Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Older septic tanks are designed to simply hold waste. After a period of time, solid matter needs to be pumped out of the tank and removed - a hassle that is no longer an issue with the creation of a far superior system that utilises worms and natural filtering systems to break down solid waste on site, without odour or the need for power.  

That system is the result of more than a decade of research and development; the outcome - the NaturalFlow™ wastewater system.

“Nature is one huge recycling mechanism. The NaturalFlow™ system utilises these recycling mechanisms of nature by harnessing forces that have been quietly working together for thousands of years to break down and decompose waste all around us, and positions them in an enclosed ecosystem module that simulates the natural forest floor. It will treat and break down your wastewater – just as nature does – and then reintroduce it into the environment when it is perfectly safe to do so,” Natural Flow’s Gerald Hoyle says.

 

“One of the oldest and most basic approaches to treating sewage and wastewater is the classic septic tank. In this traditional system, all your sewage and wastewater goes into one tank for separation. The solids then sink and settle to the bottom forming sludge and the lighter oils float to the top to form a scum layer, a process that the industry allows 24 hours to fully accomplish. The middle layer then contains the liquid component with moving solids, that is now disposed of out to the soakage field,” Gerald says.

 

“The issues we experience with this approach are the solids and scum layers build up in the tank over time and the middle layer becomes narrower, so the passage of wastewater through the tank is faster and the separation process is not fully completed. Solids can then get pushed out to your soakage field, resulting in the foul odours that septic tanks are famous for. 

 

“The same thing happens when there’s a sudden influx (or shock loading) of sewage and wastewater into your tank and again, the solids do not have time to separate and settle, resulting in solid matter (carry-over) passing through the tank and into the surrounding environment. This can cause ‘clogging’ or ‘creeping failure’ which can cause pooling and can result in contamination, harmful to both humans and animals.”

 

 

The NaturalFlow™ system works differently, firstly separating black and grey water at the source, Gerald says. “Our system begins at the house where the plumbing is manipulated to separate black water (that from toilets and sinks) and grey water (that from all other sources including showers, basins and taps).”

“Black water, which includes solid matter, is sent into the first chamber which is known as the Wormorator™. In this area, there are layers of natural bark media that catch the solid components. These are then broken down by worms and turned into liquid nutrients - an entirely natural process that does not require mechanical or human intervention to occur,” Gerald says.

 

The NaturalFlow™ system removes the need for regular maintenance and clearing by separating solid matter in the first chamber or module of the system and allowing it to be broken down in situ by natural composting processes.

 

Grey water is diverted straight to the next chamber, which is connected to the first, where it is filtered and then sent through to irrigation lines or into soakage beds around the property. 

 

“Given that grey water has low solids but will carry soap scum that, if retained for too long, will begin to putrefy (become oxygen depleted and allow anaerobic bacteria to proliferate), retention time is important.  It has become more and more apparent through field testing and trials by many authorities, that the sooner this water is returned to the environment the less hazardous it is, and that is what this system allows - the quick and efficient, free treatment of grey (and black) water.

 

The system can also be completely customised to suit specific requirements. “Our team of wastewater engineers design every system for individual sites and requirements,” Gerald says. 

 

To install, a consent must be applied for and granted. Natural Flow’s team provides all required documentation and information to submit to the local council for consent. “NaturalFlow™ systems are suitable for all land types, including steep and sloping. Where required, the tanks can be partially below ground - this is often an option considered for particularly steep sites.”

The tank modules themselves are compact and light in weight; the first tank, the Wormorator™, is 1.8 metres wide by 1.8 metres in diameter while the second chamber is 1.3 metres in diameter by 2.1 metres high. “This makes them ideal for difficult sites and positions as only lightweight machinery is required in most cases. The system requires installation by a registered drainlayer.”

 

If you’re considering replacing a traditional septic tank or are about to embark on a rural build, make sure you visit Natural Flow on ArchiPro here to find out more.

Natural Flow

Just Who Are We? Over 40 years ‘hands-on’ experience in the Construction Industry Experience in plants/soil treatments etc Modern, dynamic and forward...

