Marsh outlines “a pathway to proceed” on the topic of nutrient neutrality

Marsh outlines “a pathway to proceed” on the topic of nutrient neutrality

The issue of ‘nutrient neutrality’ has hit the headlines recently, with the Government’s proposals to remove restrictions placed on housebuilders and developers relating to the construction of homes near waterways in protected areas. It is, to say the least, a contentious topic but many within the industry assert that alternative approaches and innovative mitigating measures can deliver “practical solutions” to the problem. Here, PBM looks at the development of the new Aqua-Puratine range from Marsh Industries.

Billed as a “groundbreaking UK-based solution designed to enhance the quality of effluent from package sewage treatment plants and safeguard the nation’s waterways,” Marsh Industries says it is leading the way in environmental best practice with the launch of the Aqua-Puratine system. The innovative solution, born out of over three years of intensive research and development, is described as representing a significant milestone for the business in terms of addressing “all safety and high-quality process requirements.”

While noting that achieving zero nitrate in effluent remains a challenge, the newly certified Aqua-Puratine:EL sewage treatment plant process is said to boast an impressive capability to remove over 50% of nitrates through simultaneous nitrification and denitrification. The company contends that this substantial reduction in nitrate levels compared to septic tanks and conventional aerobic package treatment plants will “significantly lighten the environmental burden, reducing the need for offsetting measures.”

The ambitious project has been a collaborative effort, engaging the expertise of the Process Engineering Group (PIA) at Aachen, Professor Tom Stephenson (Marsh Non-Executive Technical Director) and Marsh Industries’ own R&D and Technical Department.

The resulting Aqua-Puratine solution integrates two pioneering products — Aqua-Puratine:EL and the Aqua-Puratine-G-APS — to provide a “practical and environmentally conscious answer to achieving nutrient neutrality in sensitive areas.” Accordingly, these solutions are billed as offering a safe and sustainable approach to ensure “regulated, monitored and clean discharges for development projects.”

Steve Boyer, Marsh Industries MD, said: “Our robust procedures and controls guarantee safe operation, consistent performance, and efficient problem reporting, all designed to meet the rigorous standards set by the Environment Agency and Natural England.

“For developments below 50 population equivalents (PE) that pose minimal environmental impact, we offer a pathway to proceed. This initiative benefits the entire UK population, spanning all employment sectors and particularly providing support to small building firms and related industries.”

Indeed, Marsh says it “remains steadfast in its commitment” to delivering wastewater treatment solutions that align with the requirements of Natural England and other regulatory bodies. Accordingly, the company asserts that the Aqua-Puratine solution showcases its “dedication to preserving the safety and well-being of local habitats, rivers, waterways, humans, and wildlife.”

Stated key benefits:

Effluent standards: Aqua-Puratine achieves combined effluent standards of TNb 18mg/l and Ptot 0.9mg/l.

Chemical residuals: Discharge contains extremely low or undetectable chemical residuals.

Monitoring and notifications: Advanced monitoring systems provide SMS/3G/4G notifications for power failure, overflow, flooding, compressor failure, and low chemical levels.

Intelligent dosing: Dosing is intelligently based on influent volumes, preventing overdosing and offering fail-safes for influent pump failure.

Safety measures: Safety locks, secure access panels and chemical storage to ensure safe operation.

High standards: Industrial timers and pumps ensure precise dosing for continuous high-compliance performance.

Marsh Industries states that it has established “strict installation, maintenance, and reporting procedures” to ensure that its products are installed correctly, operate efficiently and are maintained according to requirements — a key factor of its warranty and product guarantee.

For effluent testing, Marsh has partnered with ALS Laboratories — a nationally recognised institution — to provide certified sampling and reporting. To ensure correct sizing of the Aqua-Puratine-G-APS unit, Marsh requires the measured discharge in litres per day.

In summary, Marsh Industries says that the Aqua-Puratine range represents a safe, practical solution that addresses the concerns of Natural England, the Environment Agency and smaller developments, offering a unified standard for off-mains wastewater treatment. The firm manufactures the range exclusively in the UK, from its plants in Somerset and Northamptonshire.

Click here for more information on the Aqua-Puratine range from Marsh Industries.

PBM looks at the development of the new Aqua-Puratine range from Marsh Industries, billed as a practical solution to the issue of nutrient neutrality.


The Aqua-Puratine range benefits small developments and alleviates the burden on planning officers, creating a level playing field where all areas adhere to the same standard of safe, monitored, and sustainable off-mains wastewater treatment. This initiative addresses concerns raised by Natural England and the Environment Agency and encourages the upgrading of outdated septic tanks that do not meet General Binding Rules:

Consultation: Builders and developers are encouraged to consult with Natural England and/or the Regulator for potential reductions in offsetting requirements.

Environmental protection: Aqua-Puratine reduces phosphate and ammonia discharge, safeguarding rivers, waterways, and wildlife.

Eutrophication reduction: The system effectively reduces COD and BOD levels, preventing eutrophication in rivers and lakes.

Certification: Aqua-Puratine systems are tested and certified by PIA (Prüfinstitut für Abwassertechnik).

Adaptability: The G-APS can enhance effluent discharge quality for any sewage treatment plant.

Monitoring and alerts: The G-APS control panel monitors and alarms influent flow, applying chemicals as needed, with homeowner and Marsh alerts.

Energy efficiency: The G-APS consumes just 1 kWh/day of electricity.

Proven performance: The G-APS intelligent dosing system underwent rigorous testing at PIA in Germany.

Compliance: Marsh Sewage treatment plants adhere to the UK Forward for BSEN12566-3.

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