Wastewater

Sustainable water management projects

For many years water efficiency and sustainable wastewater treatment was the main focus of our work. Since shifting focus to energy efficiency we take on less wastewater projects but do continue to design solutions for existing clients or particularly interesting or challenging projects. See also the publications page which includes books and guidance on sustainable sewage treatment and water efficiency. We no longer design compost toilets but have set up NatSol Ltd to manufacture the waterless toilet we always wanted to be able to specify.

Richmond Park Public Toilets 2014 with NatSol

waterless toilets londonThe Isabella Plantation is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with high ground water and heavy clay soil where no foul discharge to ground is permitted. Waterless toilets seemed like the obvious choice but we have long held reservations about composting toilets as an appropriate technology for very high use public sites because of the need to manually remove compost. In consultation with The Royal Parks (TRP) and the design team of engineers and architects we developed a waterless system with individual tanks beneath the toilet pedestals. These are emptied by tanker three or four times a year.

Gibson Mill 2005

Gibson Mill

With Eco Arc York, for the National Trust. A former cotton mill now serving as a café and visitor centre with no connection to mains services other than telephones. The brief required all sewage to be treated on site with no export of sludge. Elemental Solutions were responsible for all aspects of water supply, efficient use and final disposal.

New Offices Architype 2006

reedbed sewage treatment Architype Hereford

A local and regular client offered the chance to try some new ideas including two types or water and chemical free urinals, a dual flush ES4 WC with odourless vented pan and a living soakaway (pictured) for the sewage effluent. Elemental Solutions also designed the energy efficient lighting with Colin Chetwood and contributed to the renovation strategy.

Dry Compost Toilets

NatSol Compost toilet

Developed originally for allotments and remote utility sites this self contained dry toilet system was developed with Andy Warren and is now manufactured and sold by NatSol Ltd. This design is the culmination of many years of experience. There are over 300 Natsol compost toilets in operation and they are spreading fast with many repeat orders. This bespoke example is by Chris Morgan, Locate Architects.

Coed y Brenin

biofilter sustainable sewage treatment

The new mountain bike centre near Dolgellau incorporates Air Flush Urinals and ES4 WCs. Sewage is treated in a modular plant that uses waste peat fibres as a bio-media. Original project 2006, extension planned 2012.

 

 

Rowardennan Visitor Centre, Loch Lomond, 2006.

Rowardennan public toilets and visitor centreA very difficult and environmentally sensitive site on the banks of Loch Lomond. Detailed site investigations and a hydrogeological study in association with RPS Consultants resulted in a simple septic tank and gravity dosed infiltration system. The design depends on attention to detail and best practice water efficiency measures to greatly reduce the effluent volume.

Innovative ‘trench arch’

St Bravels Church Trench Arch sewage system

This system was a spin-off from a 3 year R&D project which looked into sludge-free domestic sewage treatment. Raw effluent from a single WC discharges into a vermicomposting filter bed installed under the path. Here it is being viewed by John Griggs of the BRE and Mark Moodie. See NatSol website for an alternative solution.

 

Toilets at the Centre for Alternative Technology

composting toilets CAT

Dubbed ‘the most ecological public toilets in Britain’. Elemental Solutions designed and specified the WCs, rainwater system and sewage treatment for the ‘Autonomous Environmental Information Centre (AETIC) at CAT. The WCs flush with 4 litres of water and the sewage is conveyed to a sludge free worm-compost based system. The building also includes a Compus dry toilet by NatSol Ltd.