How To Maintain a Small Sewage Treatment System in France


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How To Maintain a Small Sewage Treatment System in France
By Tricel

The maintenance of any domestic sewage treatment system is essential in order for it to function correctly and within legal guidelines.

All small wastewater treatment plants require regular maintenance and the process is generally simple, although the ease and associated costs depend upon the manufacturer.

Maintenance includes checking and ensuring the proper functioning of the installation.

How to Properly Maintain a Small Wastewater Treatment Plant

There are two main steps to take to ensure maintenance of your system:

Regular monitoring

Maintenance consists, on the one hand, of regularly monitoring the operation of the device. This includes checking for abnormal noise, unusual odours, etc. This is the responsibility of the homeowners or residents.

Annual Control

During the annual maintenance, done by a Tricel or its partners, the good working conditions of the small wastewater treatment plant and its various electromechanical elements are checked. This might include replacement of the air compressor filters, verification of the sludge level, amongst others.

With these simple tips, you will be able to take care of your wastewater treatment plant or compact filter. A good and regular maintenance means more serenity and reduced costs.

Regular Monitoring of a Small Wastewater Treatment Plant

It is not necessary to call in a professional to check the system regularly. You can check the proper functioning of your installation by following the recommendations of the user guide. It is essential to check the proper functioning of the electromechanical equipment.

These checks should be done simply by approaching the plant. The vents should also be checked regularly. Also check that the vents are not blocked by vegetation, bird nests, or insects.

You can contact your installer or the manufacturer of the plant to find out how to proceed depending on the situation.

Annual Maintenance of a Small Wastewater Treatment Plant

Maintenance is one of the essential conditions for obtaining the product warranty. This annual maintenance should be carried out by a professional.

The annual maintenance consists in checking the good functioning of the whole device, according to the devices, the points of control are the following ones:

  • sludge recirculation
  • sludge’s height
  • electromechanical equipment (compressor, turbine, lift pump…)
  • electronics
  • vents
  • alarms
  • outlet

All the control points are listed in the user guide of each manufacturer.

Depending on the model of the wastewater treatment system, the maintenance operations are different. Some require technical knowledge due to the presence of an automaton. The simpler design of some small wastewater treatment plants makes maintenance and servicing easier.

Example of a maintenance visit for a small wastewater treatment plant

Many manufacturers include a maintenance checklist in their user manuals. This list will help you to maintain your small wastewater treatment plant.

Mandatory check points which appear in the Tricel Novo user guide:

The check points have been translated below for your convenience:

  • Are the compressor covers, buffers and hoods in good condition?
  • Are the vents clear?
  • Is the access cover locked/secured?
  • Are there any defects or damage to the tank?
  • Is the water level in each compartment, correct?
  • Are the odours from the small wastewater treatment plant normal?
  • Does the oxygenation tank appear to be working properly?
  • Are air bubbles dispersing well in the oxygenation tank?
  • Is the bacterial bed in good condition?
  • Is the sludge return piping in good condition?
  • Is the flow rate visible in the inspection tee when the recirculation is on?
  • Is the timer set correctly?
  • Is the alarm working properly?
  • Is the circuit breaker working properly?
  • Is the compressor running continuously?
  • Compressor pressure (100 mbar to 150 mbar)?…. mbar
  • Are the compressor connections fixed?
  • Has the compressor filter been replaced?

Sludge level below the maximum level?

  • Estimated time of next emptying by extrapolation?…./…./….

Pumping system (optional) 

  • Is the pump working properly?
  • Is the high float positioned correctly and functioning properly?

Final Inspection 

  • Have all covers and pads been replaced and secured?

Emptying a Small Wastewater Treatment Plant or Compact filter

Wastewater treatment plants and compact filters, like any domestic sewage treatment system, produces sludge. This sludge must be evacuated when it reaches a certain volume corresponding of the primary treatment’s total storage volume (all-water tank, primary decanter…). To know the actual volume, or percentage, please refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

This sludge must be emptied by a professional. According to the decree of September 7, 2009, these professionals (professionnels vidangeurs) must be approved by the county.

In Tricel’s case, you can also ask your local partner for the list of approved professionals.

The frequency of emptying a small wastewater treatment plant or compact filter depends mainly on its volume, its size, the technology and the use made of it. The real frequency of emptying, observed in the field, is much higher than the theoretical frequency.

Proper maintenance and use of a wastewater treatment plant or compact filter reduce the production of sludge and allows for longer intervals between desludging.

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