Ecotechnology of wastewater treatment is introduced in Iŭje

There is an ongoing construction of the local wastewater treatment plant in Iŭje district. It will help to save on a paid service of sewage removal and maintenance. On February 9, 2018 a master class for local residents and employees of housing and communal services was held at the construction site where you could learn firsthand about the technology.

The local wastewater treatment plant which is being constructed in Lukašyna village of Iŭje district is a soil and vegetation plot. The treatment will occur due to the ponding of sewage and filtration through a sand filter. The future facility will ensure the needs of the SI “TSSON of Iŭje district” (Territorial Social Services Centre), the centre for 24 hours’ stay of the elderly and disabled citizens which now hosts around 30 people.

The building does not have a centralized sewage treatment system and the institution spends 600-660 rubles per month on the services for wastewater pumping and removal from the storage tanks. Thanks to the IPO “Ecopartnership”, Coalition Clean Baltic and Iŭje District Executive Committee the institution got an alternative. With the putting into operation of the soil and vegetation plot the Centre will be able to almost completely abandon the services of sewage cleaning machines.

“This project is very important and needed for our institution to reduce the costs of stay at the Centre, as well as to improve the ecological situation in the district”, Zhana Pankratava, the TSSON Deputy Director, noted.

Soil and vegetation plots are a fairly new type of local wastewater treatment facilities in Belarus, there are not more than 10 of them across the country. At the same time they are widely used in rural areas of Germany, Poland, Sweden where it is too expensive to equip centralized sewage treatment system. Cess pits and septic tanks are now common in Belarusian homesteads. During the operation of such treatment facilities situations may arise when they become a source of nitrate contamination of groundwater.

“The most powerful source of water pollution in Belarus is residential wastewater. The groundwater is most intensively polluted in the built-up parts of localities, in the areas of sewage treatment plants, filter fields, landfills, livestock farms and estates”, Yana Ustsinenka, the project officer of the IPO “Ecopartnership”, stressed. “Centralized water disposal systems in rural areas are a very expensive project, so it is important to learn from the European experience on construction of local wastewater treatment facilities which have less impact on the environment and more easy to use”.

Local wastewater treatment facility in Lukašyna village will consist of septic tanks, where the ponding of sewage occurs, and soil and vegetation filter for the process of cleansing and disinfection.

“Any septic tank which stands at the beginning of soil and vegetation plot must contain three cameras and a three-day supply of water, so it could work correctly. Contaminants are deposited and you have water treated up to 60%. Such prepared water is pumped on the plots, so it does not silt up and there is no smell”, Anton Gakhovich, the expert on wastewater treatment and technologies, told us.

For a more detailed description of the filter creation technology, first a pit about one meter deep and area of 3 square meters per person is dug. Waterproofing is laid on the bottom so that the treated water would flow in the right direction and would not infiltrate into the soil. The drainage pipes are placed on the waterproofing, the water from the septic tank will flow inside them. Then the tubes are covered with the layers of gravel and sand, the first layer of gravel or crushed stone should be 20 cm thick, then 40-50 cm of sand and then again 20 cm of gravel. At the end irrigation pipes from the pump are placed. To remove the incoming water the pond is usually made where marsh plants are planted. The soil and vegetation plot allows to clean wastewater at the rate of 95-99%.

Anton Hakhovich noted that for the operation of the soil and vegetation filters it is important to use environmentally friendly household cleaning products without chlorine. Then the bacteria living in the filter could operate normally and clean sewage. The lifespan of this treatment plant is not less than 20 years.

Participants of the master class were able to watch the laying of drainage pipes and waterproofing layer in Lukašyna village. In the coming days gravel and sand will be laid at the construction site, and then a test run of the soil and vegetation plot will be organized.

Construction of the soil and vegetation plot in Lukašyna village has become possible thanks to the financial support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

23 February 2018