A new partnership with BioMicrobics

A new partnership with BioMicrobics

Reflection Treatment Systems (RWTS) is one of New Zealand’s leading onsite wastewater system providers. For over 25 years we have been manufacturing, installing and maintaining onsite wastewater treatment systems.  Our clients include individual homeowners, large commercial business, Council organisations, and Government installations and our range of systems are treating in excess of 2.5 million litres of wastewater every day throughout New Zealand.

With that in mind, we are pleased to announce we have partnered with
BioMicrobics Inc to add to our treatment systems offering and bring a new range of products to the New Zealand market.

BioMicrobics was established in 1996, they are a global leader providing advanced wastewater, water, greywater, and stormwater filtration treatment systems serving diverse markets.  With distributors in more than 70 countries and more than 65,000 installations worldwide, they provide end-clients with high-performance technology solutions for removing 90-99.9% of contaminants from polluted blackwater and greywater sources.

Their approach is unique in the decentralised wastewater industry as it adopts a total integrated water management strategy to develop solutions that maximise benefits and minimise life-cycle costs. As a solutions-driven company, they committed to ongoing research and development of new and improved products. Their latest award-winning products includes secondary and tertiary treatment systems such as FAST®, STAAR®, RollsAIR®, and BioBarrier®, as well as d-Rain Joint™, SaniTEE®, FogHOG®, LIXOR®, Mighty Mike®, BioSTORM®, SciCHLOR®, and our SciBRINE® products.

Their commitment to the continuous improvement of their products and services is integral to our total solutions approach and we are excited to bring this innovation and high-performance technology to New Zealand.

Septic System Installation: 6 Things you should know

Septic System Installation: 6 Things you should know

Are you considering a new septic system installation for your property? Does your old sewage system need to be replaced? If you have never undertaken a project of this scale before, it may be helpful to consider what it entails. We have listed six points below that will help you understand some of the factors involved in the installation of a septic system.

1)    Be aware of the local regulations pertaining to septic system installation:

The local authorities frame rules and regulations regarding the installation and maintenance of on-site septic systems. The official website of the local council will have information and resources pertaining to septic systems. Find out if you need any permits, building consents or clearances before the installation. The regional council may have laid down requirements for discharge of effluents and additional treatment of wastewater with ozone, filtration, etc. to ensure the safety of the soakage treatment area. So make sure you find out about all these details before you begin.

2)    Soil and land evaluation:

Many regional councils ask for a land and soil evaluation to be done to determine the type of septic system you need. This may include an environment engineer’s soil analysis and general report. This is usually done to determine where the septic tank will be placed and where the treated waste will be released. It also helps determine the size of the soakage area.

3)    Location and landscaping:

You will have to decide where the septic system will be installed. Septic system installation usually involves the strategic placing of several components including the tanks, pipes, leach fields, etc. Plants and bushes in the area may have to be relocated because roots growing close to the tanks or pipes may destroy the installation. Make sure you discuss your landscaping options with the agency you choose to work with. Reflection Wastewater Treatment Solutions works closely with the client to determine the best location for the system.

4)    Septic system installation options:

The agency that conducts the land and soil evaluation should provide you with the options for types of septic systems you could install on your property. They will also be able to determine if an advanced level of treatment will be required for the wastewater on the site. Also, when considering the size of the tank, consider the possibility that you may sell the house in the future, and choose accordingly. If you decide on a small tank, a family with more members may be discouraged from buying it when you decide to sell it in the future.

5)    The cost factor:

A new septic system installation will come with a significant price tag. There a number of fees involved including engineer’s fees, permit and consent fees, inspection fees, system and installation fees, etc. Additionally, if you are replacing an old septic tank, you will also have to shell out money for its proper disposal. You should consider all the costs involved and then budget for the project accordingly.   

6)    Maintenance:

Septic systems require maintenance to be carried out periodically. Some systems require yearly maintenance. Discuss your maintenance options with the installer. You may have to pay additional for maintenance and upkeep of the installed septic system.

Reflection Wastewater Treatment Solutions offers on-going maintenance and support for customers at competitive prices. Give us a call today and we will help you decide the best wastewater treatment option for your family and property.

