Leisure and tourism businesses with onsite wastewater treatment plants are being offered guidance to ensure equipment is powered back up safely as premises begin to reopen doors and the transition back to normal operations continues.
Following the reopening of businesses including caravan parks and campsites, packaged wastewater treatment plant provider WPL is hosting online clinics to guide users through recommissioning. WPL’s advice reinforces Environment Agency guidance, that says it is essential to minimise environmental impact when treatment plants are restarted.
Dominic Hamblin, technical manager at WPL, said: “The Covid-19 lockdown led to an extended period of closure that not all businesses have faced before. This, and the likelihood of future lockdowns, has highlighted the need to understand how to safely decommission and re-commission private sewage treatment systems.”
A minimum amount of flow is required for biological treatment processes within packaged treatment plants to keep ticking over. If a plant remained operational throughout lockdown, and some of the flow was maintained, it is likely to take up to two weeks before it picks back up to treat high volumes effectively. If it had been turned off completely, the process could take up to six weeks.
Hamblin said: “Rushing this has serious risks, such as the plant overloading and outgoing flows and loads being substandard, polluting the environment and breaching permit conditions. This could lead to a financial penalty or even prosecution.
“It is not a one-size-fits-all approach which is why WPL has set up an online clinic, to talk customers through the specifications of their plant. By taking some simple steps, businesses can be confident their plants will be able to treat effluent to required standards.”
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