Reed beds are an effective and environmentally friendly way of cleaning contaminated waters. The process itself is reliant on micro-organisms which occur naturally in the reed bed; they feed on the harmful materials found in the effluent as it is filtered through the bed. Reed beds can be used to treat domestic effluent, stormwater runoff from roads and industrial sites, landfill leachate, etc.
Vertical Flow Reed Beds
These reed beds are made up of different sized stone; with larger stones lying at the bottom gradually reducing to sand at the top where the reeds are planted. In the vertical flow system the effluent is spread evenly over the surface.
Great care must be taken to prevent blinding of the top sand layer with a thick biomass layer. If blinding occurs liquor will remain on the surface resulting in foul smells and possible health risks. A daily inspection needs to be carried out and if necessary the biomass layer broken up. It pays to have 2 vertical flow reed beds one of which is rested whilst the other is in use.
Horizontal Flow Reed Beds
Horizontal reed beds require more area then vertical flow but are much shallower. The effluent enters at one end from the primary tank sinking below the gravel surface where it comes in contact with the micro–organisms growing on the gravel and reed roots.
Although this system is less labour intensive in some respects, it does need periodic weeding to remove tree saplings and other invasive plants which might dominate the reeds or damage the reed bed liner.
Both systems require a primary tank to separate the solids from the liquid. The size of which and frequency of emptying are very important as excessive ‘food’ entering any reed bed causes excessive biomass production, which can in both types of reed bed cause ‘blinding’ of the gravels.
We provide maintenance services for existing reed beds. We really are more than happy to provide advice to ensure that your sewage treatment system works to a standard where it doesn’t cause pollution.
Reed Bed Treatment in West Sussex
At Wilkinsons, we really value our clients and the environment.
Should you wish to discuss your sewage treatment system please call Iain Wilkinson on 01342 810 885 or mobile 07764 212 568.