Wastewater Treatment Systems: Which One Will You Pick?

Wastewater Treatment Systems: Which One Will You Pick?

Wastewater solutions are a must in every home, commercial building, or public works. Not only do wastewater treatment systems help conserve water through recycling, but they also reduce the stress on freshwater systems and contribute towards sustainable development.

Wastewater is produced every time you use a toilet, wash dishes, or bathe, etc.  Industrial processes and rainwater runoff also produces wastewater. Basically, water that has already been used and cannot be reused is called wastewater. It is full of bacteria and harmful toxins that need to be eliminated through special processes. Wastewater treatment systems remove pollutants, microbes, and toxins, and make wastewater safe. It can then be released back into the environment. A good wastewater treatment system efficiently recycles wastewater, producing pure water that can be safely used. These systems can either be biological or chemical (also known as physical) based. 

Types of Reflection (RWTS) Systems:

Reflections Wastewater Treatment Solutions or RWTS has over 20 years of experience manufacturing, installing and maintaining water treatment systems. Our team of experts accesses your needs and helps you identify the right system. We offer two types of treatment systems: Recirculating Textile Filter (RTF) and Intermittent Sand Filter (ISF). This new generation of onsite wastewater systems is suited for homes, commercial buildings of all sizes, or any other facility looking for wastewater solutions. 

The Recirculating Textile Filter (RTF): How it works

The RTF system mainly uses biological processes to treat wastewater. This process involves two stages, primary treatment, and secondary advanced treatment.

In the primary stage, all household wastewater flows to a large chamber through a single drain. The solid particles settle in the chamber allowing naturally occurring bacteria to break them down through anaerobic digestion. Lighter particles and fats float on the surface while the heavier particles sink to the bottom of the chamber. An effluent filter holds back the solid particles while allowing the liquid wastewater to pass through to the recirculation chamber at the bottom of the RTF unit.

Advanced Secondary Treatment: Classified as a Pack Bed Reactor Treatment plant, this unit is miles ahead of the other available systems in the market which only offers treatment till the secondary treatment level. It was specially designed for keeping sensitive environments in mind. It does away with mechanical aerators, diffusers, and blowers which other commercially available systems rely on. Instead, it uses completely natural ways to oxygenate the effluent. The textile media contains air that supplies oxygen to the bacteria living on the textile surface. At periodic intervals, a specific quantity of wastewater from the recirculation chamber is sprayed on the textile bed. As the effluent trickles down, through the bed, the thriving bacteria colony attached to the textile media feeds on the organic material in the effluent. The bacteria keep working on the effluent until it is clean. The treated effluent then drops into the pump chambers below the textile bed. 80% falls back in the recirculation chamber where it mixes with incoming sewage and restarts the process of sending wastewater back to the top of the textile bed. The remaining 20% is collected in the treated effluent chamber; it can be pumped for irrigation, gardening, etc.

Intermittent Sand Filter or ISF: How it works

The first few steps during the primary stage of the ISF wastewater treatment system are similar to that of RTF systems. Wastewater is sent to a settling chamber or a septic tank. Naturally occurring bacteria breaks down solid particles while fats and lighter particles float above. The liquid wastewater passes through an effluent filter, and solid material remains behind. At this stage, the wastewater is reduced by almost 50 percent which is then pumped into a buried ISF unit. 

In the Advanced secondary treatment stage, the ISF unit ‘polishes’ the effluent using natural processes and the latest sand grading technology. The wastewater, pumped from the primary unit, slowly percolates down the layers of crushed rock (scoria) and sand. Biological processes, similar to the ones that occur during soil treatment of wastewater, help remove harmful pathogens and microbes. Clean and treated water is then collected at the base of the IFS unit where it is available for use. This water can safely be used without more treatments like the addition of chlorine or ozone treatment for irrigation.

The final product, the treated water, has very few suspended solids and fecal coliforms, and low biological oxygen demand. For both the systems, the treated water can be used for irrigation via a pressure compensated irrigation line buried in the topsoil or mulch.

