Mobile Waste Water Treatment & Sludge Separation

Argyll & Bute Environmental Ltd specialise in temporary mobile treatment systems to reduce liquid volumes and deal with problem wastes

We have treated wastes from a number of applications from oily sludge’s found in old gas tanks to separating portable toilet waste from major events.

There are a number of systems available but they fall in to two categories Shear and Non-Shear.



Shear process uses pressure or force to create separation of solids from a liquid phase; such as filter press, centrifuge, screw, etc.  Shear systems can process both colloid and fibre sludge’s; colloid sludge’s are found in potable drinking water treatment sites and fibrous sludge is typically generated from raw sewage.  These systems can produce filter-cakes of up to 40% dry solids; a reduced volume for disposal and assuming they pass WAC suitable for landfill.  The filtrate produced tends to retain finer solids and will remain turbid.  In this instance the filtrate may need further processing

  • Suited to colloid and fibre sludge’s
  • Reduced dry solids
  • Reduced disposal costs for Filter-cake


  • Longer set-up time
  • Filtrate may need further treatment
  • Costly to run
  • Fibrous filter-cake to dry for further treatment



Non-Shear uses gravity, filters and physio/chemical reaction to separate the solid/liquid factions.  The non shear system is best suited to fibrous and heavy soil sludge’s and was originally designed for raw sewage, grease trap and car wash/interceptors.  As the filter-cake is less dry, typically 25% it is suitable for lime pasteurisation and soil improvement, while still acceptable for landfill

The filtrate tends to have zero turbidity and with minor treatment can discharge directly to water courses

Using a system of filtration and chemical reaction we are able to reduce volumes by as much as 95%.  The filtrate (separated water) is returned to foul sewer or further treated for disposal into water courses.

The systems used are easy to mobilise and could be running within one hour of arrival at site.  Most equipment is movable by hook-loader and/or trailer.  A simple two piece application can handle up to 350m³ per day


  • Reduced set-up time
  • Higher throughput
  • Reduced cost to set-up and run
  • Single person operation
  • Filtrate less turbid


  • Solids only 25%
  • Most beneficial for fibrous sludge



During a recent major music festival in Scotland the client struggled with finding a disposal outlet for their waste, with the potential of running to England. 

We provided a system to separate the debris and solids from the stream; the filtrate was then collected and delivered to a local sewage treatment works.  The resulting filter-cake was sent to a local landfill.

In this particular instance the client saved on transport and significant disposal costs also a commitment from the water authority to enable future discharge for the next year’s events.

Filter cake from festival toilets (500m³ of liquid waste was treated to create 40m³ of filter-cake)

Client holding vessels containing toilet waste

Argyll & Bute Environmental offers bespoke sludge and debris separation systems for temporary applications whatever the waste type.

The applications will:

  • Reduce off site waste disposal (best practise)
  • Reduce disposal costs
  • Reduce environmental liability




© 2009 Argyll & Bute Environmental