Reed Bed Septage Dewatering Pilot Project – 2006-2008

Lead Researcher: Chris Kinsley – ckinsley@uoguelph.ca
Prepared for: Ontario Ministry of Environment
Partners: René Goulet Septic Tank Pumping, Eastern Ontario Water Resources Committee

Vertical reed bed filters and sand drying bed filters are simple technologies which can be used to dewater septage. Reed Bed Filters have a further advantage that they can stabilize the solids into an odourless – pathogen free organic fertilizer similar in quality to an organic compost. Sand Bed Filters have the potential to stabilize septage solids to a quality similar to a digested sewage biosolids that is suitable for land application. Two pilot Reed Bed Filters and one pilot Sand Bed Filter are being constructed and evaluated for a two year period at the septage lagoon of Goulet Pumping in Green Valley, Ontario. Each filter will receive between 1-2 loads of septage per week (12,000-24,000 L/week).

The primary objective of this project is to comparatively evaluate the use of Reed Bed Fitlers and Sand Bed Filters as solid-liquid separation technologies for hauled septage under Ontario climatic conditions. A secondary objective is to evaluate the role of Phragmites in the phytostabilization of septage and in the maintenance of filter infiltration in Reed Bed Filter, and the effectiveness of the Sand Bed Filter to stabilize septage solids through storage, drying and sunlight.

Read more about the reed bed project here. Here is the Final Report, submitted November 2012. For a short video presentation on the project click here.