The FTS System is a Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) functioning as a small-scale wastewater treatment plant, or more commonly referred to as a Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant/DEWATS system. Our state-of-the-art system is custom designed for each project, and can cater for wastewater flows between 16,000 litres per day to 5,000,000 litres of water per day. The toilets at hospitals, clinics, schools, low-cost developments, estates, shopping centres etc. can be linked to this system for water treatment and the reuse of the effluent for the flushing of said toilets, while using excess for irrigation or the safe release of effluent back into the environment.

Some of the numerous benefits and applications of the FTS System are:


a). Converts pit latrines/VIP toilets to flushing toilets in areas without access to sewage infrastructure.

b). Up to 60% potable water conservation by recirculating treated effluent from the system for the flushing of toilets and/or irrigation, availing consumable water.

c). General improvement in sanitation & health.

d). Skills transfer/development for local persons regarding construction and operation.

e). Skills development as part of the construction, operation and basic FTS maintenance.

f). Analysed in WRC’s Sanitation Innovation Challenge (SanIC) Review 2015 and ranked highest in its class (8.5/10).


The Flush-Tech Sanitation System (FTS) solution is based on the Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) principle in conjunction with the biological product BioSol SL36.


The system consists of a tank system divided in an anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic chamber. The entire system is fully automatic and is calibrated to operate for a specific HRT depending on the organic load rate present.


An inlet screen is fitted in the Inlet Work which removes large solids e.g. plastic packets etc. which needs to be manually cleaned daily, and disposed of.


To ensure that the Primary Tanks (Sludge Storage Tanks) never needs to be desludged, the BioSol SL36 is added to ensure that a microbiological ecosystem is established, and the correct bacterial levels within the system maintained.


The system is designed specifically for rural applications where there is no access - or limited access - to sewage treatment and can replace e.g. VIP toilets, pit latrines, chemical toilets, etc. Typical applications include schools, RDP housing schemes as well as informal settlements and full communities.


Wastewater gets treated and recycled to flush the toilets and/or for gardening or irrigation purposes, saving up to 60% of fresh water.


Job creation involves appointing people from the community during the construction phase of the project, with skills development involved. Furthermore, a permanent caretaker will be appointed from the community.


The FTS is custom designed for any sector application or area and combine the best elements of anaerobic and aerobic digestion to provide superior wastewater treatment. The system readily and consistently meets the secondary treatment standards of COD, BOD and mg/L TSS as required by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).


Schematic Design


a). A cycle starts with the filling (Phase 1, in the diagram below, at 9 o’clock), in which process the wastewater, freed of coarse material is transferred out of the buffer tank into the SBR tank via the charging pump. Filling takes place in 2-3 batches until the maximum filling level Hw,max is achieved.


















Process Description


a). Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants (such as the FTS) are installed at the lowest point/s in the community/facility, and wastewater is gravity-fed/pumped from the ablution facilities/houses. The system is installed above-ground, with a minimal amount of cutting into the soil.

b). From the Inlet Works, the wastewater flows to the Primary Tanks in series.

c). After the Primary Tanks, the wastewater flows into the Buffer Tank, before loading into the SBR Tanks.

d). In the SBR Tank, aeration takes place from two (2) compressors installed behind a steel door that feed two (2) BioCore SL10 Jet Mixers suspended from a beam into the tank.

e). Sludge from the SBR Tank is pumped back to the Primary Tank with a RAS pump.

f). Between the SBR- and Reservoir Tank the treated wastewater passes an inline Low-Pressure Chlorine Dosing unit for final disinfection.

g). Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR) principles, BioSol SL36 additive and Calcium Hypochlorite dosing unit ensures compliance to General Releasing Standards as per Section 39 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998)

h). Biological Wastewater Treatment Plants can be modularly expanded to a larger size should such expansion be required at a later stage.


Effluent Compliance


The FTS system ensures that compliance with the General Releasing Standards as per Section 39 of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) is reached:


a). The Sequencing Batch Reactor method ensures through aeration that sufficient nitrification and denitrification takes place to break down ammonia/ ammonium and nitrite/nitrates in the wastewater, as well as the treatment of phosphates and other potentially harmful chemicals.

b). By using a RAS pump, activated sludge is reintroduced in the Primary Tanks, ensuring efficient inoculation of the bacterial ecosystem.

c). Using the BioSol SL36 biological additive ensures the elimination of solids in the FTS and prevents coliforms (as expressed in wastewater samples as Total Coliforms, Faecal Coliforms and E.coli) from dominating the system, keeping them well within prescribed limits.

d). Through the use of inline Calcium Hypochlorite into the final effluent, BioPower ensures that no bacteria that can harm communities- or the environment in the area get released in any application.

e). Continuous QA and QC includes effluent sample testing, and during the first three (3) months, careful monitoring will allow small adjustments to be made to the operation of the FTS system, the dosage of BioSol SL36, as well as the application of Calcium Hypochlorite. This ensures that an optimally adjusted FTS system will release the best quality effluent.


Sample taking for Laboratory Test


It is crucial to take wastewater samples on a scheduled program to ensure that the quality of the wastewater is within the National Standard. This will be done according to management instructions. Laboratory tests will provide the operator with important information on the status of the wastewater of the FTS. The results can be used to determine if the FTS is performing below standard and the cause of it can be determine and rectified.


Effluent Discharged


a). Although wastewater often appears to be of acceptable quality according to the National Water Act, there could still be pollution present in the final effluent. Only by taking samples on a regular basis and analyses from the laboratory, the real quality of the final effluent could be determined.

b). It will also provide a good indication whether the FTS is performing according the design capacity and if any build-up of sludge has occurred over time that decrease the retention time of the FTS system that results in poor quality of effluent. Analyses such as COD, TSS, pH, EC, BOD, E.Coli, etc. that the National Water Act required, are indicators of a change in the FTS system.

c). Additional to the quality of water, laboratory analyses will also provide crucial information about any toxic metals present in the effluent.

d). Analyses of effluent provides the pollutant limits that is acceptable, but also if the results are above the set limits. Any accredited laboratory will provide the minimum acceptable limits for the different analyses requested. The laboratory will also provide the applicable analyses to be done for the quality of final effluent, as well as suggestions for additional analyses to be done to ensure that the required quality of final effluent is met.


National approved releasing limits according to the National Water Act is as follows:
















Local Content


The Flush-Tech Sanitation System contains the following:














The FTS system is 100% proudly local South African content, and wherever possible – materials, labour and pumps are first sourced in the ward, municipality or province. If this is not feasible due to supply and/or costing – it will be sourced nationally at our trusted suppliers.


All labour (except certain skilled individuals in the employ of BioPower Corporation) is sourced from the local community through consultation with the CLO/counsellor.


- Keeping the world alive -


b). Denitrification begins with the charging (Phase 2). Thereby the “new” wastewater is mixed together with the volume of activated sludge present.

c). Following on from the chronologically limited denitrification phase the plant switches into the operation mode of aeration and mixing (Phase 3). With this, the oxygen necessary for the carbon degradation and the nitrification is incorporated through aerators. The aerators ensure an optimum air transfer and a thorough mixing of the wastewater.

d). The settling phase (Phase 4), during which the activated sludge settles, begins following termination of the aeration and mixing phase.

e). In the settling phase a clarified water zone forms which is pumped out in the subsequent clarified water extraction phase (Phase 5). The float controlled extraction ends with the achievement of the filling level Hw,min. At the end of the cycle a defined portion of excess sludge is pumped from the SBR into the preliminary treatment stage or into an available sludge store. Cycle restarts.