The first Irish municipal application of a hybrid reed bed treatment system (RBTS) was designed and constructed at Colecott, County Dublin. The hybrid design for Colecott RBTS was based on modifications to the Max Planck Institute Process (MPIP). The constituent parts of the design were a septic tank, a pump sump, two stage vertical flow beds, a secondary settlement tank, a horizontal reed bed, an outlet chamber and outfall pipe. The population at the time of design was 48, but with future development in mind 60 was used as the population equivalent (pe). Construction and operational characteristics are outlined. Results of a two year monitoring study are presented, showing good performance and producing a final effluent with 88% BOD removal, 89% COD removal and 99% SS removal.
Percentile compliance with EU discharge standards were BOD 60%, COD 100%, SS 100% with 50% for nitrogen and 0% for PO4. Surface water input increased flows to twice the average, resulting in increased maintenance visits without affecting results. The ability to deal with the excess inflow is demonstrated by the system. The method of distribution to the primary vertical beds was satisfactory while that on the secondary vertical beds was not.