Testing and Analysis Services
We are able to carry out a variety of different testing services which can be used to monitor ongoing performance, to establish what might be going wrong within an existing system or to comply with a request from the Environment Agency to demonstrate that your system’s failings have been addressed and it is now meeting the effluent quality requirements of your Permit to Discharge.
Porosity / Percolation Testing
A porosity test - or percolation test - is a test to check the suitability of the ground for a soakaway and to make sure that the soakaway is designed, sited and sized correctly. Not all ground is suited to be used as a soakaway - this will usually be because the ground is either too waterlogged - water table is too high - or because the drainage is too slow due to the composition of the soil. All septic tanks but only some sewage treatment plant installations require a soakaway. A soakaway takes the semi-treated effluent from a septic tank and the treated effluent from a sewage treatment plant. In simple terms the porosity test measures the rate at which the ground absorbs a known volume of water. Depending on design and local conditions a well-designed soakaway can offer long term service but eventually all soakaways will become saturated. This is one of the reasons why many customers prefer to opt for a sewage treatment system which does not require a soakaway.
Sampling and Analysis
Through selective sampling we can compare the settled sewage samples with the final effluent samples to give an indication of how well the system is performing. The samples are analysed in a laboratory which then produce an independent report on the quality of the effluent. It is important to ensure your system is producing the required standard of effluent stipulated by the Environment Agency. Poorly performing sewage treatment systems may pollute the local watercourse or ground leaving you liable to prosecution by the Environment Agency if you do not rectify the problem.
Flow Measurement Analysis
All systems have a limit to what they can cope with and if a system continues to under-perform despite regular servicing then the only way to properly measure over/under-load is by carrying out a flow measurement analysis. This involves installing some temporary equipment to measure the total daily flows through the system over a set period of time. Once we have the results we can recommend to you the best way forward.
Over-loaded systems can occur when the original usage of the system has been extended beyond that anticipated - for example where a system designed to service a 3 bedroom house is now servicing a 5 bedroom property. Whatever the reason the problems experienced will only exacerbate over time and a proper investigation is needed to ensure a long term solution is implemented.