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8 signs your sewage treatment plant isn’t working

Posted on November 30, 2020

A properly installed sewage treatment plant should run smoothly with little input from the owner and provide many years of service. With the help of wastewater experts to install your sewage treatment plant and carry out periodic maintenance to ensure all parts are working as they should, your plant will offer an effective alternative to mains sewerage. However, whether parts get worn or the system has been improperly used, problems can arise. Here we’ll look at some common sewage treatment plant issues and the signs that something isn’t working as it should.

Signs that your sewage treatment plan isn’t working

  • Overloading

Overloading your sewage treatment plant will lead to problems with the processing of wastewater. Poor quality effluent – this could be visibly cloudy and grey or, when tested, failing to meet standards – is the main sign that you are overloading your plant. If you have recently added an extension or another property to your system, this could be creating too much wastewater for your system to cope with. Alternatively, you may have surface water getting into your system – this kind of water should not be entering a sewage treatment plant and you will need to divert it.


  • Sewage pump or blower not turning on

If your pump or blower isn’t turning on, your system’s efficiency will drop and the plant may even cease to function. An alarm should notify you if something has gone wrong here. There are several possible causes, including: a tripped breaker, electricity supply issues, defective equipment and overheating. If you reset the breaker and ensure there is no reason the blower would overheat – for example, a high ambient temperature – then a qualified wastewater expert should be called.


  • Blower operating but doesn’t deliver air

Your system’s blower controls air flow to your plant and aeration for the aerobic breakdown of waste. If the blower isn’t delivering air correctly, efficiency can drop and the bacteria which break down waste in aerobic processing can die off. This could be occurring because a filter is blocked, the blower has become damaged, or the power supply is insufficient. An expert will be able to troubleshoot this issue and offer a swift fix.


  • Pump operating but doesn’t deliver water

If your pump is operational but not delivering any water, this needs to be dealt with quickly so your sewage treatment plant doesn’t become backed up. Something may be caught in the impellers, there may be a blockage, or there could be a more serious root of the issue. A qualified wastewater expert will be able to clear obstructions and carry out a thorough check.


  • Blower stops and starts

If your blower seems to be running in an unreliable manner, your plant won’t operate smoothly and efficiently. An inconsistent blower is often due to overheating – it should turn itself off until it cools down. See if the air supply vent is blocked, clearing it if so, and try and keep the system protected from direct sunlight. Alternatively, a filter may need replacing, parts may be damaged, or there could be an electrical fault – a wastewater engineer should tackle these for you.


  • Pump stops and starts

An inconsistent pump can be a problem for clearing away your treated effluent. If your system isn’t being used, it could be that it’s run dry and stopped. Other sources of the problem could be a clogged impeller or a stuck or damaged float. These should be checked out by a wastewater treatment system expert.


  • Alarm sounding

Your sewage treatment plant should be fitted with an alarm which will sound if a problem arises. For any issues with your blower or pump, the alarm will sound to alert you to the problem, ensuring you can get in touch with a professional as soon as possible to ensure the issue can get rectified swiftly. Once you’ve contacted a professional, you can mute the alarm if it is becoming an annoyance – however, you should not ignore a sounding alarm.


  • Odours

Unpleasant odours around your property can be troubling and you should try to find their source. Ineffective pipework in your home – from U-bends to soil and vent pipes – could be to blame. If the foul smell is outside, close by to your sewage treatment plant, this is likely a sign something isn’t right. Pipework connecting to the tank could be blocked, chemicals put down your drains could have killed off the necessary plant bacteria, or air flow could be ineffective. A wastewater system expert will be able to source this issue for you, and offer a solution.


Wildon UK are wastewater system experts with a team of highly trained engineers ready to tackle problems, offer quality repairs and carry out routine maintenance. From our base in Staffordshire, we can help clients across the UK. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our helpful team today with any enquiries.  

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