Given the current UK Energy crisis, we are frequently being asked if customers can turn off the electricity that supplies their sewage treatment system to save power.

The electricity supply to sewage treatments plants are what powers the air compressor/blower, pump or motor, depending on what type of unit you have.

All sewage treatment plants are put through rigorous testing procedures. During this test phase, air compressors/blowers, pumps and motors are running 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Any interference with manufacturers recommendations and what units have been tested on will have major effects on the efficiency of the unit.

Gravity Outlet

If your system has a gravity outlet, entering water will still be able to leave, but by turning the power off, you have stopped the treatment process. By stopping the treatment process, this could have a major effect on the water quality leaving the tank to a drainage field or water course. The water quality may therefore be compromised and not meet regulations.

Pumped Outlet

If you have a pumped outlet and you turn off the power, you will be turning off the unit’s ability to pump out the treated effluent. If the effluent is prevented from pumping to the drainage field or ditch through turning off the electricity, then the treatment system will fill and eventually effluent may back up into the house.

Different zones within the system may mix causing fats and sludge to block up treatment zones, causing final effluent zones to become contaminated. Some systems may contain further electrical components that when flooded with water can burn out and need immediate replacement.

Mantair recommends

Ultimately, the effect of turning off the electricity powering your system will affect the bacterial growth and workings of the system.

We at Mantair highly recommend that at all times, you follow the manufacturers recommendations and handbook. If you don’t adhere to manufacturers recommendations, you will be void of your warrantees or guarantees for the system. This could lead to expensive emptying and servicing costs to repair the unit.

So how much electricity does my sewage treatment plant use?

This will depend on the type of unit that you have and whether it is a gravity or pumped outlet system. As an indication, for a 6PE aerated treatment system, the majority of air blowers and air pumps run at 60-80 watts. Running costs for this will depend on your individual electrical supplier’s tariff. Your system manual or manufacturer will be able to give the exact power usage of your system.

What would happen to my sewage treatment plant if there was a power cut?

During a power cut, all mechanical parts to your system will be turned off. We would therefore recommend minimizing any water usage. Once power is restored, ensure that all parts are turned back on and all RCD/breakers are not affected.

Contact us

If you need further advice on your waste water treatment system, please contact us.