Cobrey Farm’s Bio-Bubble | has a Makeover

Posted in: Latest- Aug 06, 2021

Cobrey View

A Bio-Bubble WwTP was first installed at Cobrey Farm in 1996 when the core business for the farm was growing and processing potatoes, onions and other veg in pre-prepared form such as chipped potatoes and sliced onions.  This type of waste has high average BOD levels of 3,600 mg/l plus laden with starch.  Once the waste was treated the final effluent was pumped to the storage lagoons ready for use as irrigation water.

Twenty-five years later we have been back to Cobrey Farm to undertake a complete refurbishment of the mechanical and electrical elements of the Bio-Bubble including a redesign to marry with today’s process needs, the washing of asparagus in April, May and June along with blueberries and other Wye Valley branded products.  These crops are more reliant on human labour; with up to 900 seasonal workers accommodated on site producing a significant amount of sewage waste to be treated.


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The original Permastore tanks were used, with the raw waste passed forward to the Balance Tank from the inlet TPS tanks, which on demand three times a day is passed forward in Batches of up to 80 m3 to the large Reactor for full biological treatment.
Whilst the basic infrastructure remains unchanged, technologies have significantly moved forward as has the concepts and approach to energy usage and indeed how Cobrey Farm’s own clients review and judge their key suppliers’ Environmental credentials.
Our focus was to replace compressors and pump motors with energy efficient options, along with process management controls to use no more energy in blower run time and speed than is absolutely necessary to achieve the required final effluent quality needed for irrigation reuse, both during peak seasonal months as well as off peak times when picker numbers are down.
We manage Dissolved Oxygen levels and control the Aerzen blowers which both have variable speed drives; back in 1995 energy was cheaper and the carbon footprint of an operation was far less considered.
Another major advance in technology is the benefit of having remote access to site, using the various process management information probes fitted and a good broad band link enables us to have ‘real time’ data.   It really makes the distance from our operational base to our client’s businesses far less of a concern when we are providing process support.


ZSL Whipsnade Zoo | Installation of a second Bio-Bubble

Posted in: Archived- May 21, 2021

Sea Lions

Our association with ZSL started in 2018 having designed, installed, commissioned and operated a smaller Bio-Bubble for the Zoo’s more remote Outlook Café, this Bio-Bubble replaced an old septic tank arrangement that did not have the capacity for an expanded footfall at the Outlook Post.

The design for the current project was to replace the existing 1950’s trickling filter that served all the Zoo’s main facilities buildings which had become ‘not fit’ for purpose with an ever-increasing visitor count. Final Effluent quality improvements were required by the Environment Agency and the Zoo’s needs to reduce the consequential increase in tanker movements from site.  The new treatment plant will dramatically cut the overall nutrient levels to the local stream and lakes leading to a significant reduction in Algal blooms going forward. Wildlife associated with clean water will be able to flourish with the resulting improvements.

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To help ZSL, a charitable organization, the design is modular permitting easy expansion of the treatment capacity as the projected visitor numbers increase in the coming years.  An additional feature of this bespoke design are large storage tanks for the raw waste which will permit the ‘dumping’ of high-volume saline waste from the sea lion pool; this waste was previously emptied by tanker is now blended with waste from the toilet block and restaurant, processing it over an extended period.  Large reductions in tanker movements site wide mean operational funds can be redirected to other important ZSL work.
Just like the first Whipsnade Bio-Bubble, the plants performance will be monitored remotely by our process engineers via a broad band link as part of a Service Level Agreement, with reporting data of performance saved as part of the Environmental Management Plan to demonstrate compliance with the Zoo’s Environmental Permit conditions. Having these records to hand demonstrates private operators can manage their Permit obligations and will prove especially useful at the time of an Environment Agency audit.


Knightspur Homes | 11 Domestic Dwellings

Posted in: Archived- Apr 20, 2020

Wheatsheaf image

The site of the old Wheatsheaf Garage was acquired and developed by Knightspur homes to construct 11 new dwellings at North Waltham near Dummer.

