Frequently asked questions

How many times is it necessary to switch the wastewater treatment plant into backflow operation?
Minimally once, usually about 3 – 5 times.
Does the TOPAS wastewater treatment plant produce any odour?
A correctly functioning wastewater treatment plant does not produce any odour. If there is an odour in any of the chambers then the anaerobic conditions which were created should not occur under normal conditions because all chambers of the wastewater treatment plant should be sufficiently aerated. Therefore, it is necessary to ascertain the reason for the insufficiency of oxygen in the respective chamber where the odour occurs.
What is the quality of water from the outflow of the correctly functioning wastewater treatment plant?
The water is clear, clean, without odour and without any cloudiness. It should look like utility water (Note: usually cleaner than the water in natural flows into which the treated water is discharged).
Is it possible to use a TOPAS wastewater treatment plant in recreational facilities with irregular operation?
Yes, it is. It is the only biological aerobic wastewater treatment plant whose operation is adapted for operation without an outside setting in the case of a decrease of the inflow of wastewater so that the biological function of the wastewater treatment plant is kept for the maximum possible time (restriction of aeration and completion of substrate for micro organisms from the accumulation tank). The TopolWater company tested this function under operating conditions when a fully operational plant was disconnected from the inflow and when in economy mode after three months of operation there were still approximately 70% of the original active micro organisms. (The latest information is from Sweden where 2 x TOPAS 75 PF wastewater treatment plant was operated during the winter without any inflow of wastewater and the biological function was maintained).
What is the service life of the wastewater treatment plant?
The calculated service life of a wastewater treatment plant is 25 years. This value is valid for the stability of the shell of the wastewater treatment plant. The real service life depends in practice on the actual installation conditions as when using concrete the service life will significantly increase. Further components which are inside the wastewater treatment plant can be replaced and their service life is as follows. The internal technology of the wastewater treatment plant has a considered service life of 20 years. The service life of the air blower is considered as 8 years in the case of replacement of coils after 4 years and replacement of membranes after 2 years. The last mechanically working element is the level float control where the service life is considered to be about 8 years.
What damage can occur in the wastewater treatment plant? What problems can occur?
Only the linear membrane air blower, electric valve and level floats mechanically work on the wastewater treatment plant. In the case of the air blower there is direct mechanical wearing only on the rubber parts on which the magnet is mounted with contact-free vibrations in the electro-magnetic field originated between two coils. If these membranes are regularly changed, defects should not occur. Another device is the three-way electric valve which is switched on four times per day and due to the creation of the electro-magnetic field there is a shift in the position in the coil. The electric valve is constructed to be switched on tens of thousands of times and its service life is a minimum of 10 years. In addition, there is a mechanically operated control float. No other elements can be damaged by mechanical wearing. Any other problems which may originate will be of the nature of covering the float with dirt which can be simply resolved by spraying. Another problem is the blocking of the air-lift pump. This can be resolved by yourself because all air-lift pumps can be removed and cleaned by flushing by pressured water or by the bar located in the wastewater treatment plant.
What is the noise level of the wastewater treatment plant?
The noise level of the wastewater treatment plant guaranteed by the producer is 38 dB. This value fulfils all hygiene standards for installation directly beside residential buildings. However, due to our installation under the lid of the wastewater treatment plant, the noise of the equipment decreases to the level of audibility. It is possible to say that after covering with lid you are more likely to hear only the washing of water rather than the operation of a wastewater treatment plant.
What will happen with the wastewater treatment plant if TOM is broken?
Nothing will happen. The air blower and electric valve will continue to work so that whole function of the wastewater treatment plant is kept as if the TOM were not installed at all. In this case the wastewater treatment plant is not monitored.
What is biological foam?
Biological foam (or filamentous bulking of activated sludge) is a term indicating the status in the biocenosis of activated sludge in the wastewater treatment plant when there is over-reproduction of micro organisms in the form of long filaments to the prejudice of the micro organisms representing compact floccules. This will cause the long filaments to be interlaced (in addition, they usually have a hydrophobic surface) and they will create a mesh which catches the micro-bubbles of air from aeration. In the final stage it will cause the creation of foam on the level of the activation tank. This foam can cause not only aesthetical, but also mechanical problems and in limited cases can overflow from the tank.
How do you cope with biological foam?
At present more than 50 various micro organisms have been identified which can cause this status. The most well known are, for example, Microthrix Parvicella, Nocardia, Gall type, Nostocoida Limnicola, etc. The problem is that different cultivation conditions suit or do not suit different types of bacteria. These are for example, the volume of dissolved oxygen, the concentration of the substrate, the composition of wastewater, sufficient volume of nutrients, etc. This means in practice, that without expensive analysis it is not possible to find which type of bacteria causes bulking and how to cope with it. The only means which has a proven effect is the use of PAX coagulant or another chemical containing aluminium. Aluminium allegedly has toxic effects on naked long filaments of micro organisms. This effect is proven only for Microthrix Parvicellu which represents about one percent of all cases. In the TOPAS wastewater treatment plant it is possible to state that the probability of efficiency will be about 1:1.
Which parts of the wastewater treatment plan can corrode?
Nothing should corrode. All metal parts are made of stainless materials or sufficiently insulated against moisture.
Why is the wastewater treatment plant also functional in winter?