Advantages of installing a Reflection Wastewater Treatment Solutions System:

  1. The long-term benefits of installing an RWTS unit far outweigh the initial set-up cost.
  2. Out of sight, out of mind: The water treatment unit works quietly, so much so that you won’t even know it’s there. This is possible because it does not have a noisy blower or an activated sludge pump. Also, it is completely odor-free. It takes up little space and is simple to operate and easy to maintain.
  3. Save money: It is one of the most cost-effective systems available in the market today. By replacing expensive parts like blowers and activated sludge pumps with the more advanced Pack Bed Reactor, RWTS systems help save on daily running costs and maintenance. For an average-sized home, the power cost per day averages to about 20 cents – less than half the price you would pay for a more traditional aerator system.
  4. Environmentally friendly: The unobtrusive looking system consumes less power and safely recycles wastewater into clean water which can be used for irrigation, etc. Not only is the unit eco-friendly, but it also helps support the sustainability of natural resources.
  5. Peace of mind: All RWTS units are easy and simple to maintain. Systems installed by us are covered under a warranty so you can relax and leave the work to us.

If you still have questions regarding our state of art systems, you can always contact us here. Our expert team will guide and help you pick the right system for your needs. 

Wastewater Management Systems: How they work

Wastewater Management Systems: How they work

Water that has already been used and is no longer fit to be used again is called wastewater and Wastewater Management Systems help us purify the wastewater. Daily human activities like brushing, bathing, using the toilet, cooking, cleaning, etc. produce wastewater. Industries using water for their processes also produce wastewater. No matter what the source is, it is important to treat wastewater before releasing it into the water bodies. Wastewater management is the process by which water that is no longer usable is treated to remove toxins, bacteria, particulates, etc., making it safe to be released into the environment.

Wastewater usually contains 99.9 percent water by weight and 0.1 percent waste that needs to be removed. The waste is usually dominated by organic matter, germs (even dangerous pathogens), particulates and dissolved solids, chemicals like ammonia and nitrate, and, of course, it has a bad odour. If left untreated, wastewater will find its way back to the surface or to the water bodies and will get back into circulation. This, in turn, can pose a serious health risk for the general population.

There are two main methods of treating wastewater: chemical or physical, and biological processes. Biological plants use certain bacteria to treat waste, whereas chemical plants use physical processes and chemicals to eliminate contaminants.

How do wastewater systems work?

Improvement in technology has allowed wastewater management systems to evolve and advance. Today, many companies, like Reflections Wastewater Systems, offer state-of-the-art systems to suit every need. Here is a brief explanation of how wastewater is treated:

Pre-treatment:

In the first stage, wastewater enters the treatment chamber where it flows through a screen. In this ‘pre-treatment’ phase, all large solid items like bottles, plastics, branches, etc. are removed. Next, it is sent to the grit chamber where smaller particles like sand, glass, small stones, etc. settle to the bottom. At this stage, some treatment plants skim grease and other oils from the surface of the water by turning them into froth using air blowers.

Primary Wastewater Treatment:

At this point, wastewater still contains organic and inorganic matter along with some solids. The pre-treated wastewater is sent to a number of basins and tanks for further clarification. This separates the contaminants from water, allowing them to settle at the bottom of the tank as ‘sludge’. This ‘sludge’ is processed further in a ‘digester’. At this point, about half of solid waste, organic matter and germs are eliminated. Oils and grease will also be removed now if they haven’t already been removed. Some systems will have no further stages, and the water will be treated with chlorine to kill bacteria and odour and discharged. The solids will be removed and dumped in a landfill.

Secondary Wastewater Treatment:

Water is moved to an aerated tank where plants and beneficial microorganisms are added to break down the organic compounds in the sludge. This happens over several hours. This activated sludge is used again to treat fresh sludge in the aeration tank, or it is sent to another tank where it is disinfected which kills any remaining pathogenic bacteria.

Tertiary Wastewater Treatment:

In some systems, this is the final stage where treated water is sent to yet another tank where more sludge settles at the bottom of the tank. Nitrates and phosphates are removed from the water; it is disinfected with chlorine and sent back into circulation. The resulting solid ‘sludge’ from this stage is treated to be used as fertilizer or to produce methane that can power the plant.

