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How to push effluent waste uphill

Many domestic households, outdoor events, glamping, caravanning sites and building site welfare cabins can rely on the law of gravity to take away effluent waste. However, what do you do when you have route wastewater over a relatively long distance, or where gravity works against you, and you have to push wastewater uphill? Well, at Plastic Solutions (Aldridge) Ltd, and Glampsan (our glamping division), we have you covered with solutions to help you overcome this problem.

In such instances, we would recommend installing a lifting station. These come in many capacities (commonly 250-litres) storage configurations and simply require a 240v mains electricity connection. It's basically a collection tank with a pump. The pump operates on float switches that can turn on the pump when the collection tank fills. When the pump runs, it churns up the waste, lifts and pushes it uphill through a pipe that connects to the mains sewer or septic tank sited some distance away. This equipment can either be buried out of sight or conveniently located above ground hidden from view.

Jon Trelfa showing off one of our lifting pumping stations we supply

Case study

Let's say you have two, 4-person glamping pods or wooden cabins that are remotely sited in a field. Both examples are located a few metres below the mains sewer (or a septic tank) that lies about 100 metres distance.

Let's also say that the glamping pods (or log cabins) are equipped with a shower, flushing toilet and kitchen running water.

Now, according to British Water regulations, each person uses around 150 litres per day in a domestic setting. That does include washing machines and dishwashers etc. too. However, for glamping, we could assume 80-100 litres per person per day.

So, in this example, each glamping unit produces say, 320-400 litres per day. Below we consider three options:

Option one

Collection tanks under each pod, with both feeding into one pumping station. In this option, the waste from each pod is collected via a holding tank located under each pod - actually one of our 160-gallon mini Flat Tanks (i.e. 720-litre capacity) are very popular for such situations. In roughly a couple of days, each collection tank will, therefore, reach capacity. At this point, the liquid waste, fed via a connecting pipe passes to a lifting pumping station located out of sight between the two glamping pods. (The solid waste will remain in the collection tanks - see later). As that pumping station fills up, it periodically pumps surplus waste uphill to the mains sewer or septic tank.

At the end of a few weeks, each glamping unit collection waste tank will need the accumulated solid waste to be emptied. Often, this can be carried out by a tanker contractor who then disposes of the solid effluent at the nearest sewage treatment farm. However, this can also be done by the owner on a much smaller scale using a portable mini effluent servicing tank and a tractor. This solid waste is then disposed of at the pumping station to be dealt with as described above. Alternatively, if the site uses a septic tank, it can be directly disposed of there too.

Option two

Each glamping pod is supplied by a dedicated lifting pumping station. In this option, the waste is collected in a smaller pumping station located under or nearby each pod that periodically churns the waste and pumps it directly to the mains sewer or septic tank.

This option negates the use of collection tanks and the need for a tractor-driven mini servicing tank. But, you have the added cost of supplying, and installing (including any associated groundworks) two pumping stations (rather than one).

Option three

Install a buried septic tank with a soak-away to deal with both glamping units. This option completely negates the use of collection tanks and lifting pumping stations etc. However, a septic tank will require extensive groundworks and will most likely cost more to purchase too. However, this solution doesn't require any electricity and control panels etc. It is also underground so wholly hidden from view.


There is no right and wrong option here - each has its merits. There will be many other variables to consider that ultimately influences the right solution.

Option one and two are probably the least disruptive in the short term and might be a useful starting point as capital outlay is minimised. This is a good option for glamping startups. It might also be possible to feed lifting station from both glamping units directly, negating the collection tanks.

Option three, while more expensive, provides a more long term and potentially future proof solution, especially if the site expands in the coming years too. Also, if a septic tank is being considered, it might be worth comparing this cost to that of installing a min-sewage treatment plant.

If you are interested in any of the above, then please get in touch with us. We'd be delighted to discuss your requirements in full and help you decide which is the optimum solution for your unique site. In the meantime, here's a video we filmed about the lifting station, what it looks like and how it works etc. We think you will find it very interesting and useful.

One last thing...

Trade shows are a great source of information too. For example, if you're thinking about starting up a glamping business, you should seriously consider coming along to the Farming Business Innovation show, at the Birmingham NEC, on 6 and 7th November 2019. We have a Glampsan stand there too, so come and say hello. We look forward to seeing you there. Here's the link -

Oh, and we're big on Social Media too

One of our passions is that we love using social media like LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram in quirky and fun ways to appeal to you rather than trawl through endless emails. And we have lots of fun with video too, to get our messages across to you. So please look out for our posts and join in with our world-wide-rave and like and follow us back. Also, we'd love you to tell us, in the comments, what you think too people.

If you've got a spare moment, why not check out these blogs, we wrote about glamping business startups.

How to start up and grow a glamping business?

Glampsan Tank-ology

Sincerely, JT

0800 999 6010‍ (Part of Plastic Solutions based in Aldridge)

Header graphic: Andrew and Jon showing off our new lifting pump product.

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