Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Packaged Sewage Treatment Plants and BS EN 12566-3

More enquiries have come in from people with misbehaving small effluent treatment plants. I have covered some of the more interesting problems I have encountered previously with small plants on my website here.

Most of the non-compliant effluent treatment plants I see have been undersized, poorly maintained, and often worsened by the attention of unqualified "engineers" from maintenance companies.

From July of this year, BS EN 12566-3 replaces all national standards for sewage treatment plants for up to 50 population equivalent. Trading standards will enforce it, and it will require plants to have been tested to meet a set standard. The plants will therefore deliver a set standard at their rated population equivalent.

I have however only once been called out to a plant which was incapable of meeting its claimed standard by reason of incompetent basic design (that manufacturer shortly afterwards started to offer someone else's design, whilst not admitting that theirs was incapable of performing as claimed). The problem is more commonly poor specification, installation or maintenance.

What we therefore need now if for someone to make the specifier comply with the British Water Code of Practice in setting a conservative population equivalent for their development, and for someone to explain to the monkeys who work for maintenance companies that no amount of sucking sludge into a tanker makes you an engineer, and I'll be out of a job. I'm not losing any sleep about it. You can go to jail for claiming to be a Doctor, but anyone can claim to be an Engineer.

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