The Accel-o-Fac® wind-powered WwTP for the village at Holkham Estate, England has been treating sewage since the spring of 2006, and with virtually no significant ongoing operating cost.
The village of Holkham on the Holkham Estate — owned by the Earl of Leicester — is today served by a wind-powered Accel-o-Fac® system. A thriving hotel (very popular with tourists visiting this part of the country) is incorporated into the sewer system as well.
Long-term Choices That Impact Sustainability
Most of the area near Holkham has traditionally been served by septic tanks and waste haulers. The Estate had a choice of either sending the sewage to a nearby water company treatment works via pipeline, remain on septic tanks, or get into the treatment business themselves.
If they elected to treat their own wastewater and sewage, there were numerous options and technologies to select from. The appeal of the Gurney Environmental solution was low energy, no ongoing sludge handling or disposal, and water of a quality appropriate for potential reuse on the Estate as irrigation.
Accommodating the Local Area
After careful consideration of the various options, the Estate elected to use the Gurney Accel-o-Fac® windpowered system to keep operating costs at a minimum. The WwTP also includes a simple Septic Reception Station to allow septic tanks from the Estate to be disposed of. All septage and solids are transferred to the Accel-o-Fac® primary cell for treatment and digestion of the sludge. The system is simple, odour free and extremely inexpensive to operate.
Extremely Low Manpower and Maintenance
One of the key benefits of the system for Holkham was the need for very little operator attention. There is almost nothing for an operator to do at the plant short of mowing the grass in the summer months. Equipment maintenance is reduced to inspections every 3–4 months. Not much else is required making the operator's job truly part time!
Superior Effluent for Water Re-use
With dry conditions occurring in past years, the Estate also considered the possibility of water re-use. By providing a superior, more stabilised effluent, the Accel-o-Fac® system can provide irrigation quality water at an extraordinarily low cost.
The Holkham system is only a few minutes away from the Aero-Fac® SDS system at Sandringham. Since construction and completion of the Holkham system in 2006, numerous water industry representatives have visited these two sites. The experience of the owners of these two well-tested systems underscores the sustainability of the Gurney Environmental treatment systems in the UK.
Elimination of sludge lorries, zero-to-low energy usage, little manpower required, few mechanicals involved — all spells an environmentally conscious and sustainable method of treatment of wastewater.
Holkham Estate Mark 17+ Years of Low Cost, Odour-free,
No Sludge, Sustainable Wastewater Treatment in 2023
Selecting The Best “Total Life” Options
The Accel-o-Fac® wastewater treatment plant serves the Victoria Inn and village at Holkham in Norfolk and has been treating sewage since the spring of 2006 with almost no significant ongoing operating costs.
The Holkham Estate, owned by the Earl of Leicester, includes the Victoria Inn, which is very popular with tourists visiting this part of the country. Previously, the village had been served by septic tanks requiring regular emptying. The Estate had a choice of either sending the sewage to the nearby water company's treatment works via pipeline, remain on septic tanks or treat their own wastewater. The appeal of the unique Gurney Environmental Accel-o-Fac® solution was low energy, no sludge or odour, and effluent water of a quality appropriate for either discharge or potential irrigation reuse on the Estate.
Simple, Low Maintenance Operation
After careful consideration of options, the Estate elected to use the Accel-o-Fac® windpowered system from Gurney Environmental to keep ongoing operating and total lifetime expenses (TOTEX) at a minimum. The plant also includes a simple Septic Reception Station to accommodate septic tanks from the Estate. All septage and solids are transferred to the new Accel-o-Fac® primary cell for treatment and digestion of the sludge. The system is simple, odour free and inexpensive to operate.
One of the key benefits of the system for Holkham was the need for very little operator attention. There has been almost nothing for an operator to do at the plant this last couple decades short of mowing the grass in the summer. Equipment maintenance includes inspections every 3-4 months. Not much else is required, making the operator's job truly part time!
Stephen Twyford from the Estate’s Land & Property Department commented:
"The installation of the Accel-o-Fac® sewage treatment system at Holkham in 2006 enforced our ethos of becoming an environmentally sustainable Estate and Community. The system continues to provide a low cost and low maintenance solution to wastewater treatment for Holkham Village with additional capacity for any needed future increase. The fact that there is no associated sewage odours meant that the system could be located relatively near to the village, and, after 10 years of use, no sludge removal has been needed."
Water Re-use Possibilities
There was another advantage to this option. By providing a superior, more stabilised effluent, the Accel-o-Fac® system provides irrigation quality water at an extraordinarily low cost.
The Holkham system underscores the sustainability of Gurney Environmental municipal and industrial wastewater treatment systems for the UK and other markets. Elimination of sludge lorries, zero-to-low energy usage, little manpower required, few mechanicals involved — all spells a time-tested, environmentally conscious and sustainable method for treatment of wastewater.
A Look at the Holkham Accel-o-Fac® WwTP in 2016.
Holkham Hall has demonstrated that a WwTP can be an attractive, odour-free, sludge-handling free, CSO free, complexity free facility that looks and performs as nice after a decade as it did the day it was commissioned. With little operating costs using renewable energy and a Nature Based Solution, simple lawn care has been about the only ongoing maintenance required.