Why should I spend the money on reuse water? Won’t the government provide enough water with dams, desalination plants, or major community based recycling plants?
New dams are off the agenda for environmental reasons and the focus has shifted towards water conservation, recycling and desalination.
Desalination plants, when adopted, will provide relief in limited areas for potable water and will be very costly. Desalination plants are a crisis solution for potable water only available for drinking, showering, or washing not for irrigation, car washing, paths or toilet flushing.
Why not just install a rain water tank?
In most areas of Australia the rainfall is low and inconsistent to enable this to be the solution. If you want 400 litres a day a 5000 litre tank, even if full, will only last for 15 days. The BioCell water treatment system will treat up to 800 litres per day to have reuse water available on demand every day that water is being used inside the house to feed the system, even during drought times.
Can the system fail if a strong cleaner is used to clean the bathroom?
The BioCell system is designed to handle significant loads of detergents and other cleaning agents because it is diluted further when it goes into the buffer tank. All clients are presented with a manual explaining what should not be put down the drain, such as caustic , solvent, pesticides, or oil products.
What about nappies, will the system handle these?
The fecal matter is digested in the filter and any residual ecoli forms are eliminated by the UV treatment process.
Can the system be scaled up for larger houses, units, or even shared developments for cluster housing?
The system is modular and can be scaled to suit any application and since January 2008, has the approval of QLD State Government for use in commercial buildings.
What happens to the filter if the house is vacant for a while and no greywater is being added?
The system has been found to continue to function well without any flow for periods up to 2 months. We recommend that the reuse tank remains full prior to departure and the system will continue functioning as the overflow from the reuse tank overflows back to the buffer tank to feed through the filter again.
A minor service is done every 4 months and takes about an hour. All mechanical components are checked to make sure that they are working, as well as a check of the cell biology. A brief check of the irrigation is also done to make sure that there is no pooling of water to attract insects and a check for leaks in any pipes of the system.
A major service is performed every 12 months and takes about 2 hours to complete. The cells are replaced with new ones and the globe in the UV light is also replaced. The 2 tanks are pumped out to sewer and pressure cleaned and all mechanical components are checked as well. All of this work is explained in our annual service agreement in the customer manual supplied at time of installation.
Can the system be installed in the ground?
BioCell have decided on above ground installation for the cell box in order to prevent any catastrophic failure of the pumps that could flood the cells. However, the 2 tanks can be placed in the ground for ease of cleaning and for the aesthetic look of the system. On most occasions the tank lids are not visible usually being hidden in the garden or under a pathway with a removable slab to conceal the tanks.
How noisy are the pumps?
The two pumps required in the tanks are submersible and are inaudible in most installations.
Is the system childproof to make sure that my children are not in danger of drinking the water or gaining access to the tanks?
The lids of the tank are secured with locking bolts and the filter box is padlocked with entry only permitted by authorized service technicians. The lilac outside tap has a removable key that can be removed when not in use prohibiting any use of the water.
Is the water quality safe to use on my garden and in the toilet without causing health problems for my family?
The reuse water can be used safely on your garden and lawn. The water quality has been tested on many occasions by health departments and has been approved by the QLD State Government for this use. If used responsibly the water poses no health problems for your family. Care should be taken to abide by local council regulations and contain all water within your property.
What happens to the treated water that is not used?
When the reuse tank is full the excess water overflows back into the buffer storage tank and will be treated again. If the buffer tank is full then any excess overflows to the sewer. Our suggestion to clients is to make sure that you manage your water carefully for maximum reuse.
The system sounds complicated, what do I have to do to make sure that I do not have any problems with my system?
The BioCell greywater treatment system is designed to be user friendly and requires no intervention from the user. The only responsibility that the user has is to make sure that power supply is delivered to the system. Furthermore, you will receive an owners manual when the system is installed outlining the products to avoid putting down your drains for example excessive solvents, toxic, or oil based products and heavy doses of bathroom cleaning agents.
Anyone requiring high quality reuse water produced from their own waste water must accept these terms and conditions outlined in your manual. If you find these terms and conditions unacceptable then the need to dispose of your toxic wastes precludes you from any wastewater treatment and resuse system.
How can I make sure that the correct plumbing is done when I start to build my new home?
BioCell service agents are available to help you with any concerns that you may have with reuse water and will assist your builder with the necessary council requirements at the time of your development application. Plans will be made available to assist on-site plumbers to direct the necessary plumbing diversion at the early building stage. Your building advisor will liase with BioCell to make sure that every detail is covered to complete the installation.