Come rain or shine, Gary Brunt can be found out and about at Morfa Bychan Holiday Park, the caravan site he manages with his wife Jenny on the beautiful Welsh coastline. Whether it’s siting new caravans, carrying out repair work or just general inspection, Gary makes sure everything is ship-shape and ready for the holidaymakers. There are a million and one things to do and not enough hours in the day, so when something goes wrong, there is not a second to waste.
And speaking of waste, this is an area of particularly pertinent concern. The treatment plant at a caravan park sees a lot of use, so any problem requires a swift response. When Morfa Bychans treatment plant started failing to meet Environment Agency discharge consent in the midst of summer last, rather than standing around scratching his head, Gary got on the phone to Mayglothling Waste to come and investigate.
Gary explains: The problem was a failure of our permitted levels of suspended solids in our treatment plant on our regular testing regime which led to failed tests carried out by Natural Resources Wales. We were not sure why, as everything seemed to be working as it should. This wasn’t a problem for the holidaymakers, who were unaware and whose experience was in no way affected, but failing consent is a serious issue as it means the waste is not being treated properly and can lead to prosecution.
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So for Mayglothling Waste, the first question was why? There was nothing obviously wrong with the flow of sewage and no technical malfunctions; we needed to dig a little deeper. By running tests, our technicians ascertained that the root of the issue was fat.
The problem with fat
Fat is a common problem for holiday parks, as Gary explains: The problem, common for self-managed sites with their own sewage plant and septic tank, is that holidaymakers use the sewage as a dustbin, and it is hard to prevent people putting fat down the sink. You can ask people not to put fat down, but realistically they come for the weekend, they cook, they clean: worrying about our drains is not their primary concern. But fat causes a major problem as it sticks to the float switches, the walls of the chambers and the pumps and it causes blockages.
Gary and Jenny:
The pair are all smiles again, thanks to Mayglothling Waste’s prompt and efficient service.
Gary had initially tackled the fat problem by installing an enzyme in the main collection tank: The enzyme breaks down the fat and makes it easy for the pumps to dispose of as it doesn’t stick to the float switches. This is great if it’s going to a main sewer, but this was going to our treatment plant. The problem that we had was that the fat was broken down so well that it was actually floating through the treatment plant, it wasn’t getting treated as such, which resulted in this excess of suspended solids.
Luckily, being experts in the field (in this case quite literally), this was something the Mayglothling Waste engineer quickly deduced. After we carried out a few tests, the cause of the failure was quickly established, and after removing the enzyme the test results returned to normal levels.
Back to square one? but not for long
Unfortunately, this left Gary back at square one as to how to tackle the original fat problem, but it didn’t take us long to come up with an alternative solution, as Gary explains: The way we got round it is, through the peak season of the caravan park Mayglothling Waste have added an extra wash down, so all they do is empty down the pump chamber with a tanker and wash it out with fresh water. So we have added a wash and a jet to the service instead of putting an enzyme in and that’s cured the problem. Through the peak season they do that once every three months.
Gary finishes by praising the service that they have received: Mayglothling are always good to work with, they can be contacted 24 hours a day and will respond quickly to emails and messages. We get the same engineer so we can be consistent. They are always dependable and are very reasonably priced.