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Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks
Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Older septic tanks are designed to simply hold waste. After a period of time, solid matter needs to be pumped out of the tank and removed - a hassle that is no longer an issue with the creation of a far superior system that utilises worms and natural filtering systems to break down solid waste on site, without odour or the need for power.  

That system is the result of more than a decade of research and development; the outcome - the NaturalFlow™ wastewater system.

“Nature is one huge recycling mechanism. The NaturalFlow™ system utilises these recycling mechanisms of nature by harnessing forces that have been quietly working together for thousands of years to break down and decompose waste all around us, and positions them in an enclosed ecosystem module that simulates the natural forest floor. It will treat and break down your wastewater – just as nature does – and then reintroduce it into the environment when it is perfectly safe to do so,” Natural Flow’s Gerald Hoyle says.

 

“One of the oldest and most basic approaches to treating sewage and wastewater is the classic septic tank. In this traditional system, all your sewage and wastewater goes into one tank for separation. The solids then sink and settle to the bottom forming sludge and the lighter oils float to the top to form a scum layer, a process that the industry allows 24 hours to fully accomplish. The middle layer then contains the liquid component with moving solids, that is now disposed of out to the soakage field,” Gerald says.

 

“The issues we experience with this approach are the solids and scum layers build up in the tank over time and the middle layer becomes narrower, so the passage of wastewater through the tank is faster and the separation process is not fully completed. Solids can then get pushed out to your soakage field, resulting in the foul odours that septic tanks are famous for. 

 

“The same thing happens when there’s a sudden influx (or shock loading) of sewage and wastewater into your tank and again, the solids do not have time to separate and settle, resulting in solid matter (carry-over) passing through the tank and into the surrounding environment. This can cause ‘clogging’ or ‘creeping failure’ which can cause pooling and can result in contamination, harmful to both humans and animals.”

 

 

The NaturalFlow™ system works differently, firstly separating black and grey water at the source, Gerald says. “Our system begins at the house where the plumbing is manipulated to separate black water (that from toilets and sinks) and grey water (that from all other sources including showers, basins and taps).”

“Black water, which includes solid matter, is sent into the first chamber which is known as the Wormorator™. In this area, there are layers of natural bark media that catch the solid components. These are then broken down by worms and turned into liquid nutrients - an entirely natural process that does not require mechanical or human intervention to occur,” Gerald says.

 

The NaturalFlow™ system removes the need for regular maintenance and clearing by separating solid matter in the first chamber or module of the system and allowing it to be broken down in situ by natural composting processes.

 

Grey water is diverted straight to the next chamber, which is connected to the first, where it is filtered and then sent through to irrigation lines or into soakage beds around the property. 

 

“Given that grey water has low solids but will carry soap scum that, if retained for too long, will begin to putrefy (become oxygen depleted and allow anaerobic bacteria to proliferate), retention time is important.  It has become more and more apparent through field testing and trials by many authorities, that the sooner this water is returned to the environment the less hazardous it is, and that is what this system allows - the quick and efficient, free treatment of grey (and black) water.

 

The system can also be completely customised to suit specific requirements. “Our team of wastewater engineers design every system for individual sites and requirements,” Gerald says. 

 

To install, a consent must be applied for and granted. Natural Flow’s team provides all required documentation and information to submit to the local council for consent. “NaturalFlow™ systems are suitable for all land types, including steep and sloping. Where required, the tanks can be partially below ground - this is often an option considered for particularly steep sites.”

The tank modules themselves are compact and light in weight; the first tank, the Wormorator™, is 1.8 metres wide by 1.8 metres in diameter while the second chamber is 1.3 metres in diameter by 2.1 metres high. “This makes them ideal for difficult sites and positions as only lightweight machinery is required in most cases. The system requires installation by a registered drainlayer.”

 

If you’re considering replacing a traditional septic tank or are about to embark on a rural build, make sure you visit Natural Flow on ArchiPro here to find out more.

Natural Flow

Just Who Are We? Over 40 years ‘hands-on’ experience in the Construction Industry Experience in plants/soil treatments etc Modern, dynamic and forward...