Knightspurs’ Consulting Engineers, Aqua Callidus Consulting Ltd, specified a Bio Bubble process as its installation could be incorporated within a shared driveway, plus, with the very high quality of final effluent a deep vertical soakaway was an option, thus negating the need for a larger area of land being needed for the typical drain field method of dispersal, when no ditch or stream is available.

The Advanced Aeration process used by our Bio Bubble system is fully nitrifying, meaning that the levels of Total Nitrogen within the final effluent are renowned for being a process that can consistently achieve reductions of above 90%.

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Natural England’s push for achieving Nutrient Neutrality for all new developments considered to be within catchments feeding the Solent region has seen a demand for processes that are fully nitrifying, unlike a large proportion of the standard package treatment plants that do not reduce Total Nitrogen.
If a developer is unable to provide acceptable mitigation measures to offset a positive Nitrogen Budget for a new development the individual schemes can be held up from gaining planning approval, as a consequence until a monetary agreement is reached for the cost per Kg of Total Nitrogen a particular development will produce extra over to the previous land usage. Should a Negative Nitrogen Budget be achievable then there would be no mitigation requirement.
This position is not exclusive to the Hampshire basin; Natural England has identified other areas of concern around the country where nutrient reductions are needed. The rivers that feed the natural harbours of the Southern region being predominantly chalk fed over part of their catchment accumulates Nitrogen after of years of farming, this emerges from aquifers and leads to formation of dense mats of algae due to the excessive build-up of nutrients in the environment. Poorly treated wastewater is considered a major contributor to the overall problem.


Constructionline | Certificate of Membership 2021

Posted in: Archived- Feb 18, 2020

Constructionline Logo

Advanced Aeration have been awarded the Silver Certificate of Membership.

ConstructionLine is a Government-run scheme, which collects, assesses and monitors your standard company information. It is one of the largest pre-qualification database in the UK and one of the UK’s leading procurement and supply chain management services.

View or Download Our Constructionline Certificate

RSPCA Ashley Heath | Dorset Animal Centre

Posted in: Uncategorized- Dec 02, 2019

Dog Image Edited

RSPCA Ashley Heath was previously served by two septic tank arrangements. Apart from the relative close proximity to Moors River, the site was blighted each year (for the winter months) due to high water tables backing water up the line from the drain fields and back into the septic tanks; at which point the Centre became more reliant on tanker attendance to ease the situation and keep the centre open. Our Bio Bubble sequenced batch reactor process enabled us to pump the final effluent away from the treatment plant in order that the natural water table levels did not interfere with the drainage network, keeping space for the foul water to be collected.

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The animal rescue centre can accommodate up to 54 dogs in kennels, with a cattery that can house 84 animals and needs 12 – 15 staff to manage the site.
Most typical package treatment plants struggle with the proper treatment of dog waste but not the Bio Bubble; our experience extends to having operated for the RSPCA 14 sites across the country from the typical animal rescue centre to the larger animal hospital at RSPCA Newbrook, which provides animal welfare services to the Birmingham area.
Prior to the installation contract commencing it was necessary to get the legal formalities in place with The Environment Agency, we were tasked to act as the RSPCA’s Agent. It was necessary to apply for a variation for one of the Septic Tanks consented discharges, then, once we had completed the installation and commissioning, with diversion of all the necessary infrastructure to the single point of collection at the head of our Balance Tank, we were then required to surrender the other consented discharge. Because of the location the new bespoke permit legal numerical compliance levels were significantly tightened; septic tank waste quality tightened to BOD 10 mg/l, Suspended Solids 20 mg/l, Ammoniacal nitrates 2 mg/l. The plant recently passed an Environment Agency Audit with the EA’s Environment Officers recording zero ammonia.


Wiltshire Wildlife Trust | Langford Lakes & Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserves

Posted in: Archived- Sep 16, 2019

Langford Lake Image

Langford Lakes is a 31.6 hectare nature reserve nestled in the Wylye Valley between Salisbury and Warminster. Formally gravel pits in the 60’s and 70’s then a commercial fishery until The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust acquired the site in 2001.

