MBR Solutions in Sweden with Best Effluent Quality

MembraneClearBox® and EloP® units installed side by side in the last chamber of a septic tank
Crystal clear MCB® Permeate
SeptiMem® Solution: HUBER MembraneClearBox® retrofitted into septic tank

In 2000 the Swedish Department of Health and Environment investigated the condition and environmental impact of wastewater treatment systems for single family homes. In total there are about 850,000 households in Sweden without sewer. The survey showed that these are responsible for about 20% of phosphorus and 4% of nitrogen immissions into Swedish surface waters. This substantial impact needs to be reduced. The Swedish Department of Health and Environmental specifies different effluent standards, depending on the receiving waters’ sensitivity. Most stringent requirements are specified for the most sensitive areas, such as Natura-2000 sites, where reductions of BOD7 by 90%, of phosphorus by 90% and of nitrogen by 50% have to be achieved.

In 2004, two single households in Sala and Nässjö agreed with the Hans Huber AG to have their SeptiMem® Solution provided and tested on their properties. This Solution serves for upgrading of existing septic tanks by retrofitting a MembraneClearBox® (MCB) into their last chamber. In this way the septic tank is transformed into a membrane bio-reactor (MBR).  Excellent results from these two pilot systems showed that the system is a solution for single family homes that have no sewer connection.There are already a number of solutions on the market, but none can provide an effluent quality that could compete with that of HUBER MCB units. Many Swedes are environmentally conscious – and Swedish laws and standards are strict. The HUBER MCB® can fulfill the legal and individual expectations.

Not only has the simplicity of the MCB® impressed the Swedish market, but also our ability to remove phosphorus without the need for chemical addition. Our EloP® module is a simple and easy to operate system without any hassle handling chemicals and dosing systems. Existing septic tanks can easily be upgraded into MBR systems with no or little need for structural changes. An ideal solution for existing systems. Since the membranes retain all solids and bacteria within the biological reactor, neither additional filtration nor disinfection is needed. The permeate effluent from the MCB meets the requirements of the European directive for bathing water quality. Their effluent can be discharged into most sensitive rivers and lakes, it can be reused for irrigation or serve as service water, e.g. for flushing toilets, laundry washing, etc.

HUBER provides not only MBR-Solutions for single family homes, but also for far larger buildings, such as condominiums, office buildings, hotels, resorts and recreational facilities (e.g. golf clubs or sport stadiums). While SeptiMem® Solutions serve for upgrading of existing septic tanks into MBR systems, ClearOnSite® Solutions defines decentralized MBR systems that are supplied in containers or fitted into concrete structures. ClearNear® Solutions provide semi-centralized MBR system to which many properties, e.g. within a new development area, are connected through a small sewer system.

Huber SeptiMem®, ClearOnSite® and ClearNear® Solutions not only meet, but exceed the highest Swedish effluent standard. In addition, their effluents are disinfected and comply with the European directive for bathing water quality.