Sewage Water Recycling & Treatment

Introducing The SOG Trickling Filter

Ideal For Effluent & Sewage Treatment

Sewage water recycling & treatment has never been easier. And not just sewage treatment. The SOG trickling filter can also purify biodegradable industrial effluents.

SOG trickling is a South African innovation, developed to suit the needs and budgets of any serious environmentalist. Not so long ago, our Director General of Water Affairs made a plea to Sanitation Engineers: “Please make sewage treatment easy.”

The SOG trickling filter is a waste water treatment process that has evolved from the need to treat small and sporadic amounts of domestic sewage. Unlike most conventional sewage treatment plants, the SOG filter makes use of earthworms, fungus and bacteria to treat sewage. By spreading the type of organism activity, a larger range of variable flow and load is possible.

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Proven Technology

SOG tickling filtration and treatment of sewage has been used for many years in various parts of the world.

Low Visual Impact

The SOG Trickling Filter™is tastefully cover with shrubbery. Fencing is an option as is a ventilated.

Minimal Solids Handling

Inert solid material in the wastewater is collected in a solids interceptor. This is a robust hygienic solids material collection device. Actual design is site dependent.

Upgrade Considerations

A key feature of the design is to provision for upgrade in the event of future growth. The SOG Trickling Filter™ geometry is chosen to allow for simple increase in size.

Low Energy

If the site allows, gravity can transfer the water or only one pump is required to transfer water The SOG Trickling Filter™.

Low Maintenance

The treatment plant design centers on ease of use and simplicity.


Sewage Treatment

At Lichen sewage treatment plants of all types are designed, constructed and operated. The treatment plants are constructed in concrete, in containers and in custom made tanks – choice of material is always a function of suitability and efficiency. Some are mini-sewage treatment plants, some are package treatment plants and some are fully fledged biological sewage treatment plants on a Municipal scale.

For sewage treatment plant design, there are multiple biological methods available to the design engineer. In broad brush strokes, biological sewage treatment can be engineered in a liquid or wet environment. The liquid environment includes all variations of the activated sludge process. A wet environment is one such as found in a french drain or a trickling SOG filter.


Water Treatment

Our treatment plants vary in complexity and are designed to make use of the most suitable technology for the application. For example we are frequently approached to provide a solution for the treatment of Theewaterskloof water. The Theewaterskloof dam supplies water to much of Cape Town and the surrounding farm lands. This water is a mixture of river and spring water. It has varying turbidity, pH and iron content.

For a Municipal size installation flocculation is a viable solution. However for smaller applications such as a wine cellar or restaurant, alternative technologies are more appropriate. Although flocculation works well, the addition of flocculant has to be monitored extremely carefully. Because of the high operator costs, this is not always the best option.

Treatment plants can be skid mounted or fabricated within a shipping container.


Wine Cellar Effluent Treatment

From our experience, removal of the waste water organic load is the most capital intensive. pH neutralization is relatively inexpensive and reduction of conductivity is best achieved by judicious use of chemicals in the cellar. Best possible cellar management can only partially reduce organic discharge.

Each year we make small improvements in our treatment process and, in so doing, fine tune what nature does best. Our first treatment plants were constructed in 1998 and, in the next pressing season, our treatment plants will process more than 3 million litres of water each day.

Treated wine cellar effluent quality is determined by the DWS General, Special or Irrigation Limits. In general, treated winery effluent does not readily comply with the Special Limit with only biological treatment. When there are dissolved compounds in the treated effluent that take too long for biodegradation, it has been found that chemical flocculation and precipitation provide a viable solution.

Industrial Effluent Treatment

Industrial effluent has generally been regarded as an unimportant and troublesome by-product of a manufacturing process. In a few cases, industrial effluents contain useful resources that can be viably recovered. In South Africa, industrial effluent discharge is ultimately regulated by the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation (DWS).

If an industry is located within a Municipal boundary, the industrial effluent will most likely find it’s way to the Municipal sewage treatment plant. Treated waters discharged from all sewage plants in South Africa are regulated by standards enforced by DWS.

Containerised Treatment Plants

The containerised water treatment plant is constructed in the container itself. The container is modified to perform the function of control room and water tank. By linking containers together, treatment plant capacity can be adjusted according to demand. Two products are on offer; sewage treatment and potable water treatment.

Treatment plants supplied in modified shipping containers offer numerous advantages such as:

  • Speedy installation
  • Minimal site requirements
  • Improved treatment performance
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Efficient and simple process control
  • Robust construction and durability
  • Tamper proof; no need for fencing
  • Cost effective solution

The 5 Kingdoms Approach

In The SOG Trickling Filter™ there is diversity, spanning 5 of the known kingdoms of life.

The SOG Trickling Filter™ mimics a mountain seep or bog. It is exposed on the upper layer, shady and moist in the lower layers. The media is never completely water logged and for this reason a range of organisms are attracted to The SOG Trickling Filter™.

Biodegradable waste water is trickled over the top layers of The SOG Trickling Filter™ and percolates through several layers of media. Waste water is the energy that drives life in The SOG Trickling Filter™.

A host of organisms interact with one another, their synergy, symbiosis and biodiversity maintaining an energetic and biomass equilibrium.



Scientists have revived tiny worms that had been frozen for 42,000 years – and they started eating

A group of Russian scientists have successfully revived two species of tiny worms that they discovered suspended in an icy chunk of Siberian permafrost.

The worms, known as nematodes or more commonly as roundworms, had been frozen for up to 42,000 years, since a time when much of the planet was covered in ice.

But they weren’t dead – just cyrogenically preserved.

The researchers brought the worms back to a lab, where they slowly thawed them over several weeks. The researchers put them in petri dishes with food, stored at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

As they warmed, the worms started showing signs of life, moving and eating. That marks the first documented time multi-cellular organisms have returned to functioning after being frozen in permafrost.

SOG Installations

City of Cape Town DWS – Department of Water & Sanitation

New 6-star green building in Bellville, Western Cape

Karl Bremer Hospital, Bellville, Western Cape

The filtered water is used as odourless irrigation water and for use in the cooling system of the building.

Coffee Shop & Brewery, Contermanskloof

Domestic sewage and wine cellar effluent treatment. Treated water used for irrigation.

Uva Mira Mountain Vineyards, Stellenbosch 

Domestic sewage and wine cellar effluent treatment. Treated water used for irrigation.

Clover Production Facility, Gauteng

Treated water used for irrigation.



Old Mutual, The Estuaries, Century City, Cape Town

Office block waste water recycled via The SOG Trickling Filter™. Additional RO reverse osmosis ensures potable water quality.

Get in Touch

Contact Numbers

Dave: +27 82 551 1305
Accounts: +27 82 446 3301
Operations: +27 82 304 0338



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Mailing Address

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Somerset West 7129