Model 1 – WET System

Our proposal to divert the outfall from the Faversham sewage works into a reed bed system gained a lot of positive support, however further findings have shown some drawbacks, reports Eldon Hinchliffe. Reeds spread very quickly and clog up the system and therefore need to be managed. Traditionally this was done by hand-reaping the reeds for thatch but we now doubt this is feasible. With the life span of a reed bed anywhere between 5-15 years, depending on the quantity of ‘nutrition’ in the water, we do not see this as sustainable.

Another plant-based system that aims to remove contaminants from sewage is a Wetland Ecosystem Treatment. WET systems are designed to use natural processes involving wetland vegetation, soils and their associated microbes to purify polluted water and produce a usable and marketable end product such as willow wands for basket making.

Benefits of a WET system include:

We believe that with these benefits, a WET system would be more attractive than reed beds and much easier to manage.


Faversham Creek Trust