Recommended reading
Done tagging
Full screen
Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Nature’s business: how worms are replacing septic tanks

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

Traditional septic tanks have been well and truly surpassed with a new treatment system that operates using completely natural processes with an unusual suspect at the helm: the humble worm. We spoke to Natural Flow about power-free treatment for wastewater and sewage.

Older septic tanks are designed to simply hold waste. After a period of time, solid matter needs to be pumped out of the tank and removed - a hassle that is no longer an issue with the creation of a far superior system that utilises worms and natural filtering systems to break down solid waste on site, without odour or the need for power.  

That system is the result of more than a decade of research and development; the outcome - the NaturalFlow™ wastewater system.

“Nature is one huge recycling mechanism. The NaturalFlow™ system utilises these recycling mechanisms of nature by harnessing forces that have been quietly working together for thousands of years to break down and decompose waste all around us, and positions them in an enclosed ecosystem module that simulates the natural forest floor. It will treat and break down your wastewater – just as nature does – and then reintroduce it into the environment when it is perfectly safe to do so,” Natural Flow’s Gerald Hoyle says.

 

“One of the oldest and most basic approaches to treating sewage and wastewater is the classic septic tank. In this traditional system, all your sewage and wastewater goes into one tank for separation. The solids then sink and settle to the bottom forming sludge and the lighter oils float to the top to form a scum layer, a process that the industry allows 24 hours to fully accomplish. The middle layer then contains the liquid component with moving solids, that is now disposed of out to the soakage field,” Gerald says.

 

“The issues we experience with this approach are the solids and scum layers build up in the tank over time and the middle layer becomes narrower, so the passage of wastewater through the tank is faster and the separation process is not fully completed. Solids can then get pushed out to your soakage field, resulting in the foul odours that septic tanks are famous for. 

 

“The same thing happens when there’s a sudden influx (or shock loading) of sewage and wastewater into your tank and again, the solids do not have time to separate and settle, resulting in solid matter (carry-over) passing through the tank and into the surrounding environment. This can cause ‘clogging’ or ‘creeping failure’ which can cause pooling and can result in contamination, harmful to both humans and animals.”

 

 

The NaturalFlow™ system works differently, firstly separating black and grey water at the source, Gerald says. “Our system begins at the house where the plumbing is manipulated to separate black water (that from toilets and sinks) and grey water (that from all other sources including showers, basins and taps).”

“Black water, which includes solid matter, is sent into the first chamber which is known as the Wormorator™. In this area, there are layers of natural bark media that catch the solid components. These are then broken down by worms and turned into liquid nutrients - an entirely natural process that does not require mechanical or human intervention to occur,” Gerald says.

 

The NaturalFlow™ system removes the need for regular maintenance and clearing by separating solid matter in the first chamber or module of the system and allowing it to be broken down in situ by natural composting processes.

 

Grey water is diverted straight to the next chamber, which is connected to the first, where it is filtered and then sent through to irrigation lines or into soakage beds around the property. 

 

“Given that grey water has low solids but will carry soap scum that, if retained for too long, will begin to putrefy (become oxygen depleted and allow anaerobic bacteria to proliferate), retention time is important.  It has become more and more apparent through field testing and trials by many authorities, that the sooner this water is returned to the environment the less hazardous it is, and that is what this system allows - the quick and efficient, free treatment of grey (and black) water.

 

The system can also be completely customised to suit specific requirements. “Our team of wastewater engineers design every system for individual sites and requirements,” Gerald says. 

 

To install, a consent must be applied for and granted. Natural Flow’s team provides all required documentation and information to submit to the local council for consent. “NaturalFlow™ systems are suitable for all land types, including steep and sloping. Where required, the tanks can be partially below ground - this is often an option considered for particularly steep sites.”

The tank modules themselves are compact and light in weight; the first tank, the Wormorator™, is 1.8 metres wide by 1.8 metres in diameter while the second chamber is 1.3 metres in diameter by 2.1 metres high. “This makes them ideal for difficult sites and positions as only lightweight machinery is required in most cases. The system requires installation by a registered drainlayer.”

 

If you’re considering replacing a traditional septic tank or are about to embark on a rural build, make sure you visit Natural Flow on ArchiPro here to find out more.

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