The information below outlines the options available for disposal of domestic wastewater in lieu of a sewer connection and looks briefly at the management implications.
In absence on any specific data on the house, its occupancy and use, site, soil conditions, adjacent water features, adjacent boreholes, local environmental authority requirements; the information below provides only basic details to identify the potential options for wastewater disposal and is not intended to be definitive.
All dimensions, volumes and distances are those that would be required in the UK, local requirements may be different, and should be determined by an appointed MEP engineer.
A septic tank is typically a two chambered, buried tank with an effluent outlet to a drainage field. The septic tank, usually made of concrete, is designed to be watertight. The principle of operation of a septic tank is that wastewater enters the tank first, where heavy solids sink to the bottom and grease and oils float to the top. The effluent passes from the first chamber to a second chamber, by gravity, where further settlement occurs. Most solids entering the septic tank settle to the bottom and are partially decomposed by anaerobic bacteria to form sludge. The effluent then passes in to a soakaway or a drainage field, where the majority of the treatment occurs. There should be no direct effluent discharge to watercourses.
A properly maintained septic tank keeps solids and grease from entering and clogging the drainfield, the land into which the tank overflows drain. To be effective, the soil must be suitable and undergo permeability tests, the result of which may be required to be submitted to the local environmental authority as part of the consent to discharge application. If the soil is not suitable, then the ground can become waterlogged and give rise to issues of odour.
Generally for a four person dwelling the septic tank would be of a minimum 2.7 m3 litres capacity, additional occupants would require the tank capacity to be increased by 180 litres per person. They need to be emptied on a regular basis, at least once per year. American case studies show tank capacity ranges from 4 m3 for a three bedroom single-family house, up to 15 m3.
Typically these are off the shelf plant, sized to match the expected effluent load and simply require installation and commissioning. Typical examples of packaged treatment plant are defined below.
These are usually a single unit comprising of 3 chambers, the first stage being the primary settlement tank where the solids are settled out and retained as sludge. The partially treated effluent passes first to the anoxic and then the aerobic stage, where the secondary treatment occurs.
RBC’s generally protrude above ground and are therefore, visually intrusive. They require a power supply, although the motor is generally small as the speed required is between 2 and 4 rpm (revolutions per minute).
An RBC can tolerate some fluctuations in hydraulic and organic load but can suffer if there is a shock load. RBCs have no scope for adaption should the building change, i.e. if the wastewater flows are increased. The increase in flow will have to be accommodated within the plant or a new plant will be needed.
Overall, RBC’s are a simple and stable treatment process that has been proven over the years but are not ideally suited for single dwellings due to the relatively low flows they may receive.
An activated sludge plant uses the injection of air in to the wastewater to breakdown the organic load. The plant can be either two or three chambered units and with the air being bubbled up through the effluent from an aerator in the base. The process generates slurry which settles in the based and sludge is formed containing active microbes. Some of the sludge is re-circulated back in to the unit and retreated, keeping the units biomass active. The quality of the effluent can be very high and can provide some nutrient removal, such as nitrates. Similar to RBC’s, they can accept some load variations but not sudden shock loads.
Generally activated sludge plants are wholly buried and only the top is visible, so are therefore, visually unobtrusive. However, the air blower does need a surface mounted fan, which can give rise to aesthetic and noise issues. They do use more power than an RBC.
A variation of the activated sludge treatment is the sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The treatment occurs in a single chamber, where the blower is alternates between on and off, to allow the settling out of the sludge.
There are many types of packaged treatment plant available, all of which perform better with a constant flow of effluent, ensuring that the final effluent is treated to the correct standard. The local environmental authority may require the effluent quality to be monitored, to ensure the consent standard is not contravened.
In general, packaged plant are reliable and will, if maintained, provide years of service. They work best when there is a constant flow. If large variations in flow are expected, then precautionary measures, such as an additional balancing tank are required, to ensure the flow is kept at a constant rate.
Most types of packaged treatment plant hare the same following features:
However, they do have some disadvantages:
These work on a similar principal to traditional filter beds, where the effluent is spread over the top of the reed bed and allowed to pass vertically down through the filter media, generally gravel and sand as well as the rhizomes of the planting, to the outfall point. Organic matter can settle on the surface, which can give rise to some odour issues.
High levels of treatment are possible and so can be used to for secondary treatment, following a primary settlement tank such as a septic tank, but are generally used as tertiary treatment.
The effluent flow in to the reed bed can occur under gravity, providing there is sufficient hydraulic head, generally around 1.5 m from inlet to outlet, hence they do not necessarily require power.
They are easy to maintain as failure tends to be gradual and as such, preventative and remedial action can be carried out well in advance of total failure.
Visually, they can be very attractive and can provide a wildlife habitat.
Generally they require between 2 and 5 m² of land per person and can be quite expensive to install and can be sensitive to shock loads.
