Hovea: Semi Rural & Semi Self-Sufficient

Waste Water, Rain Water & Irrigation

The Property

This is a rural residential property in Hovea that we have worked on since 2008. The original works was simply decommissioning an outdated septic and replacing it with a Biolytix Biopod  and irrigation system for effluent dispersal.

Since then we have installed a bore water treatment system, more irrigation and a rain water system. The overall outcome of stacking these water treatment and irrigation systems is a self-sufficient home in terms of water consumption.

Rain water is harvested from the roof and stored in a rain water tank, then pumped up to the house where it used safely as potable water. After consumption all water from the water is plumbed to the Biolytix secondary treatment system (STS). Once there it is processed in a series of chambers using aerobic, anarobic and microbial filteration methods. In 2012 the Biolytix STS was replaced with A FUJIClean CE1500X as it became approved in WA.

Because their STS processes all water used in the home, there is a greater volume of effluent. There is a dispersal area of 150 square meters where lilac subsurface drip irrigation efficiently waters plants and lawns.

Bore water is used to irrigate the rest of the gardens and a small orchard. Unfortunately Hovea has a very high concentration of iron in its groundwater. Whilst it is possible to filter out iron completely, this home only uses bore water to irrigate gardens and it is unecessary to separate iron for that. 

A water conditioner sits just above the bore head where it pushes bore water through a small magnetic field. This changes the ionic structure of the water, softening and unlocking nutrients within so plants have a greater uptake of healthy minerals. 

The bore pump is energy efficent as it only runs when a float level switch in a separate water tank falls below the preset water level. This ensures immediate and consistent water presure throughout the irrigation system.

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Mains sewage is supplied and maintained by Water Corporation.  Their infrastructure covers all of Perth Metro and some suburbs on the fringes.

Hovea is an interesting location because it is facing increasingly  infrastructure and water quality issues.

Ellenbrook was a planned development and has full services of sewage, water and power. But in the neighbouring suburbs of Herne Hill, Jane Brook and Hovea, there is close to no public infrastructure.

Water Corporation has an interactive map where you can see sewage infrastructure.

Residents and businesses in these areas have to source their own on-site utilities such as water and sewage.

Rural residential properties have decentralised waste water treatment systems called secondary Treatment Systems (STS’s). The most common and effective ATU’s are designed by FUJI-Clean and Biolytx.

The Servicing Process

Residential secondary treatment systems have to be routinely checked every three months. This is mandatory and regulated by the Department of Health because they present a health risk through leakage and contamination of black water.

Routine Services look at:

  1.  External Structural Integrity
    Evidence of cracks, tank distortion and condensation.
  2. Internal Structural Integrity
    Evidence of soil or water flow into the system, sewage bypassing chambers.
  3. Filtration chambers beds and filters
    Evidence of ponding, level of buffer storage tank and excess acccumulated raw solids.
  4. Component Checks
    Evidence of pumping capicity, float works and audio/visual alarms working.
Water Treatment on the Darling Scarp

Water Quality - Darling Scarp & Surrounds

Bore water quality in the Swan Valley and Darling Scarp is poor, with high iron, calcium and manganese content. This results in iron staining and unhealthy water.

Drillers are familiar with these water quality issues and we support them in producing high quality water once a bore has been drilled. 



Due to the hazardous nature of sewage, decentralized water treatment systems follow stringent installation rules and require continual service checks.

We work with clients to design systems that are suitable for the site and will comply with standards set by the Water Corporation, local council and legislation set by the Department of Health.

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3/14 Brolo Ct, O'Connor 6163, WA