy?

There is a slight “hum” from the air compressor when standing close to the plant. When installed correctly, the noise level will not be a nuisance.

Will the plant smell?

There should be no strong odour in the area adjacent to the plant. The presence of a strong odour would indicate that the plant is not working efficiently.

Ventilation must be in place this guarantees a fresh supply of air to the air blower. All vents should be checked to ensure they are not blocked or obscured. Also, investigate if the air blower is still “humming” if not, then this may be causing the issue of replacing the blower as soon as possible to resume the treatment process.

What happens if I get a power cut?

The plant should not be affected by a temporary power outage. After a power cut, checking the plant to ensure it has restarted is essential. It may have an alarm after powering on, but it will fix itself after a few minutes.

In situations where gravity drainage cannot be used, pumped options are available The power outage shouldn’t last too long when you have pump options as power is required to remove the treated liquid. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Is there an alarm in the plant?

An audible and visual alarm is standard and will notify you if there is a problem with the air compressor and discharge pump (pumped plants only), but this does not replace regular inspections. A maintenance agreement is recommended with us to ensure the plant’s optimal performance. 

Why is the alarm on my Tricel Novo beeping?

If the alarm is beeping, it may indicate one of the following:

  • The air return pipe to the alarm is not returning an air signal.
  • Electrical fault.
  • The electrical panel is wet.
  • The compressor does not detect enough back pressure from the diffuser (for example, there is not enough water in the middle chamber, or there is damage to the air hose or fitting)
  • The compressor needs maintenance.
  • In all cases, you should call our office or one of our recommended maintenance -companies.

Do I need concrete to install the plant?

A concrete base and surround are not required when site conditions are considered dry. However, a concrete surround is necessary if the site is considered wet or a 500mm/750mm riser is fitted. Depending on the conditions of your site, your engineer will recommend a suitable installation requirement.

What is the best location for the plant?

A minimum separation distance should be checked at this stage, as in Table 6.2 of the 2021 code of practice. Domestic wells should be given special consideration.

For more information:–enforcement/waste-water/2021_CodeofPractice_Web.pdf

Can I reuse the treated wastewater?


Can I pump surface water/rainwater into the plant?

Septic tanks or wastewater treatment plants should not receive surface water or rainwater.

What is a grease trap?

Grease, fats, and oils should not be disposed of down the sink to maintain the efficient operation of your septic tank and WWTP. 

If your sewage contains high grease levels, you should install a grease trap before your sewage treatment plant or septic tank. Using a grease trap, the water flow rate into a plant is reduced, thus capturing the grease. The grease begins to float to the top when the sewage cools down.

Tricel warranties

Most Tricel products have a warranty. To discover all the guarantees on our products, as well as on the internal parts, consult our dedicated product pages.

Certifications for Tricel wastewater treatment systems

The Tricel wastewater treatment plants comply with the European Standard EN12566, S.R. 66, and with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Code of Practice. Click below for more details about the certifications.

What quality of wastewater is produced?

The required standards are 20:30:20 BOD, SS, NH4. All Tricel produces exceed the requirements when tested to En12566-3 and comply with SR66.

Learn more about our certification

Maintenance on the wastewater treatment systems

Tricel recommends that you maintain your device to the fullest. You are obliged by law to avoid all types of pollution or nuisances. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on our service contracts. An annual maintenance contract may be offered.

Contact us

How often should I have my wastewater treatment plant serviced?

Full service should be performed once a year on your Tricel Novo. A suitably trained professional should carry out every service and guarantee the plant’s efficiency is maintained.

Contact us

How often do I need to empty my wastewater treatment plant?

De-sludging is necessary when the sludge occupies 50% of the primary chamber. This is when the sludge is 700 mm deep. A licensed company should perform de-sludging intervals every year to prevent sludge buildup. Local councils should have a list of licensed contractors. De-sludging is the responsibility of the homeowner. For more information, please refer to the 2021 Code of practice Section 12.2

Learn more :

Do I need to fill in the Novo after desludging?

After emptying (desludging) a Tricel Novo wastewater treatment plant, the primary settlement chamber (1 on the illustration below) must be filled back with water immediately until level with the aeration chamber. During desludging, only the sludge is removed (No 1 below), and end chambers (No 2 and 3 below) must be left full. Ensure the desludging cover on top is repositioned to the unit.

How does a wastewater treatment plant work


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