It may be strange to see a webpage about Toilet fluid on an Electronics Specialists webpage, but my awareness of what a huge problem our toilet use can create has been brought to my personal attention recently.

We have applied for planning permission to self build a dwelling in a rural location where there is no mains drainage. As part of the process we have had to go into great detail on exactly what our 'sewage' options are, as from 2017 no new builds are allowed to use a Septic tank. New builds must install a much cleaner sewerage processing solution where the water quality going into the ground is 'almost pure' and Pathogen free. Additionally most will need to output the 'cleaned' water into a high spec 'Drainage Field', an ordinary Soakaway is no longer adequate

Unlike a Septic tank, which only partially processes the stuff, expelling almost raw effluent a lot of the time, a fully package system has to produce expelled liquid to much more rigid standards of 'cleanliness'. 
98.6% pure water is claimed for the Vortex range of Packaged Sewerage systems.  

From 2020 many existing Septic Tank users in England will need to convert to a cleaner solution, like a fully packaged sewerage solution. See here for more detail :

A Cesspit, properly maintained will still be allowed, but maintenance and regular emptying must be carryed out.

As a result of the above I have spent a lot of time designing a solution that is clean, enviro friendly, authority approved, and above all safe for my two youngsters to be around. I don't want effluent puddling on our plot!!

In order to be able to design a good solution I had to investigate the issues, the items available on the market. Even examine the ultra 'Green' solutions like Willow and Reed beds, their advantages and issues.

A fully packaged solution capable of handling the needs of 6 persons will cost us close on £4,000.

ALL of the solutions become overloaded, or even completely ineffective, if chemicals are used in any quantities.

Grey Waste water from baths, clothes washing, Dishwasher, etc does not need to be processed with the Toilet Black waste, but can go into a soakaway. 

The plot of land for our proposed dwelling is near a Caravan Touring park and conversations with them about the solutions they have adopted for what must be a '900 plus' person solution revealed some potentially serious issues for the environment.

Apparently many sites put Grey waste water straight into the environment via a soakaway or water course, as they are legally allowed to do.

We heard of a Motorhome owner recently that empted their 130 litre 'Black' toilet waste down a Caravan site Grey waste manhole designed for Kitchen, shower, etc water. Obviously any toilet waste may run into a water course without being processed.
These Motorhome 'Black' tanks are becoming more common for storing Toilet waste, with some as big as 130litres. They are emptied in the same way the Motorhome Grey tank is emptied, but obviously must only go into a specific Black Waste manhole.

Even if the camp sites have a Septic Tank, which isn't going to deliver clean water into the water ways at the best of times, then a Motorhome/Caravan Toilet containing the usual 'high chemical' Blue Fluid with Formaldehyde in their Thetford is a potential disaster as it will stop the Septic from functioning at all. Likewise these fluids will also stop a Packaged sewerage unit working properly, potentially leading to Water course contamination. 

As many Caravan Touring sites are in isolated places, most likely without mains sewerage, the problem nationally becomes enormous and maybe helps explain why Water course pollution incidents in rural areas are on the increase. 

What can we do?
Elsan have an Organic toilet fluid that helps the environment in two ways and saves you hassle as the same fluid can be used in both the Flush rinse tank and the toilet bottom tank. It is claimed to actually break down and 'disolve the solids' while in the toilet, making it easier to empty and clean. It doesn't have that 'pungent chemical' smell that my old Blue fluid used to have. 
It is claimed to stop the build up of 'Black Mould' in the Flush tank as well. 

The organic fluid is actually cheaper, £9 for 2 litres, and doesn't contain Formaldehyde, which has known lasting effects on the environment, 
Nor does it kill the essential friendly bacteria in sewarage processing systems so is safe for Septic Tanks, fully packaged sewerage systems and the Water authorities sewerage processing plants, see here for a supplier of Elsan Organic :

Even mains sewerage waste has to be processed somehow so you can be sure that if the chemicals we put in make it more difficult/expensive to process, that cost will be passed on to us. 
Or maybe more raw sewerage will end up in the environment?

Switching to non-formaldehyde Elsan Organic fluid won't cost the Earth.

If we get planning pemission, we will be living in a Caravan on site from very early on, for obvious reasons.
Probably well before we have sewerage faciliities available.

I have spent lots of time trying to solve this issue with everything from Waterless composting toilets to vertical Reed beds being considered. 

The more you study the problem of how we deal with our waste, the more you realise what an issue it is.

For those interested in our solution :- 
If you are one of those that needs to update your sewerage solution by 2020, or sooner should you sell the house, you may be interested in what we have done?

Our planning application includes an intention to separate our Black waste (Toilets and Kitchen sink) which will go into Black underground pipes to the Packaged Vortex 4 sewerage plant. 
Grey waste water from showers, Dishwasher, Washing machine, etc is fed into Grey pipework. The two different colours will help identify the waste when it gets to the other side of the plot for processing. 

The Black waste will be fed into a Vortex 4 total sewerage processing system. Because it won't have large volumes of Shower/bath water entering the chamber, the system should have the time to break the matter down completely. The 98.9% clean water will then feed into a Septic tank for secondary processing.

The Grey waste water from the wash hand basins will be used to flush the Toilets, the rest will go directly into the secondary septic tank. This Grey waste will help to dilute the 98.9% pure Packaged water now in the 'second processor' Septic Tank as well as provide additional bacteria to break it down further.

The outlet from the Septic Tank will then feed almost pure water into a small Reed bed where third stage processing will take place to deliver 100% purification.

Outflow from the Reed bed will supply an ornamental pond where the quality of the wildlife should be an indicator to how well it is all working. 
A much higher standard of treatment than the minimum, but I suspect the standards will tighten again in the future, so hopefully this will also future proof the system and give an allowance for extra capacity if the building is extended later.

New builds these days require exceptional environmental steps to be taken, from high qualty Wall insulation to Water management, so unless you go that extra mile, you risk not obtaining permission. 

Rain Water capture will also take place with the filtered rain water being used for Car Washing and 'Utility room Water' for the Dish washer, washing machine, etc.

Those who know us, won't be surprised to hear there are no plans for Solar!!

Details here on new rules :