MBR System

The Aquaco Membrane Bioreactor Grey Water Recycling System

The Aquaco MBR system is a significant leap forward in design development over traditional grey water MBR systems. The system is manufactured here in the UK, at our headquarters in East Peckham, and has been developed on the back of a decade of using the traditional MBR systems imported from Germany.

All Aquaco grey water systems are 100% compatible for integration with our Smart Attenuation, and Rainwater Top-up Systems, offering a complete building solution for water recycling, be it for BREEAM or LEED accreditation, Flood Risk Assessment compliance, or purely for water saving and economic reasons.

How does it work?

Hollow Fibre Membrane Retention @ 20 nanometres / 150,000 Dalton MWCO

Hollow Fibre Membrane Retention @ 20 nanometres / 150,000 Dalton MWCO

The high level philosophy of the system works in the same way as a traditional membrane bioreactor. However, Aquaco have made a number of design advancements in order to increase filter efficiency, prolong filter life, reduce the cost of filtration in kW/1,000 litres of treated water, and importantly for the end user, significantly simplify the maintenance regimes. Details of our process are below, specific process item details can be found in the downloads section:


  • Incoming grey water from showers, wash hand basins and baths passes through the Aquaco pre-filter, which removes any excess hair and large particulates from the grey water stack. The filter comes with built in spray bars and is supplied with a timed backwash system to be attached to the boosted treated water. The filtered outlet of the pre-filter connects to the storage tanks.
  • The storage comprises of two tank types; firstly is the settlement tank, this is used to precipitate out silt and dense inorganic particulates. Water passes out of this small tank, via a spill pipe, into the second storage tank type; the aeration tanks. The aeration tanks are equipped with perforated EDPM aeration tubes and provide a highly oxygenated environment to promote the aerobic biological growth of bacteria. The bacteria digests suspended solids, and helps to reduce the loading on the filters. The process of aeration prevents the bacteria from respiring anaerobically, stopping any risk of fouls smells and stagnation.
  • The water leaves the aeration tanks and enters into the MBR filtration tanks, via a spill pipe. The MBR filtration tank houses another aeration tube, continuing the oxygenation process. In addition to the aeration, the bubbles help to scour the membrane filter assemblies, reducing the effect of membrane fouling. The tank also contains the membrane filter assemblies where the water is drawn through the filters using the external permeate pump, attached the outside of the tank.
  • From the MBR filtration tanks, the permeate pump, transfers the water through the filters in to the Clearwater tank, where the water is stored prior to being utilized at the point-of-use by either an Aquaco Master Control Unit packaged booster pump set, or a traditional booster set. Aquaco use All the major booster set suppliers for traditional booster use and can provide a set to suit the clients preferred supplier; Grundfos, Armstrong, KSB, Lowara etc.
  • The filtration is controlled by the Aquaco MBR control panel. The panel is a full PLC panel, and supports full ethernet, MODBUS, and HMI control. All set points, controls, filtration rates, and volt free contacts are manageable and editable from this single point of control. The panel is also responsible for Aquaco’s unique filtration and air scour backwash cycle, developed specifically for use in the grey water market:
    Animation showing reduction in membrane caking due to backwashing cycle.

    Animation showing the effect of the Aquaco back-washing cycle.

A typical MBR grey water system would include:

  • An Aquaco pre-filter.
  • A settlement tank (on larger systems above approx. 6,000 LPD).
  • An aeration tank.
  • An MBR tank (or tanks depending on system size).
  • Aeration pumps and permeate pumps (integrated into the MBR tanks).
  • A clear water tank.
  • Control panel with remote monitoring facility.
  • Float switches
  • A packaged AMCU booster set with integrated mains water top-up and automatic switch over in the event of poor water quality.
  • Pressure vessel.
  • UV disinfection module if being used in a spray application.

Typical system schematic:

An example 6,000 LPD MBR grey water system with packaged AMCU booster set.

An example of a 6,000 LPD MBR grey water system with packaged AMCU booster set.


  • The lowest cost MBR system on the market.
  • Lowest cost in kW/1,000 litres on the market (between 0.66-0.99kW/1,000 litres).
  • Gain essential BREEAM points towards planning permission.
  • Completely designed and manufactured in the UK by Aquaco. No EU imports, no translated manuals, and a UK based expert service team.
  • Simplest system on the market to maintain; all pumps are external, and filters can be cleaned in situ  (no confined space work for general maintenance).
  • Bespoke and Modular design allows for design into practically any plant room given to us.
  • Provides 50% of water requirements of most office or warehouse buildings.
  • Can be integrated with Aquaco Rainwater, or Smart Attenuation Systems for a total water management solution.
  • Pay back typically 3-5 years.

What to do now?

Choose your system requirement on the right hand pane, and start a quote request. Aquaco will provide you with a quotation within 3 working days.

Working with Aquaco at an early stage in your project will ensure the cheapest package solution, and we offer all our design work, 3D drawings and specification entries, free of charge.

Aquaco are also available to offer full CPD training sessions with your engineers. Please contact us for further details.