Types of wastewater treatment systems in the UK


For Houses and Small Business Premises - 1 to 5 persons

FILTERPOD non-electric sewage treatment plants are our own design.. They use non-degradable RDX filter media.

  • 1 to 2 year emptying interval
  • No electricity used for the treatment process
  • Can be solar-powered if required - the only solar-powered sewage treatment plant in the world
  • UK Design
  • 10 year tank warranty
FilterPod Non-Electric sewage treatment plant


For Houses, Housing Developments, Small and Large Businesses, Camping Sites, Hotels, Holiday Parks and Holiday Homes - 1 to 5000 persons
APEX wastewater systems are specialised plants which can work down to very low population numbers. Most plants really struggle when underloaded below 50% of what they were designed to do.
  • 6 to 18 month average emptying intervals
  • Very clean effluent 11BOD:16SS:7NH4 standard
  • OK for holiday homes and underloaded situations, fluctuating population numbers, as with campsites, hotels, visitor centres, etc. and for domestic houses
  • Solids are separated and stored in the first chamber Primary Tank for removal.
  • WTE Ltd. design.
APEX_Sewage treatment plant_Cross Section

DISC SYSTEMS (rotating biological contactors or RBC's)

The original package wastewater treatment systems. RBC's are now made by only a few companies as technology has changed.

  • They range from 6 to 350 person systems
  • 3 monthly to annual emptying intervals
  • Relies on extensive internal moving parts
  • Servicing is expensive
  • Solids are separated and stored in the first chamber Primary Tank for removal
  • Best known brand is Klargester
RBC Sewage treatment unit


Houses, Small Housing Developments, Small to Medium sized Businesses - 1 to 30 persons

VORTEX™ sewage treatment plants produce some of the cleanest effluent of them all and have an unbeatable ammonia reduction. They have an EN 12566-3 test effluent standard of an amazing 0.4mg/L ammoniacal nitrogen, which is over 40 times lower than the Environment Agency requirements. The VORTEX™ treatment process reduces pollutants by up to 98.9%.

  • The only ADJUSTABLE sewage treatment plant that can be turned down for lower populations.
  • The VORTEX™ only uses from 24 watts/hour (£25/year at 12p/Kw) and is the most energy-efficient electric system on the market.Click to find out Why the VORTEX™ is so energy-efficient.
  • The VORTEX™ is the ONLY system suitable for sewage treatment for flood plain sites.
  • They range from 6 to 30 persons
  • Annual emptying interval
  • Superb Effluent Standard 9BOD : 16S.S . :0.4NH4
  • Activated Sludge Process. These plants digest the solids along with the liquid pollutants
  • Designed and manufactured by WTE Ltd
Vortex sewage treatment plant


Add on to existing Septic Tanks. For Houses, Housing Developments and Commercial Use - 1 to 5000 persons

BIOKUBE septic tank conversion treatment unit produces a very high standard of effluent, but is, like the Balmoral SBR, a sequencing batch reactor. The domestic range extends up to 30 persons and the units above 10 persons need a pumping station added to the system. Full EN 12566-6 certificate.

  • Annual emptying
  • Guaranteed sewage effluent quality for the treatment process
  • Ideal for strict discharge standards
  • Phosphate Removal

Please ring us for details.

Biocube Mars treatment plant image

AQUAPOD Adds on to an existing, or on-site constructed septic tank to provide full sewage treatment. The plants range from 50 to 5000 persons.

  • Ideal for sites with an existing septic tank
  • Ideal for countries where local labour and materials for the Septic Tank construction are economical
  • A choice of effluent discharge quality
  • British Design by WTE Ltd.

VORTEX Can add onto an existing septic tank to clean the sewage to a standard which complies with the General Binding Rules for discharge to ditches and watercourses. Full EN 12566 - 6 certificate.

  • Can also become a stand-alone sewage treatment plant if or when the septic tank fails
  • 1 to 30 person ranges
  • Small size so minimum installation costs and disruption to the garden

Septic Tank or Sewage Treatment System?

If you are considering using a septic tank instead of a sewage treatment plant, make sure that the ground is suitable for a foul water soakaway drainfield, as over 70% of UK sites fail the mandatory tests that allow them to be installed or replaced. Either the Soakaway Trial Site Assessment Hole, to find out the highest level of the water table, or the Percolation Tests, to find out how porous the soil is, fail these tests.

Most modern properties also don't own enough land to enable a soakaway drainfield to be installed. You need a VERY large, treeless garden for a soakaway drainfield!

When you install a sewage treatment plant, the Soakaway Drainfield size required is reduced by 20%, which more than outweighs the additional cost of the Sewage Treatment Plant.

The installation cost of a sewage plant is also less than that of a septic tank, as the plant is smaller.

Which Sewage Treatment Plant Is The BEST?

Click here for the steps to take for a successful, legal sewage treatment plant installation, here for an explanation of the wastewater treatment process, and here for wastewater treatment systems for flood plains


All makes of sewage treatment plants, including Klargester, are serviced by Sapphire Environmental Ltd