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The Reed ePod

Introduced in The Reed Bed Book on natural wastewater management, the Reed ePod is a next generation system that takes a significant step in the development of reed bed wastewater treatment.

In past years, many types of containers have been used for domestic reed beds by practitioners seeking an environmentally benign and ethical approach to household wastewater treatment. For example, plastic-lined trench-type systems, large stock water troughs, aquaculture tanks, rendered masonry, and formed concrete. 

See Domestic reed bed systems for illustrations of several types.

Although it has been commendable that reed beds can be adapted to various types of containers, a deficiency has been a compromise in consistency, connectivity between containers, and performance.

This is where the Reed ePod steps in to provide a uniform product with consistent components and optimum performance. The Reed ePod consists of two rectangular moulded tanks inserted into the ground. Here's the tank at the factory.

Reed ePod tank

Reed ePod Features

The Reed ePod offers several unique features not found in other reed bed systems;

  • the inflow arrangement
  • the flow system through the reed bed
  • the outflow box

The tank volume is 7000 litres and is significantly larger than the biggest stock trough that has been used for reed beds in the past. 

Just two Reed ePod tanks are required to treat the largest flows from a household. 

Made from UV stabilised polyethylene, the tanks are very robust. Designed to be inserted into the ground, the Reed ePod tanks are expected to have a life exceeding 50 years.

Reed ePod graphic image

Wastewater treatment process

The Reed ePod is the middle stage of total wastewater treatment from the household. The first stage is solids settling in a septic tank, and the third stage is dispersal of treated water to an irrigation field that contains vegetation to transpire most of the water load. 

Further details about the treatment process within reed beds are described at Domestic reed bed systems.

Low Pressure Effluent Distribution (LPED)

The Reed ePod has been designed to be coupled with Low Pressure Effluent Distribution (LPED) for third stage in-ground treatment. LPED is a simple system and is easy to install and has several key advantages over sub-surface drip irrigation, not least of which is less maintenance. Here’s an LPED trench.


For the average household property, a series of LPED pipes, maybe 10 or 12, would be placed in shallow trenches. The length will be determined from site soil assessment, but could be between 20 and 30 metres.

The LPED lines would be installed about 1 metre apart, so there will be space for planting of suitable vegetation such as grass, native trees shrubs and ground covers, or even productive fruit and nut trees.

Ultra-Violet disinfection

Another method is to use Ultra-Violet disinfection to enable the use of above-ground sprinklers. This method might have some advantages over the LPED method. Flexibility of moving sprinklers around different areas, and space restrictions, could see UV disinfection as the best option. It might also be less costly than LPED, even with the cost of a UV disinfection unit.

Sprinklers could also be attached to non-moveable in-ground delivery pipes, and this method would suit general urban property blocks. 

Above ground pipes (or hoses) with sled-type sprinklers would suit a larger block.


Whichever method is chosen will depend on local authority requirements, site conditions, and product approval conditions. 

All this would be worked out during the design and report preparation phase. Make an inquiry on the CONTACT page if you need help with design and site assessment.

How is Reed ePod treated water delivered?

The type of transfer of treated water will depend on site slope, and will be by one of the following methods.

  • pumped transfer
  • siphon 

In either case, a collection chamber would be installed after the second Reed ePod tank, from which a volume of treated water (usually about 200 litres) would be transferred to the LPED or sprinkler field.

Siphon systems require up to 4 metres of downhill vertical elevation and can only be used with LPED. Because most urban properties do not have that elevation, pumping is used. 

What's in the kit?

The Reed ePod kit consists of the following ;

  • 2 x 7000 litres capacity Reed ePod tanks
  • septic tank filter (an essential part of the function of the Reed ePod)
  • inflow assemblies (pre-made)
  • pump station - pump well, pump (designed to suit), high level alarm
  • Installation-Operation-Maintenance manual

That’s it. Nothing complex, and easy to put together.

Looking for a natural wastewater treatment system?

Find out more about the Reed ePod and what’s included in the package by making an inquiry at the CONTACT page.

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