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Julian

Bio-pure or ClearFox sewage plant feedback wanted, please

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We've just moved into a 4 bed house with septic tank which we're required to replace with a sewage treatment plant that meets the regulations that now apply in 2020. We're upstream from a drinking water reservoir too. And the borehole for OUR drinking water is less than 50m away. The costs of STP purchase & installation will be covered by a retention in the sale price, since the vendor hadn't sorted this out before sale.

I was tempted by the idea of a system requiring no electricity; the very expensive ClearFox system (£4650+VAT for the size we'd need) sounds excellent from their website (perhaps too good to be true...) - has anyone got any experience of this system? I've had some very, very helpful feedback from Stones https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/profile/7-stones/ about his experience with the BioRock system, which didn't perform as well as he'd hoped, so I'm put off that, hence looking at this top end power-free system. Helps that if we can convince the vendor's solicitor that this is reasonable then it is within the retention level so shouldn't cost us anything.

Stones is pleased with the couple of years of experience he's had from the Bio-Pure system, and I've spent a bit of time looking at this online. It seems to have a low electricity consumption, and sounds well-designed so I'm tempted by this (Bio-Pure 2 - £2,940+VAT) if we go down the powered route. Has anyone had good or bad experiences with this?

I'd really appreciate some feedback.

Thanks, Julian

 

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We have a BioPure 1, which seems fine.  The only thing I didn't like with it was the air pump being inside the lid of the unit.  It works fine in this position, but I did need to add some soundproofing foam around it to reduce the noise, as there was a bit of a hum resonating around the chamber under the lid.  I ended up moving the pump to a separate stone built box a couple of metres away, which has made it pretty much silent.  Not a major issue, but we live in a pretty quiet area, so the noise was a bit more noticeable and could be heard from the lane that's only a couple of metres away from the unit.

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There are several very similar treatment plants that work on the air blower principle.  So as well as the BioPure, also look at the Conder (which I have) Vortex and Graff units.

 

I take it you are discharging to a watercourse which you are no longer allowed to do with a basic septic tank?

 

 

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I have a Vortex and very pleased with it, like @Jeremy Harris noise from the air pump was initially a bit of an issue but soundproofing and removing it from the lid worked wonders.

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We've got a Bio-pure 2, which has performed without issue for the last 22 months, to the point that I've not even bothered to lift the lid.  Now that I have (had it serviced last week), I've found it's still operating fine, but it needs de-sludging. I think that if I'd followed the recommended 6-monthly inspection routine I could have extended the de-sludging interval.  

 

There's a slight noise from the blower, but I think it's mainly from where cables or air pipe touch the inside of the pump chamber.  I got some foam material to line the inside of the chamber, but it's not noisy enough to be on the to-do list just yet!  My father-in-law slept in his camper van next to it for a few days last summer, against my advice, and didn't even notice it.  (It's his choice, honest! We do have a spare room...)

 

 

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we went with one of these

https://www.tanksforeverything.co.uk/solido-smart-6-person-sewage-treatment-plant-917500

 

as it was supported locally, and didn't need to deep a hole (we're clay over rock mostly). The tank is very sturdy and the blower/pump very quiet. Pump doesn't run continuously either.

 

Time will tell how it performs but no issues with it's discharge spec for our application which encroaches on an ASSI.

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We didn't go for sewage treatment plant in the end, but from a recent check of what's out there, if best quality output is desired, the Graf one2clean looked good. With claimed results similar to the good (claimed) performance of the WTE Vortex. Graf one2clean: BOD 7, SS 14, NH4-N 0.5

https://www.graf-water.co.uk/wastewater-treatment/wastewater-treatment-systems/one2clean/one2clean-one-tank-system/wastewater-treatment-system-one2clean-one-tank-system-ped.-loading.html

I believe @Barney12 has one and is happy with it.

 

There is also an 'advanced' / 'plus' version of the one2clean with add-ons to further reduce pollutant content in the output and even a UV sanitiser to remove microorganisms. Full brochure

https://www.graf-water.com/fileadmin/media/Catalogue_Wastewater_Treatment_Solutions.pdf

 

Some comparisons / buying guides:

https://www.wte-ltd.co.uk/choose_wastewater_treatment_plant.html They supply the Vortex and others, so perhaps not an objective comparison and the results list does not include all available plants
https://www.owlshall.co.uk/sewage-treatment/comparison-guide/ (solidio installers so biased to that I suspect)
http://www.spsdrainage.co.uk/page_2904020.html

https://homeseptic.co.uk/sewage-treatment-plants/buying-guide/ (graf installers so biased to that I suspect)
 

Regarding no-power ones like Bio-rock, filterpod, etc I noted @Jeremy Harris 's skepticism about whether they could achieve same performance as powered ones, but wasn't able to verify this.

 

https://www.viltra.co.uk/products/sewage-treatment/oxtec was also mentioned on the forum as interesting.

 

I found @Home Farm 's video of the WTE Vortex helpful https://myhomefarm.co.uk/our-small-sewage-treatment-plant as it gave a realistic indication of the noise (too much for my liking) and also highlighted the visual intrusiveness and potential hazard of the large above-ground lid. This is not something I would want children to be around. If that noise is typical I'd definitely have looked more into no/ultra-low power ones.

 

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5 minutes ago, kxi said:

found @Home Farm 's video of the WTE Vortex helpful https://myhomefarm.co.uk/our-small-sewage-treatment-plant as it gave a realistic indication of the noise (too much for my liking) and also highlighted the visual intrusiveness and potential hazard of the large above-ground lid. This is not something I would want children to be around. If that noise is typical I'd definitely have looked more into no/ultra-low power ones.

That is a lot nosier than I was expecting. Does anyone know if that's typical and can you box it in somehow to reduce it?

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ours is *much* quieter than that.

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So is ours.  Even before I moved the pump to a separate enclosure it was only barely audible when within a couple of metres of it. 

 

One thing worth noting is that there can be quite a wide disparity between the amount of power each units consumes.  We fitted the low power air pump option to our BioPure, which not only reduces the power down to ~27 W, but is also a bit quieter.  Some units can use as much as 60 W to 80 W, making them significantly more costly to run (maybe 22p to 30p/day versus ~ 10p/day).

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