Wastewater Treatment Plants - An Introduction

An Introduction With specific reference to Domestic Waste Water Treatment Plants in France and French legislation

Domestic Wastewater Treatment Plants are a packaged miniature sewage treatment works that converts raw sewage into water effluent and solid waste (sludge) when the property in question is off mains drains. These ‘packaged’ wastewater treatment plants come in all shapes and sizes but all use the same science in their process of tackling waste water – Putting bacteria into contact with oxygen and food (organic waste) results in a natural biological breakdown of the organic content of sewage (aerobic digestion).

The key to any domestic wastewater treatment plants efficiency and success is how its design puts these three factors into operation and no Treatment Plant is a ‘fit & forget’ product as they do require periodic maintenance and a degree of care to keep working to optimum levels. What they do offer is the most environmentally and legislation friendly way of treating any off-mains drainage requirements. What wastewater treatment plants cannot do is make the mineral element of what we eat “disappear” – hence the production of some sludge. What the better wastewater treatment plants do is retain this mineral sludge rather than eject it into the ditch or the soil where it can cause problems such as blockages or drainage fields that no longer drain. This means that periodic sludge removal from the wastewater treatment unit will be required, but the quantity produced is relatively small and should not be confused with the emptying that fosses septiques or fosse septics require.

EN pr 12566 – 3 is the new European Standard for domestic wastewater treatment plants, whilst in France AFNOR has re-named this FR EN 12566 – 3 with AFNOR qualification as P 16-800-3/ICS 13.060.30. This wastewater treatment standard specifies requirements, test methods, the marking and factory production control for packaged and/or site assembled domestic wastewater treatment plants or micro stations d’épuration (including guest houses and businesses) used for populations up to 50 inhabitants. Compact wastewater treatment plants ( WWTPs ) compliant to this Standard and CE marked are authorised for the treatment of raw domestic wastewater in Europe.

You will often hear that “Wastewater Treatment Plants are not legal in France” or have a local Mairie reacting in horror at the mere mention of anything other than fosses septiques or septic tanks. This should be dismissed as ignorance if you wish to enjoy the enormous improvements to your off mains drainage, fitting effective and CE certified compact wastewater treatment plants in France can bring. To explain their reaction, you have to understand why they may be biased, and to do this please read on whilst we explain . . . . . Rome was not built in a day, and French regulations regarding wastewater treatment plants are taking even longer! Bear in mind that France signed and accepted the introduction of FR EN 12566 – 3 in 2005 . . . .

If you wish to negotiate around this potential minefield of petty officialdom by getting approval yourself for installing a wastewater treatment plant in France, then as we said, read on – if you prefer that we take care of it all for you, then please click here.

The new European regulations for wastewater treatment systems covers plants with tanks made of concrete, Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP), Polyethylene (PE) and steel. The standardised test methods specified in EN 12566-3 establish the performance of wastewater treatment plants, and are useful in verifying their suitability for the end user and local obligations. This standard applies to plants which are considered as a complete wastewater treatment plant and if all prefabricated components are factory or site-assembled by one manufacturer and tested as a whole.”1

Once the 38 week EN 12566-3 test period is completed on the wastewater treatment plant, a set of waste water treatment efficiency ratios are produced, which are then recorded on the CE performance label (to see an example of a CE EN 12566 - 3 certificate click here  – not to be confused with self certified CE labelling for electrical compliance or container fabrication often seen on French manufactured wastewater treatment systems (one of the reasons for some of that confusion regarding the French regulations for waste water treatment). Do not be misled either by manufacturers in France claiming that their domestic wastewater treatment plants are “compliant”, or “designed in accordance” with EN12566-3, they need to be tested and certified or you have no clear indications of satisfactory performance. Always ask to see a copy of their CE treatment certificate – and if they can’t supply it, walk away. This en12566-3 CE labelling gives a transparent uniformity across the industry and is now a central issue to all manufacturers, as their products structural integrity and treatment performance can now be compared in a consistent and easily understandable fashion by potential clients or the relevant regulatory authority ( SPANC, SIVOM, Communauté des Communes, SAUR, SUEZ, VEOLIA etc.)

Buying wastewater treatment plants in France or elsewhere is a big investment for most customers and they therefore need to have total confidence in the products they buy. The declared and independently tested Treatment Efficiency (TE) ratios contained in the European regulations assist the customer to purchase a plant that meets both their discharge requirements and provides an effluent suitable for the environment and sensitive locations. The TE ratios clearly demonstrate the distinctions between each system on the market, although potential purchasers should also take time to consider:

  1. The Experience of the manufacturer – With over 44 years in the wastewater treatment plant industry and over 300 thousand products in use, Klargester knows wastewater treatment plants like no other. Fit the best, Fit a Klargester wwtp. To find out more about Klargester’s WWTP history click here.
  2. The Guarantee, Units supplied in France by Klar Environnement are covered by a five year parts and labour warranty, a 15 year tank warranty and a treatment efficiency guarantee* - No other manufacturers of wastewater treatment plants in France has this confidence in their waste water treatment products. We want satisfied clients, so no unnecessary small print. Click here for more details of the Klargester guarantee in France, and to read client testimonials about our domestic wastewater treatment plants click here.
  3. The Cost – Klar Environnement will match any other manufacturers like for like quote for domestic wastewater treatment plant systems in France. If you have a quote that looks more competitive, then let us know by clicking here. Link to feedback page with captcha etc
  4. The Treatment plants method of functioning, as this will determine their long term reliability, servicing schedules and long term cost.

To obtain your personalised quote from your local Suppliers of Klargester waste water treatment plants in France please click here

To find out more about the different types of wastewater treatment plants in France with wastewater treatment plants comparison information click here