Of course, wastewater management systems could use many more processes than these three, but the basics of treating the water remain the same.

What is Wastewater Management and why is it needed?

What is Wastewater Management and why is it needed?

Around 71 percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water, yet, only 2.5 percent of this is available as freshwater. Of this, only 0.007 percent is available for human consumption. The amount of freshwater has remained approximately the same through the centuries, but as the human population exploded, the number of people depending on this finite resource has also grown. This has caused a severe water crisis in many parts of the world.

Of course, water is an absolute necessity for life, which makes it even more important to conserve this precious resource. One way to manage water resources is through wastewater management.

What is wastewater management?

Very simply put, wastewater management is the process by which wastewater, which has been used and cannot be utilised further, is released back into the environment after it is treated. Bathing, using the toilet, rainwater runoff, industrial processes, etc. produce a lot of wastewater. At this stage, it is brimming with bacteria, chemicals, and other toxic pollutants. The aim of wastewater management is to treat this water to eliminate all harmful toxins and germs and make it safe to be released back into the environment.

Wastewater management systems can either use chemical or biological treatment plants. Chemical waste management plants use chemical or physical processes to treat wastewater, whereas biological treatment plans employ bacteria to do this task. While most households use biological systems, industries usually rely on chemical or physical systems to treat their wastewater.

Why is wastewater management important?

There is limited freshwater available for use by humans. While water scarcity is not an immediate issue in most developed countries, many developing nations are facing a shortage of potable water. New Zealand’s water resources are not in immediate danger; however, making it available in the right place at the right time is a challenge. A recent report by New Zealand’s Ministry of Environment stated that human activity is “significantly” affecting the quality and quantity of freshwater in the country. Water shortage might be an abstract concept for most right now, but it is a reality many places around the world, including California in the United States of America, are facing at the moment. Here are a few reasons why wastewater management is important:

1)    Water conservation in homes:

We use a lot of water on a daily basis. Our daily activities like bathing, brushing teeth, washing clothes and dishes, etc. produce a lot of wastewater. This water has to be properly treated before it is let back into the water bodies. If it is released untreated, it could contaminate fresh water sources and disrupt ecosystems.   

2)    Sustainable development:

Freshwater resources will face increased stress in the future as the world population continues to grow. In fact, a UN report has revealed that the world will only have 60 percent of its total water needs by 2030. Therefore, it has become crucial that water is recycled wherever and whenever possible. The recycled water should not pose a threat to public health hence wastewater management is essential to ensure sustainable development.

3)    Reduced stress on freshwater bodies: 

Less than 1 percent of water is available as fresh water, and our resources are already stressed with the present demand. This means every drop of water is precious and we cannot afford to waste it. By properly treating wastewater that is generated by homes and industries, we can contribute towards reducing complete dependency on freshwater resources. 

We need to be more mindful of how we use water and in our approach to conserving it. Water conservation and management efforts need to be doubled, with each person taking responsibility for this resource in their vicinity. Wastewater management is one of the ways we can ensure we are taking care and unburdening our water resources.

PEACE OF MIND. PURITY. ECONOMY.
With more than 3000 wastewater systems treating in excess of 2.5 million litres of wastewater every day throughout the region, our track record speaks for itself.

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Easy Wastewater Filter Maintenance

Easy Wastewater Filter Maintenance

Many people forget about Wastewater Filter Maintenance. Your ‘outlet filter’ is located on the outlet of the septic tank and is there to prevent the transfer of solid material into the secondary treatment system or irrigation system if you have a primary treatment system. This would create significant problems with not only the pumps but also clogging the secondary treatment or irrigation lines.

Depending on your habits, use of the system and if you have an infestation of “septic tank” moths the outlet filter might need to be cleaned out as often as once a month to maintain a free flow through the septic tank.

Here are a few steps to enable you to clean the filter yourself between routine scheduled maintenance by our maintenance team.