As the wastewater treatment plant is designed to be located below the ground, in addition, it is equipped with a cup with thermal insulation. The temperature can decrease below 5°C, where biochemical treating processes are stopped, only in the case that the temperature will decrease below zero in the long term and there is no inflow into the water treatment plant. However, in practice we have installations in the mountains in Siberia, Russia at Jekaterinburk and they function in winter without any problems.
What and to which extent is it possible to discharge into waste piping which terminates in the wastewater treatment plant?
It is possible to discharge everything used in households. All chemical preparations which are commonly accessible for the final customer in shops should be biologically degradable. Our wastewater treatment plants are equipped with pre-assembled accumulation tank where there is neutralization and possible solving of more harmful substances. Of course, the use must be reasonable. Substances which can be harmful for activated sludge are mainly chemicals which change pH (acids and bases) and also disinfection substances. In principle it is possible to say that these substances must be used step by step, not at once. Therefore, do not treat waste at once as a whole, do not disinfect at once. It is necessary to divide this process into more days so that wastewater treatment plant can manage it. It is possible to apply a similar approach to dishwashers where strong lye is used. Therefore, we recommend to restrict creation of bacteria or to stop using a dishwasher during the starting period of the wastewater treatment plant. It is possible to also consider non-typical operating household units where it is possible to mention, e.g. photo-rooms, paint-shops, larger laundries, cleaning of lather, car repair shops, laboratories, etc. These cases must be consulted individually, however before the sale of each wastewater treatment plant.
What is necessary to be done when a toxic substance penetrates to the wastewater treatment plant and biomass dies?
In an ideal case it is necessary to immediately remove the content of the wastewater treatment plant and to liquidate it in a professional manner. Then it is necessary to load the wastewater treatment plant with new activated sludge or to let it run. However, in practice the easiest manner is to completely empty the wastewater treatment plant and then to let it run again or to wait as long as the harmful substance has discharged itself and after restoration of conditions suitable for the life of the activated sludge, it is fully restored within 3-4 weeks.
In which extent can fat be present in the wastewater treatment plant?
The volume corresponds to the use of the common household. If any food processing unit is connected to the wastewater treatment plant or production unit, kitchen or restaurant, the wastewater flowing into the wastewater treatment plant must be independently pre-treated with the aim of removing fats in the fat lapol. On the other hand it is logical that it is not recommended to discharge old oil from a deep fat fryer into the wastewater treatment plant even if it is connected to the household. Usually the wastewater treatment plant does not fail, however waste products can be blocked and fat sediments can occur (balls, incrustation, etc.) which in greater volumes can cause mechanical problems.
Can rainwater get into the wastewater treatment plant?
What will happen to the wastewater treatment plant if the membranes on the air blower are not replaced?
In the case that the membranes on the air blower are not replaced, there is a risk of their breaking. It is true that in extraordinary cases the air blower can work for 5 years without the replacement of membranes, but these are rare exceptions. Usually the membranes are broken after two years. Therefore, we recommend replacing them after one year of operation. If they are not replaced they can be damaged and it can happen that the body of the magnet which is mounted on the membranes which vibrate in the electro-magnetic field between two coils will deviate due to the release of the fixation on the broken membranes and friction from the coils will result. It is necessary to replace not only the membranes, but also the coils in order to prevent damage to other parts because the overall repair usually exceeds the costs for the standard replacement of membranes.
What are the measures needed for TOPAS wastewater treatment plants for winter operation?
None, if the supply of wastewater is ensured at least once every two weeks. Otherwise, due to the decrease in temperature there can be the stopping of biochemical activity of micro organisms. Technology cannot freeze if it is in operation.
For what percentage and for how long can the TOPAS wastewater treatment plan be overloaded and how does the plant manage it? With sand filtration and without sand filtration?
Generally it is possible to overload TOPAS wastewater treatment plants for a short time for up to twice the designed capacity in terms of substances, as well as hydraulically, and this short time means up to 14 days. The activated sludge is able to catch contamination into its cells and consume it later and in terms of the hydraulic aspect, the wastewater treatment plant can pump more than twice the designed volume. Nevertheless, for a wastewater treatment plant with sand filtration there can be the situation which is caused by a restricted flow when water is biologically pre-treated in the activation and the sedimentation tank but part of this will be then be mechanically pre-filtered by PF and part will flow through the PF by-pass. This can cause a slight worsening of the quality of water on the outflow. After restoration of loading this is stabilised. In the case of further overloading of the wastewater treatment plant there can be an accumulation of contamination also in the volume of activation which causes a decrease of solved oxygen and the origination of anoxic and anaerobic conditions. Under this situation for about two days there is the complete death of the activated sludge in the wastewater treatment plant and the collapse of the biological treating process. New activation will take about 4 weeks.
Is it possible to use TOM + GSM for any remote action on the wastewater treatment plant?
No. This serves only for monitoring. By the way, what is it that is necessary to be resolved remotely, perhaps with the exception of the dosage?
Which power supply is necessary for the wastewater treatment plant? 220V or 400V?
TOPAS 5 to TOPAS 40 waste treatment plants use 220 V. For T 50 and T 75 wastewater treatment plants there are versions either for 220 V with membrane compressors, or for 400 V Roots blowers of the type DITL. U T 100 and T 125 versions are only for 400 V.

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