A well-installed and regularly-maintained sewage treatment plant shouldn’t give the owners any problems, but, like all machines, they can break down occasionally. In cases like these, the priority is to get the issue fixed quickly.

Sewage treatment plant servicing specialists Gilson Environmental Services have bases at Ipswich in Suffolk, and Harleston in Norfolk. Here we look at six of the most frequent problems which can affect your plant, and how we can help you with this.


If you overload your treatment plant, it may not be able to process the wastewater properly. This means the effluent will be cloudy or grey and will fail to meet the required safety standards. This could be a consequence of asking your system to cope with an additional building or extension. Alternatively, surface water from another source may be getting into your system.

Problems with the Blower

The bacteria in your sewage treatment plant which breaks down the waste material could also be affected if they do not receive the right amount of oxygen. This is provided by an air pump or blower, and if this is not working properly, then the bacteria will not be able to do their job properly. There might be an electrical problem, such as a tripped circuit breaker, or a filter or vent may be blocked or the diaphragm may have reached the end of its life.

Bad Odours

If you notice smells, they could be coming from a variety of sources. Pipework connecting to the tank could be blocked, chemicals could have killed off the bacteria before it can break down the waste, or there could be problems with the airflow. Overuse or over-population are other potential reasons behind bad odours.

Problems Releasing the Effluent

Unlike septic tanks, owners of sewage treatment plants are allowed to release their treated effluent into local watercourses. As long as you discharge less than 5 cubic metres per day they do not require permission from the relevant authorities. However, even if your blower is working correctly, problems can still occur at this stage. If your system and pump isn’t being used regularly enough, you may find that it has effectively run dry. However, the problem could be due to another issue, such as a stuck or damaged float, a blocked main or damaged pipework.

Gilson Environmental Services

If you do have a problem, it is best left to the experts to deal with. Gilson Environmental Services carry out quality sewage treatment plant servicing in Ipswich, across Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and throughout East Anglia.  Whatever the nature of the problem with your treatment plant, we will diagnose it quickly and effectively. In cases of emergency, you can reach us on 01473 741530.

We also offer a range of other services, such as septic tank maintenance and installation, unblocking drains, and dealing with problems with cess pools and soakaways.  If you would like to know more, follow this link.