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case studies

Bicton College of Agriculture and Bicton Park Gardens Visitor Centre, near Exeter

Down on the farm the effluent from three septic tanks, serving 30 student residences and the Visitors Centre and Cafeteria, had been discharging for many years to the head of a long ditch leading to a small tributary of the river Otter. Sewage effluents from sources of this type are stronger than normal and typically have a much higher level of ammonia. It was only a matter of time before the National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) traced the source of pollution found in the river back to this ditch.


Faced with the need to rectify the situation, the trustees chose to install a CRESS WATER SOLUTIONS’ gravity driven 3-stage combination reed-bed system combined with a pond flanked on either side by wetland areas. The pond, fitted with a three-stage Flowform to aerate and recirculate the water, coupled with the wetland areas, polishes the effluent to a consistently high quality. Designed for a total population of 145 person equivalents the system, which is capable of handling up to 750 visitors a day to the Park Gardens, provides a very satisfactory and attractive solution to a smelly problem.


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Link to: Constructed Wetlands Association -
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