Vortex wasewater  system installed
Vortex eco-electric sewage treatment plant for domestic houses

VORTEX Eco Electric sewage treatment plants are the only ADJUSTABLE treatment plants in the UK.

The VORTEX sewage treatment plant can be set to work with varying populations simply by turning it either up or down on a hand-turn valve.

The 6 person, for example, works equally as well with 1 person using it as it does with 6. This is a big advantage, for big houses with small populations, as most sewage treatment plants can only work down to 50% of the number of people they were designed for.

The VORTEX has much LOWER OPERATING COSTS than all Non-Electric wastewater treatment systems.

Approved by the Environment Agency and on the British Water Certified List of approved sewage treatment plants.

Unique Features of the VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant

  • Extremely clean effluent - up to 98.9% pollutant reduction. 

  • Fully adjustable to suit the number of people using it.
  • The VORTEX sewage treatment plant range is 4, 6, & 8 person sizes.
  • The lowest electricity consumption of any electric sewage treatment plant - from only 30W per hour.
  • Much lower maintenance costs than Non-Electric Treatment systems.
  • Odourless - complete aerobic digestion throughout the sewage treatment plant.

  • One piece tank construction - not sectional - no leaking seals.
  • Very small size enables economic installation in tight spaces.

  • VORTEX has a unique debris screen - The Vibro-Screen™ keeps tampons, wipes, etc. out of the biodigester chamber of the plant, where they can cause damage, but lets organic solids through.

  • VORTEX recycles its own waste products resulting in less sludge to remove.

  • No Primary Settlement Tank - No Primary Tank Odour.
  • Simple and cheap maintenance - one piece construction ensures no structural weakness..

  • Top Quality linear motor compressor - these compressors are much more expensive than cheaper compressors used by other manufacturers, but they are almost silent, use very little electricity and CAN be repaired.

  • Cheap, easy installation.
  • 20 year tank warranty- no metalwork to corrode inside or outside the tank.
  • Can accept raw sewage pumped into it if required.
  • Versatile inlet depths - VORTEX sewage treatment plants can be supplied for different inlet invert levels - 550mm to 1,500mm.

  • EN 12566-3 2005 Test Report available on request. 
  • Unbeatable ammonia reduction - incredibly down to 0.3mg/L. Very important for sensitive watercourses.
  • Accepted by the Environment Agency for discharge to watercourses and ditches, without the need for a permit, if the installation complies with the General and Binding Environment Agency Rules. If you have a ditch locally, Click here to find out if you own the ditch at the other side of your boundary. You may be surprised.

How the VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant Works (video below)

Incoming sewage is screened to prevent accidental non-degradable products entering the digestion chamber. The Vibro-Screen™ allows organic sewage solids to enter the tank without problems.

The screened sewage is aerated and a microbial 'soup' develops that digests the pollutants and organic matter in the sewage. These beneficial microbes are constantly topped up with the microbes that settle out at the bottom of the final settlement tank, ensuring a constant supply of bacteria for the digestion process. There is no need to add extra bacteria at all, as is the case with some other plants.

The treated sewage then enters the final settlement chamber where activated sludge bacteria settle out at the bottom. These beneficial microbes are constantly returned to the aeration chamber, via the Vibro-Screen, to boost the treatment system performance.

The bacterial scum or crust that forms on the top of the effluent in the clarification chamber is returned through a pipe to the Vibro-Screen via the FSR  pipe.  This is an innovation unique to the VORTEX. Other activated sludge plants need this crust removing, by hand, at regular intervals.

It saves a lot of unpleasant work for both the owner and the service engineer, resulting in lower cost servicing bills.

Most sewage treatment plants struggle to work when they are under-loaded. A good rule of thumb is that if a system is working below 50% of its design capacity, there is not enough 'food' from the toilet solids to either grow, or maintain, a working bacterial population. VORTEX has solved this problem by having a simple hand-turned valve that can turn the amount of air required either up, or down, depending on the number of people using it. Such a SIMPLE solution to a complex problem.

Click on this link for a video of a severely underloaded VORTEX 8 person plant which has been used by only 2 people for over 3 years. The final effluent in the Central Discharge Trough is crystal clear and the plant has NEVER been emptied. 

