Many people living in the UK use their own wastewater treatment system to purify their wastewater. If you fall under this category, why not opt for an eco-friendly sewage treatment system that would allow you to treat your wastewater in an environmentally friendly way?

With the 2020 septic tank regulations update looming, a large number of people are now looking at alternative ways to treat their domestic wastewater.

In this report we offer you an overview of the different solutions available.


What is an Eco-Friendly Sewage Treatment System?

Domestic wastewater is composed of two types of effluents:

  • Black water, from your toilets
  • Grey water, from your sinks, washbasins, showers or washing machines.

The treatment of these waters is carried out in three stages:

  • Pre-treatment
  • Actual treatment
  • Discharge


Pre-treatment is most often carried out using a septic tank.

The purpose of this step is to get rid of solid particles suspended in the water. To do this, the anaerobic bacteria (without oxygen) present in the water in the septic tank act on the solid particles and liquefy them.

For this step, it is also possible to use a grease trap, which collects the grease before the pit, if the pit is too far from the house.


The treatment stage is carried out thanks to the action of aerobic bacteria (with oxygen) which will purify the water of the remaining pollutants.

There are two types of treatment devices:

  • Traditional wastewater treatment methods: these are the means usually used to purify water
  • New treatment methods: these are new means that are beginning to become more popular in the UK

Within the new channels, a third category emerges: the so-called “eco-friendly” sectors, which we are talking about today.


After treatment, the water is discharged into the subsoil or, if this is not possible, directly into a watercourse. However, the second of these options will no longer be acceptable once the new septic tank regulations come in to law on 1st January 2020. After this date, water discharged at this stage will not be deemed purified enough to be released directly into a watercourse.

Eco-Friendly Wastewater Treatment Solutions

Eco-friendly wastewater treatment differs in two ways from traditional channels:

  • It does not require any energy input (electricity)
  • It uses natural resources

In fact, in most eco-friendly domestic wastewater treatment systems, wastewater is circulated in basins in which plants are planted that cause bacteria to multiply.

It is then these bacteria that will act on the wastewater and purify it.

There are several solutions for eco-friendly domestic wastewater treatment systems:

Planted filters

In this system, water is circulated in basins in which reeds or rushes, for example, are planted. These help the proliferation of bacteria that clean

Bamboo purification

Same principle as for a planted filter but on a larger scale. Bamboo has a high capacity to absorb pollutants present in wastewater.

Aerated lagoon

An aerated lagoon system circulates wastewater through a series of shallow, sealed basins, where bacteria purify the water.

Coco Filter

The coco filter uses industrial waste (coconut fibre) to create an environment conducive to bacterial growth. This is an interesting system that is very much eco-friendly, especially because it recycles waste!

Domestic Sewage Treatment Plant

One wastewater treatment system we have not mentioned yet is the domestic sewage treatment plant.

Domestic sewage treatment plants are an all-in-one wastewater treatment system: they handle pre-treatment, treatment and discharge with a single device.

It can be seen as an attractive solution as it takes up a relatively small amount of space. Furthermore, with the previously mentioned new septic tank regulations coming in 2020, its only going to grow in popularity in the UK.

Domestic sewage treatment plants are not strictly speaking eco-friendly devices as they need external energy to operate and bring air into the tank. That being said, their carbon impact is relatively low, and they can use plants to grow bacteria.

In fact, it may be a better solution than a completely eco-friendly system because of its ease of installation and operation.

In any case, eco-friendly sewage treatment has a future! To be sure to choose a device that suits you, get in touch with a wastewater treatment professional.