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Natural gravel. Image source: Pixabay
Natural gravel. Image source: Pixabay View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Used tires as an alternative to gravel in private sewers

Published: 10 March 2016

In a traditional sewage plant used natural gravel and sand as carrier material (material where the microorganisms that perform biological treatment form its biofilm). However, natural gravel and sand finite resources taken from quarries which in turn is important for drinking water treatment and purification of surface water. Therefore, try regions reduce extraction from quarries and controlling the use of alternative materials.

An alternative to gravel and sand as carrier material in sewage plants are the rubber chips stems from used tires. Rubber chips provide greater pore volume than gravel and rock that promotes the draining ability and oxygenation of the microorganisms. In several US states used this material as an alternative construction material in land-based sewage systems.

From April 2016, tests will be performed on a sand filter in Sweden, based on the rubber chips from used tires. Report from the project is expected in spring 2017.

Read more about the use of rubber chips in sewage plants:

  • Xie, Y. (2007). Filter media: Crumb rubber wastewater filtration. Filtration & Separation, 44 (5), 30-32.
  • Khan, AA, Karanfil, T., & Selbes, M. (2011). The feasibility of tire chips as a substitute for stone aggregate in septic tank leach fields.


Sandra Frosth, Ecoloop