VORTEX has advanced activated sludge sewage treatment plant features not found in any other treatment plant in the UK.

The ONLY electrical component is a small, external linear motor compressor which operates ALL the process stages. There are no pumps, motors or any moving parts within the plant. Click for How the VORTEX plant is so energy efficient

The VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant Process

VORTEX Treatment Process (Schematic diagram only - (See Figure 1) 

Wastewater from the building enters to Vibro-Screen (1). Here, coarse air bubbles, coming from the yellow pipe, are used to physically break down solid matter and form a mixed liquor with the water.

The mixed liquor flows into the Aeration Chamber (2). A bacterial culture is present in the Aeration Chamber which digests the pollutants in the wastewater. The bacterial culture must have a constant oxygen supply and this is provided by a fine bubble diffuser at the base of the tank.

The mixed liquor then flows into the Clarification Chamber (3) where it is able to separate into clear, treated effluent and sludge. The clear effluent is able to flow through the scum baffle and out of the tank.

UNIQUE FEATURE - Simple manual valves allow the air flow to be adjusted. This enables the plan to work at maximum efficiency if it is underloaded. This is a very valuable feature, e.g. for a 5 bedroom house (which needs a minimum 7 person plant) with only 2 people resident. This feature is not available on any other plant.

VORTEX reduced the Phosphorous levels in the raw sewage down to 2.9mg/litre, during its EN12566-3 test.

Chambers of VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant
Figure 1 - The 3 VORTEX sewage treatment plant chambers

The Sludge Management System (SMS) - (See Figures 2 and 3)

The Settled Sludge Return (see figure 2)

In the Clarification Chamber, sludge accumulates at the bottom (settled sludge) and top (floating sludge) of the tank.

Settled Sludge is 'live' sludge that contains active bacteria that were washed into the clarification chamber with the effluent from the Aeration Chamber.

Floating Sludge is 'dead' sludge that is composed of dead bacteria, which rise to the top, like dead fish do - plus  small floating solids and fats.

Air from the blower is distributed by the regulator to two sludge return pipes, Figure 2 shows the Settled Sludge Return Pipe.

This creates a vacuum that sucks the sludge from the bottom of the Clarification Chamber and transfers it back to the Vibro-Screen.

This has several advantages for the treatment system.

It provides additional 'food' for the bacteria in the aeration chamber and allows the plant to re-digest a lot of its waste products, enabling a longer period between emptyings. It 'seeds' the incoming sewage with the correct type of bacteria needed to digest the sewage.

VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant SSR
Figure 2 - VORTEX sewage treatment plant SSR

Unique Automatic Floating Sludge Return (FSR) - (See Figure 3)

In all Activated Sludge Process (ASP) sewage treatment plants, dead, floating sludge accumulates at the top of the Clarification Chamber. This sludge must be periodically returned,to the Aeration Chamber, or it will become so deep that it will be be taken into the bottom of the outlet baffle and contaminate the final effluent.

If this happens, it will block the drainage field; which is VERY expensive to replace, or pollute the watercourse that the tank discharges into.

With ALL other ASP plants, the transfer of this dead floating has to be done, rountinely, by hand, by the owner and it is not a pleasant task! This is never mentioned in the brochure, only in the operational manual.

All VORTEX plants come with the automatic FSR fitted as standard.

The Automatic FSR enables VORTEX to automatically recycle the floating sludge in the Clarification Chamber back to the Vibro-Screen without the need for the owner to do anything.

No other ASP sewage treatment plant has this ability to manage its own floating sludge.

VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant FSR
Figure 3 - VORTEX sewage treatment plant FSR
Pumped Outlet VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant
Internal Pumped Outlet Option for VORTEX Sewage Treatment Plant

Pumped Outlet VORTEX

For many sites, it is not possible to discharge the effluent via gravity so VORTEX tanks are available with internal pumped outlets if required.  

These tanks pump the treated effluent uphill to the desired location.

Final result from a Vortex  process.
Final result from a VORTEX sewage treatment plant process.