A Existing septic tank
B Pumping station (if required)
C Vertical reed-bed
D Pumping station
E Vertical flow reed-bed
F Humus Tank
G Balancing tank
H Horizontal reed-bed
J Flow control chamber
Unlike the vertical flow reed bed, the flow occurs horizontally through the filter media. The air flow through the filter media is limited and so strong effluent can be poorly treated and potentially aerobic conditions can occur, giving rise to odour issues.
Similar to vertical flow reed beds, they are generally seen as a tertiary form of treatment but can be used for secondary treatment, following a septic tank. They require more land take than a vertical flow reed bed, between 5 and 10 m² per person, secondary treatment.
Although many consider that they are suitable for secondary treatment, there some who would suggest that they are really only suitable for tertiary treatment. Therefore, there is some confusion on their suitability.
Visually, they can be attractive and natural looking, be able to accommodate a wide range of plants. They can be cost effective, if installed as a DIY item, but again, the design needs to be considered very carefully.
As the flow is horizontal through the media, the media can become blocked and therefore needs careful maintenance. Normally, with good pre-treatment, the bed can be used for up to 10 years before the media and planting requires replacing and replanting.
The main consideration for reed beds is the land available to accommodate them and do need regular maintenance, i.e. the reeds need to be harvested regularly and the waste material needs to be disposed of carefully, as the reeds accumulate toxins.
Also, the local MEP planners should consider the risk of freezing of the reed beds in case of very low temperatures.
Cess pools are large sealed underground tanks where sewage is stored. The capacity of the cess pool below the inlet drain must be a minimum of 18,000 litres for 2 persons and must be increased by 6,800 litres for each additional user.
They need emptying on a regular basis, as they cannot be allowed to exceed their capacity. Generally, cess pools should be avoided, except where no other option is viable.
Cooling storage using water, ice or other phase change materials is widely used in countries where summertime cooling requirements are high.
The greatest benefit of this system is delivered to buildings which have relatively low nighttime compared to their daytime peaks. Additional benefit may be gained through the use of electricity to generate cooling on potentially lower cost off-peak tariffs. The advantages in a well-designed and operated system can include:
In order to fully optimize the system’s capital investment and operating costs of the cooling equipment and infrastructure the correct sizing of the equipment is critical.
When designing the cooling systems to be utilised, the profiles of the required cooling load are key. The demands placed on plant over periods of 24 hours and weekly are required in conjunction with the peak values for the design of the cooling accumulator systems. This is to ensure that the total cooling loads are accounted for during the whole storage cycle which may extend beyond the commonly used 24 hour period. The cooling storage system must be designed carefully to be able to meet the extended loads over time as well as peak demands.
Natural ventilation systems are intended to provide sufficient outside air to achieve appropriate standards of air quality and to provide cooling when needed. Since the cooling capacity of natural ventilation is limited, a key design challenge is to limit heat gains through good solar control and careful management of the internal gains. Naturally ventilated buildings do not aim to achieve constant environmental conditions, but take advantage of dynamics to provide comfortable, controllable conditions for the occupants
Natural ventilation systems need to be designed to achieve two key aspects of environmental performance:
A solar system is installed to provide domestic hot water .The Solar system uses all the available solar energy and at times when it’s not enough an electric element.
The solar system consists of 2 Solar panels 1.5×1.0 & a 200 Litre Hot water cylinder.
A multi split system is installed for the space air conditioning and heating of the villa. The system consists of air cooled Outdoor units and Indoor units ( Wall type) . The benefits of the air cooled Multi system from the spit unit type air conditioning is the efficiency and less number of outdoor units and the ability to install the outdoor units much longer distance from the indoors .
A complete plumbing system is installed consisting of : ( a) Central pipes using Pex-C pipe in pipe piping and manifolds for the piping of all the sanitary fittings for both the hot and cold water as well as the drinking water through out the project. ( b ) A complete sewage system consists of all the pvc plastic piping for all the sanitary fittings to the first outside manhole. ( c ) Connection of all the sanitary fittings to the plumbing and sewage piping and installation of all the accessories. ( d ) 1 pressure pump system per apartment to provide high water pressure to all the sanitary fittings,
Once you have decided on the type of construction and chosen our professional builder, the next step is to implement the design. Take a look at these popular pool shapes to learn how they are best used. Then when you consult with your designer, you’ll have a better idea of which options can be accommodated.
1. Infinity Pools
Infinity pools are one of the most dramatic effects found in pool design. Made to outwit the viewer into believing that the pool flows over an edge into the neighboring vista, this type of swimming pool is actually a product of math and science: the water flows over the pool’s weir wall into a hidden trough where it’s recycled back into the pool. Homes that overlook spectacular scenery like the ocean, a river, mountains, or even nearby cityscapes are the best candidates to capture this design’s magic. However, a designer will also suggest an infinity pool for a property that is surrounded by natural lushness like wooded glens or palm tree groves.
