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Frequently asked questions

All the answers to your commonly questions asked to our professional.

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Construction

- Do we have to do a site survey?

Yes, a site survey is compulsory before any project.

- I have got a clay soil, is it an issue?

No, because the reed beds are not build with the on-site soil. Consequently, whatever if it’s a clay or sandy soil!


 

Project and cost

- How much space do I need for an aquatiris sanitation garden?

Reed beds requires only 10m² by filter (about 25 m² in total). Nonetheless, the percolation area will be design according to the soil capacity to infiltrate the water.


- How much an Aquatiris reed beds cost?
The cost is different between the regions, the site specification and the finishing work wanted. The reed bed alone cost on average €8,000 to €9,000.

- How much slope do I need to make it works?
It is better to have a slope of more than one meter, otherwise we will have to use a lifting pump.


- Does reed beds require a lot of maintenance?

No the reed beds doesn't require a lot of maintenance, the maintenance is kind of gardening. You need to have a look at your garden to be sure there is no inappropriate plant to grow up inside the reed beds, particularly the first year before the plants extend on the beds.

Finally, the system will build up a layer of compost on the surface and this should be removed around every 10 years, simply with a rake so you can do it yourself. This compost will be useful to flower garden.


- Do reed beds produce smell?

No, this is the main difference between a septic tank and the surface of the reed beds. The first one is deprived of oxygen and the other one is in contact with the air.

Without any oxygen in the septic tank the degradation is incomplete and there is a production of sludge and gaz. This is the same process than the fermentation.

At the opposite, the reed beds allow a total degradation with the oxygen. The degradation will produce organic maters (as humus) and steam. This is the compost process.

To sum up, in one hand there is septic tank with odors and sludge to eliminate and in the other hand there is a layer of compost odorless and useful for your flower garden.

Note that at the beginning of functioning, the reed do not colonized all the sand. The sand may retain some slightly noticeable odors. They disappear as soon as the reeds invaded the filter surface.

- And the toilet paper?.

The toilet paper is made of cellulose, made of wood. Therefore, it is degradable and with the thinness of the paper, the degradation is very fast. Furthermore, thanks to the lifting pump, the toilet paper is not visible, it grinds as the rest of the organic maters in the waste water.


Functionning

- And when it’s freezing, does it work?

Yes, in winter thanks to the continuous water input all the day long the frost is limited. Furthermore, if there is freezing it is only at the surface of the soil of the reed beds: underground, the bacterial life keep going and the microorganisms keep working. On traditional wastewater treatment system (spreading, sand filters), the same things have been seen; the topsoil that covers the installation can be freezing, but underground the microorganisms are there. There is no more inconvenience with reed beds. Finally, the aquatic plants used are plants which are naturally found in lake and which are highly frizzing resistant.

To protect the surface of the reed beds, we advise to cut the reeds at the end of winter (late February, early March) to leave a vegetal cover.

-  Is it working properly if I am not at home? (holidays, extended absence …)

Yes, Sanitation Garden was tested in various conditions and the results obtained after an absence of wastewater are excellent.


- What does it clean, plants?

No this is not the plant. The players of pollution remaining are still the microorganisms that consume different molecules in the water. The microorganisms need oxygen to stay in life. The roots of the plants are useful to create a tunnel for the oxygen. Every player has a role for cleaning the effluent. (There are micro-organisms working without oxygen (called anaerobic), and other consuming oxygen (called aerobic)).


Longevity

- Should we change the plants, life expectancy?
No, there are enough plants at the beginning and the plants regulate themselves.

- Should we change the sand?
No the sand doesn’t need to be changed contrary to other systems.


Reusing and health aspect

- Is it attracts flies and mosquitoes around?

No, without apparent water, there is no mosquitoes/midges attracted!

- Can we remove the sanitary fence?
Sanitary fence can be removed only the time of the maintenance


- Can we use reed beds as a composter?

No it is not desirable


 

My reed beds

- By keeping my septic tank, can we install a reed beds?

Indeed, there are systems with a septic tank as a pretreatment. Aquatiris system doesn’t want to use these facilities for several reasons:

First of all, for performance and durability reasons. The performance and the durability of the system is better when the effluent is directly pretreated with reed beds. Because in a septic tank, when the waste water stay anaerobic space (without oxygen) it becomes septic and more difficult to treat.

Moreover, it does not remove the major inconvenient of the traditional sanitation systems: the septic tank! The septic tank produce sludge that must be treated in collective water treatment plant. Do you know that a water treatment plant cannot deal with more than 2 vacuum trucks per day? Beyond this amount, the station is asphyxiated and heavy electricity consumption must be taken to restart the station (intensive aeration). The sludge from the tank is a big problem for the local authorities. To treat it, specific stations will be build up, perhaps near your home...

Thanks to AQUATIRIS reed beds you entirely manage your waste water and purified water is released to the ground.