A sewage tank being lifted up a truck by a crane



WCI’s installation of a Graf UK wastewater treatment plant at Chelston Park was a record.

Specialist drainage engineers WCI have completed their largest-ever installation of a Graf UK wastewater treatment system – a 260-person plant for a nursing and residential home business.

Chelston Park, a 1920s three-storey house in the shadow of the Blackdown Hills and Wellington Monument in Somerset, has provided general nursing care to 31 residents since 2000, while Chelston Gardens, which was purpose-built built in its grounds in 2007, provides 50 dementia nursing beds.

When the wastewater treatment system installed back then began to fail WCI was called in to carry out a belt and braces review of the drainage options available, factoring in the future growth of the business, availability of public sewers, planning constraints and economics.

Ultimately, a Graf UK wastewater treatment plant was specified as mains sewer connections were found to be subject to significant constraints and costs. The four 26,000-litre Carat XXL Graf tanks, which are manufactured from recycled and recyclable polypropylene, were installed with granular surrounds, allowing significant cost and time savings and environmental benefits over other systems requiring a concrete back fill.

WCI completed the installation and commissioning of the Graf treatment plant while maintaining foul drainage to the busy property by using a temporary above-ground sewage treatment plant.

The installation was completed on time and on budget by a team of up to six WCI people over two weeks using plant including three, five and 13-tonne excavators, two six-tonne dumper trucks, and a padfoot remote controlled roller.

It was then commissioned by WCI’s British Water-accredited engineers and is now performing wonderfully and being serviced on a six-monthly basis by WCI.

WCI director Brad Taylor said: “We have worked with Graf UK for over five years now, on a number of projects of varying sizes, and this was probably our largest installation for them. They offer good service and on-time, fully complete deliveries, and in this case their systems performed exactly as expected.”

“This project was particularly challenging in terms of the logistics of the larger than normal amount of materials around a busy public site but we managed this through careful management, communication and professionalism.”

Chelston Gardens’ business development manager Edward Allistone said: “I’ve been impressed by both the service from WCI and the Graf UK plant. WCI’s timely assessment of the options available helped us to make an informed decision about which sewage treatment option to choose.

“The installation was as low impact as you could expect from such a big project, and now that the sewage treatment plant is doing its job, we hardly notice it. What more could you ask for when it comes to wastewater treatment? I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these companies to colleagues with similar needs.”

Chelston Gardens is a part of a third-generation family business that has delivered care in Somerset for almost 50 years. From Netherclay House, which opened with one resident in 1971, the business grew and in those early days, residents and staff joined the family for meals.