2. Perimeter-Overflow Pools
Perimeter overflow pools are an optical illusion that uses water to imitate mirrors and flat deck surfaces. Water overflows on all sides into a trough in the deck, functioning like a 360-degree vanishing edge. When viewed from overhead or from afar, the pool appears to be a flat surface on the deck. It is only when the wind or some other movement ripples the surface that the effect disappears.
3. Classic Rectangle and Lap Pools
If your home is deluxe and traditional, then a classic rectangle is one of the best options as the pool’s straight lines will not overpower the property’s ageless elegance; in fact, those clean edges will reinforce the architecture’s magnificence, creating an even greater aura of elegance.
But don’t let your fantasy stop there. In fact, many designers choose to use this shape for non-traditional homes because it never goes out of style and will always coordinate perfectly with its surroundings. Rectangular pools can be adapted to a variety of locations, including modern, urban, and bucolic. When joined with an infinity edge or a perimeter overflow, this type of inground pool shape takes on even more character and allows the pool to truly become one with the setting.
Except to gracefully enhancing a home’s property, a rectangular pool can also be put to work. Many people enjoy using the pool for exercise and swimming laps. A lap pool is an excellent option for those who want more out of their pool than a place to dip their toes or float away the day. Built to accommodate a swimmer’s strokes and turns, a lap pool can be whatever length and width the user deems necessary. But don’t think that your pool must be utilitarian in looks—use your professional pool designer’s flair for the visual and keep the aesthetic around the pool in line with the rest of the property so the pool can also be the home’s showpiece.
By simply remodeling the design to create an “L” shape, the pool can be the best of both worlds: for those swimming laps, there is the straightaway, and for those wishing to play water volleyball or basketball, there is a separate wading area for fun and games.
If you peeked over the fence of every home that has a swimming pool, you will notice that quite a few sport a kidney-shaped pool. The reason is simple: kidney-shaped pools’ soft, retro look is appropriate for a variety of architectural styles.
Many pool designers use this pool shape as a foundation from which to build more elaborate structures. No matter the building material, they will add accents like natural coping, glass tile, colorful plaster, or a textured finish to customize the project for your property.
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Knowing how to suitably and effectively heat your home can make all the difference, particularly in terms of your energy bills, so we thought we’d give you a helping hand.
Join us as we talk about all things heating and discover what your best solution is!
1. What is the optimal heating system?
This is a subjective issue that actually depends on where you live and what kind of house you own, but popular systems include heat pumps, central heating (water radiators) or geothermal energy.
Heat pumps are perfect for areas that enjoy hot temperatures in summer as they can also cool your home, whereas central heating will just be switched off. Geothermal solutions are generally reserved for homes in areas that are hard to access with standard utilities.
2. Which radiators should I choose?
This really comes down to a style choice as all radiators are designed to emit maximum heat.
Tall, lean versions, such as the one shown here, are a modern trend that many people are enjoying. In period houses, traditional cast iron versions with intricate detailing are still a better choice.
Just make sure you don’t block them in or cover them as that will stop the heat from circulating.
3. Heat pump or boiler?
In terms of installation and material costs, boilers are less money in the short term, but will use more energy over their lifetime than a heat pump.
You need to weigh up the cost of overhauling your system; ease of payment and even aesthetic concerns before you make a decision as sometimes the cheaper option isn’t the best!
4. Are stoves and fires a good idea?
On their own, woodburners and fires are rarely enough to heat an entire home but they make fantastic supplementary heat sources for when your heating system needs a little boost.
Remember that stoves and fires also look fab! The only thing to be wary of is buying firewood, as that will add significant costs to your bills.
5. What should I consider when installing a new system?
Your heating system should be perfectly designed to keep heat in the winter and be cool in summer so, if you’re considering a brand new build, you should keep this in mind when selecting your insulation options.
The more you can prevent heat escaping, the better. From there, you can simply opt for the lowest ongoing cost system.
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Although the pipes and drains of a plumbing system are designed for resistance, they still need tactical care to keep them from aging too rapidly and needing numerous repairs and replacements.
Why should you plan annual maintenance?
Plumbing maintenance includes more than checking to realize if your pipes have leaks or are suffering from corrosion. Maintenance also comprises the major appliances you use on a daily basis, which can undergo serious stress during a year. For instance, your water heater is part of ordinal plumbing maintenance, and water heaters must have yearly inspections to make sure they operate efficiently and correctly. You’ll need a new water heater long before you need new pipes, and maintenance technicians will be able to recognize when it’s time to retire your current water heater.
Another reason for having plumbing maintenance done annually is that the aftermath of failures in the water line or the sewer line can be huge. These are problems you want to avoid if at all possible, since they can cause damage to your home and the repair work is often extensive.
Tactical maintenance will catch minor problems with either the water line or the sewer line on your property before they become large problems.
What will our team check?
Our team will check your water heater, faucets, supply line, shut-off valves, toilets, drains, and appliances such as sump pumps. They will rummage for corrosion, leaks and occlusion at every point.
At the end of a maintenance visit, our team should provide you advice that will help you continue to keep your home secure from water and sewer damage.