Lower Moor Farm opened in 2007 and is the gateway to Clattinger Farm, Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow and Sandpool nature reserves. The reserve is a mosaic of three lakes, two brooks, ponds and wetland scrapes linked together by boardwalks, ancient hedges, woodland and meadows. The lakes were created by gravel extraction in the 1970s.

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When choosing a waste water treatment process to service the newly refurbished education centre at Langford Lakes it was particularly important to Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to install a fully nitrifying plant renown for the highest reductions of typical nutrients found within sewage waste. Near zero Ammoniacal nitrates and low total nitrogen & total Phosphates are clearly desirable with daily discharges of the final effluent to the lakes.
We are very pleased to support the Trust by way of providing a value for money service plus monitoring the plants, therefore freeing the staff and volunteers up to carry out their prime objectives.


Environmentally Sensitive 35 House Development | Ashford Hill

Posted in: Archived- Feb 22, 2019

Charles Church Site Picture

Ashford Hill near Thatcham is not served by foul mains drains adequate enough to process the waste water from 35 new houses, connection to Thames Water was fully investigated and costed via a section 98 requisition application which provided a 7 figure sum that made the development costs nearly £50,000 per plot for foul waste treatment alone.

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Initially the developer Persimmon Homes appointed Advanced Aeration Ltd to act as Agent with the task of gaining an Environmental Permit to discharge biologically treated sewage into the local brook. The Environment Agency has a duty to determine the likely impact on receiving waters which necessitated us providing detailed annual flows expected within the Brook as historically and at the time of testing zero flows were experienced, meaning at certain times of the year little or no dilution of the final effluent from the site could be expected, this was naturally a concern to local residents who over time had historically experienced problems related to other local sewage treatment plants. It therefore took around a year to fully satisfy the Environment Agency that Bio-Bubble did indeed represent an environmentally sustainable solution.

The Discharge was permitted to Baughurst Brook, a small water course that can dry up at certain times in the year. The determination outcome was a numerical standard with absolute maximum levels for BOD of 15mg/l, Suspended solids of 30 mg/l and ammonia of 5mg/l; safe to say one needs the plant to perform far higher than those levels to have a sufficient buffer within the legal compliance requirement, the Baughurst Brook passes through a SSSI so it was very important to mitigate the risks of plant / equipment and indeed process failure.

Process monitoring and plant management are key and similar to many of our client’s sites we have a monitoring package to be forewarned of pending issues. For a development such as this we use a 4G network connection to keep a close watch on day to day functionality, trending flows and loads, effluent clarity and sludge production. The process comprises of Biological screening, primary tank mixing, full biological treatment and attenuation of final effluent.

Bio-Bubbles renowned ability to digest organic loads leads to a lower carbon footprint, significantly reducing the need for regular tanker visits to site to cart primary sludge’s away, thereby keeping tanker traffic on small local village roads to the minimum.

Blaze Construction, a Persimmon Homes civils partner were appointed to carry out the related groundwork’s for the installation of the Bio-Bubble STP.


Kingston Country Courtyard | Dorset Wedding Venue

Posted in: Archived- Jun 12, 2018

KCC wedding venue

Kingston Country Courtyards design specialist weddings to meet their client’s needs, the venue is within a tastefully renovated 16th century Purbeck stone barn located south of the famous Corfe Castle ruins.

The venue can cater for 130 seated guests at a reception with room for 175 attending the evening do and has 26 double rooms for the wedding party to stay.

