Loch Leven’s Larder cleans up with Graf

Loch Leven’s Larder cleans up with Graf

In a bid to meet strict environmental regulations and protect local wildlife, a rural farm and restaurant on the edge of a Scottish loch has replaced its deficient wastewater treatment system with a cleaner, more efficient alternative from Graf UK. 

Located on the banks of Loch Leven in Kinross, South Perthshire, the family-run Loch Leven’s Larder is an award-winning Scottish attraction – boasting a working farm, a restaurant, a deli, a gift shop and a playground. The loch itself is internationally renowned for its wintering and breeding wildfowl, and has been designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). As such, all sewage treatment plants within a five-mile radius are required by SEPA to comply with stringent phosphate and nitrate discharge levels to keep wildlife healthy. For Loch Leven’s Larder, this meant limiting phosphate discharge to a maximum of 2mg/l. The system the site had been depending on for five years proved unreliable, and required constant attention to ensure compliance with the necessary standards.

With more than 300 visitors daily during high season, owner Robin Niven needed to find a more modern and efficient alternative that could treat waste effectively all year round, as well as handling particularly heavy loads at peak times. Having already opted for a Graf UK wastewater treatment system at his own home nearby, Robin chose to work with the company again on this project. Eric Williamson, Area Sales Manager at Graf UK, specified and designed a bespoke solution large enough to service the needs of up to 150 people – consisting of a Klaro E Professional wastewater treatment system, two 32,000-litre Carat XXL tanks and a phosphate-dosing pack. Contractors Stewart Robb Plant Limited, who regularly work with Graf UK in the region, were then called in to install the new system at Loch Leven’s Larder.

Stewart Robb, Director at Stewart Robb Plant Limited, says: “Our main concern was replacing a failing system with a super-efficient wastewater treatment plant which would deliver the required effluent quality – and keep the SEPA inspectors happy! Robin had tried two different wastewater solutions from other manufacturers at Loch Leven’s Larder before settling on the Klaro system from Graf. Unfortunately, neither of the previous two (including one that was installed just five years ago) could produce effluent pure enough to meet official environmental standards. This was causing him a major headache, not to mention unnecessary expense.

“Thankfully, it was third time lucky with this solution from Graf. This project is the biggest we have undertaken to date, and I’m pleased to say it all went very smoothly. The tanks were so easy to install, it took just seven days to complete the job – minimising the impact of the upgrade on business operations. Now that the Klaro system is up and running, any issues with poor effluent quality are a thing of the past. In fact, the system is doing its job so well that it’s vastly exceeding the criteria set by SEPA – delivering phosphate levels of just 0.2mg/l.”

The Klaro wastewater treatment solution specified at Loch Leven’s Larder uses sequencing batch reactor (SBR) technology to effectively and efficiently treat waste. It features two chambers – one to hold back the solids, and the other to treat the wastewater using an aeration process. Microorganisms biologically clean the water, allowing sludge to sink to the bottom and a clarified water zone to form at the top. Available in sizes ranging between 16,000 and 102,000 litres, the Carat XXL underground rainwater tanks have a lorry-bearing capacity of 40 tonnes. What’s more, they are made from robust plastic, meaning the tanks weigh significantly less than concrete or steel alternatives – making them easier and quicker to install.

Robin Niven, who owns Loch Leven’s Larder, says: “We’re absolutely delighted – and relieved – to have finally found a fully compliant system that can provide us with long-term, reliable wastewater treatment. It’s a real weight off our shoulders, and we can now just go about our daily business of running the farm, the shop and the restaurant, knowing that the only maintenance required is an annual check-up to ensure the smooth running of the system.

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