  • r Step One: Remove the 150mm cap on the outlet side of your septic tank.
  • Step Two: Either wear disposal gloves or ensure that you maintain good hygiene (thoroughly clean your hands after), turn the filter anti-clockwise and pull the filter up by the handle out of the casing.
  • Step Three: Hold the filter away from you and anyone else and use a hose to spray it down. It would be good if you can do this in a location that is not walked or played on by you, your family or pets (ie. back of the house, in the garden, digging a hole in the lawn etc.). Wash the filter until you see no more waste on it. Try not to spray near or towards people to prevent waste from landing on them.
  • Step Four: Once the filter is clean, insert it back into the casing, turn clockwise to lock in place, and replace the lid. Ensure that the white section of the filter is facing the outlet otherwise no water will exit the septic tank and cause a backlog.

If you have any questions regarding Wastewater Filter Maintenance or a septic tank and wastewater treatment service,  then don’t hesitate to ask us. Or next time we complete your scheduled service we can show you how to do it. You will need to make an appointment so that we can arrange a suitable time to see you.

Maintaining Your Outlet Filter

Maintaining Your Outlet Filter

The outlet filter is located on the outlet of the septic tank and is there to prevent the transfer of solid material into the secondary treatment system or irrigation system if you have a primary treatment system. This would create significant problems with not only the pumps but also clogging the secondary treatment or irrigation lines.

Depending on your habits, use of the system and if you have an infestation of “septic tank” moths the outlet filter might need to be cleaned out as often as once a month to maintain a free flow through the septic tank.

Here are a few steps to enable you to clean the filter yourself between routine scheduled maintenance by our maintenance team.

  1. Remove the 150mm cap on the outlet side of your septic tank.
  2.  Either wear disposal gloves or ensure that you maintain good hygiene (thoroughly clean your hands after), turn the filter anti-clockwise and pull the filter up by the handle out of the casing.Hold the filter away from you and anyone else and use a hose to spray it down. It would be good if you can do this in a location that is not walked or played on by you, your family or pets (ie. back of the house, in the garden, digging a hole in the lawn etc.). Wash the filter until you see no more waste on it. Try not to spray near or towards people to prevent waste from landing on them.
  3. Once the filter is clean, insert it back into the casing, turn clockwise to lock in place, and replace the lid. Ensure that the white section of the filter is facing the outlet otherwise no water will exit the septic tank and cause a backlog.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Or, next time we complete your scheduled service we can show you how to do it. You will need to make an appointment so that we can arrange a suitable time to see you.

Prior to your New Build

As the cost of living keeps rising, people are looking at ways to save money whilst constructing their new home. A way to do this is to live on site in a portable unit, caravan etc. If you don’t have reticulated wastewater then you will need to allow for some form of treatment to the wastewater before it is disposed of onto the land.

The question we have been asked increasingly is – can the wastewater system be installed and used before the house is constructed? In short, yes, but it will still need a building consent to be constructed. There are a few options here:

  1. Get the consent for your new house sorted, install the wastewater component first, and then continue your house construction at your own pace.
  2. Obtain minor drainage consent for the wastewater treatment plant, and then get on with the planning and consents for your new house
  3. Not have treatment, and risk issues with the Council, Public Health officers, your health and your neighbours health and good relations too.

What you will need to be careful of is that the system is designed to be able to take the wastewater flows from the new house you will be constructing. If you want more information on system sizing to refer to the blog entitled “On-Site Wastewater System Sizing”.

On Site Wastewater System Sizing

On Site Wastewater System Sizing

A common misconception is that the size of a house or number of bathrooms is what dictates the size of an on-site wastewater system. The other one is that “It will only be the two of us living here, so why does the system have to be so big?”

Septic systems have to be able to handle the likely occupancy at any time in its life. For example, if you sell the house to some who occupies every room possible.

Therefore the size of the wastewater system for residential homes is based solely on the number of bedrooms or rooms that could be used as bedrooms (such as a study, media or rumpus rooms) there is in a house. The guidelines that council requires we use stipulates the possible occupancy based on bedroom numbers:

   Number of Bedrooms.   Occupancy for Design Purposes.
   1   2
   2   4
   3   5
   4   6
   5   8
   6   9

The reason that council is strict with this rule is that it needs to be sure that the possible wastewater flows from a dwelling will be able to be treated, thus avoiding any public health or environmental risks of an overloaded wastewater system.

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