Reed bed water treatment
In addition to the large property portfolio of schools, offices
and other buildings managed, Worcestershire County Council also
manage 4500 acres of tenanted farm estates. Rural properties which
are not serviced by mains drainage present a problem as traditional
septic tanks and soakaways do not function due to the predominantly
clay soils in Worcestershire.
Package treatment plants were the only solution until the
Council began to explore the use of reed beds- the first reed beds
being used as a demonstration project at Bishopswood Environmental
Education Centre. Since then four have been installed to service
rural dwellings, and more are planned for future
Principles of reed beds
Common reed (Phragmites Australis) has the ability to transfer
oxygen to root zone.
Large populations of micro organism found in root zone.
Pollutants digested and rendered innocuous by a range of
organism similar to a conventional sewage works.
Advantages of reed beds
- Operation does not require any electricity or fuel supply.
- No mechanical systems involved- reed beds do not break
- Solution is visually unobtrusive and provides natural wildlife
- Water Management is an integral part of farm management
Country Farm Estates- Countryside Stewardship Schemes
The scheme is funded by the DEFRA (Department of Environmental
Food and Rural Affairs) and aims to encourage farmers and land
owners to alter management practice in order to enhance
biodiversity. Management agreements last for 10 years and DEFRA
will grant aid capital works and annual management payments.
The County Council encourages its farm tenants to participate in
the scheme. Last year Church Farm, Castlemorton was entered into
the scheme with management practices adopted aimed at:-
- Recreating traditional wildflower meadows.
- Improved hedgerows by coppicing, laying and bi-annual
- Sympathetic managing a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
- Restoring and replanting traditional fruit orchards.
- Managing ponds and ditches.
More farms are currently being considered for entry into the
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This page was last reviewed 5 November 2013 at 10:07.
The page is next due for review 4 May 2015.