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Most venues can hold two or three weddings a week during the peak season producing a lot of waste water on the day of the event, the Bio-Bubble being a Sequenced Batch Reactor can flatten out those daily peaks and troughs over the whole week matching the amount of treatment to the amount of waste produced, thus only using the energy needed rather than running 24 / 7 regardless. At quieter times of the year when it may only be the bed and breakfast accommodation in use the plant will adjust to this; indeed in low season the system can select Sleep mode on days when little or no waste is produced, lying ready and available to perform when the waste arrives. Once treated the waste keeps the old ponds topped up before leaving site to make its way down to the Corfe River.
The Bio-Bubble system does not only process the liquid like many package treatment options available; therefore primary sludge’s are not separated and stored for removal by tanker so one need not worry about odours leaving a septic primary tank and lingering locally.
The drainage and civil works for this project were undertaken by Jerry Lloyd of local waste water treatment firm Drainage 2000 Ltd.


ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s | Base Camp Restaurant

Posted in: Archived- Mar 16, 2018

Elephant train image_edited-1

Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.

ZSL have a program of investment to improve the visitor experience at their 600 acre Whipsnade zoo site. The Bio-Bubble has been installed to treat the waste from the Base Camp Restaurant formerly known as the Lookout Cafe prior to refurbishment and opposite the Zoo’s incredible white rhinos, this newest eatery opened in partnership with celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Using the best quality, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, River Cottage’s commitment to quality, sustainably sourced ingredients and materials makes it the perfect eco-conscious eatery for Whipsnade and aligns perfectly with ZSL’s wider work.  Equally the Environmentally friendly Bio-Bubble Advance Aeration process further links with ZSL’s ecological credentials.

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The Bio-Bubble biologically processes the waste from 500 covers per day along with waste from triangle wood toilet and shower facilities; the Sequenced Batch Reactor process is well known for effectively operating with feast and famine conditions typically experienced with an open air public attraction whose visitor numbers fluctuate dramatically in line with prevailing weather conditions.
We will help support Zoo staff with the day to day running of the plant, checking performance from trends of key parameters relayed back to us via the 4G broadband link;  one advantage of doing this is that actual usage can be recorded monthly, once the profile of yearly flows and loads is graphed we can look to use any spare treatment capacity within the waste water treatment plant for processing one off drop off loads from other animal waste storage points located around the site, a further attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of the Zoo by cutting the annual number of tankers leaving site with waste.  This type of waste attracts a high premium from tanker operators and therefore it follows that more of the funds can be retained for providing for the animals.



Off The Line | Vineyard & Winery

Posted in: Archived- Dec 14, 2017


Off The Line Vineyard is an up and coming independent producer, owners Kristina Studzinski and Ann-Marie Tynen brought their first vintage to market at the UK wine awards to be awarded a silver medal for their Hip Rose; not a bad start!

Located at Hellingley, Off the Line is a small vineyard with mostly south facing slopes in one of the sunniest areas of England, the East Sussex Weald.

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Kristina and Ann-Marie have completed the building of their new winery to enable them to fulfill their dream of producing fine quality wines at Off the Line Vineyard. During the design phase of the new winery, Kristina, whose former career was a government lawyer was quick to recognise that winery waste was classed as industrial waste by the Environment Agency, and as such would require an Environmental Permit to allow biological treatment of the waste and discharge of the final effluent on site.  Being 2 km away from the water company mains network and no guarantee (even if the waste could be routed to this point) that the small village works could take slugs of very strong effluent during harvest; and having determined that in the long term on site storage of the waste for removal by tanker was going to be costly, along with not being Environmentally friendly when one considers the carbon footprint left by a tanker operating, the method of choice for dealing with the waste was full biological treatment.  The Bio-Bubble sequenced batch reactor process is well placed to deal with strong difficult wastes; as a consequence we were approached by Kristina to produce a strategy with detailed design to deal with the waste once we had gained an Environmental Permit to discharge to the water course running across the site.
It took 3 or 4 months to be granted an Environmental Permit to discharge the treated water to the water course and we were fortunate enough to have had winery waste treatment experience with 3 other sites not too far away, these provided analysis results and supporting information to demonstrate the Bio-Bubble process was a viable sustainable way to deal with the issue locally.
Bio-Bubble will remotely monitor the process with information fed back via a broadband link from the probes fitted into the reactor. This way we can make any seasonal adjustments that are needed.