The Making

Updated: 04.12.11 By Peter Waddington

The making of ERIC filter systems

These units are the very FIRST I have offered for sale and I am completely satisfied with the end results but they could not have reached the perfection they are today without the practical mistakes an experiences that cannot be seen on any line drawings. Instead everything has to be put to the test when the unit is finally running.

As to the ingredients that go towards every part of the new ERIC units I have compromised on nothing at all. Furthermore I have personally sourced just about every item that goes towards final production and have learned much along the way.

Although there are only three main companies who produce the main items of the finished ERIC units there are at least a dozen other smaller companies and without their products the rest of the unit would be just about useless.

‘Cutting Corners’ and ‘Making Things Do’ have never been attractive roads to take for me. I will give just one example here although there are many more in my finished ERIC units.

I need two 4” bore plain pressure specification sockets fitted perfectly flush into the base to allow ALL wastewater to sewer and leave the box perfectly dry which sounds perfectly simple. Alas, although the outer box is made in polypropylene for strength and durability in all temperatures, the only material that can be permanently fixed to polypropylene is polypropylene itself. As a result, I have to purchase two 4” polypropylene sockets in order to attach them correctly to the base of the box. Alas, this does not suffice as I need to connect these polypropylene sockets to UPVC pipelines and the only real way to do this is to purchase plain/threaded polypropylene sockets and screw a 4” bore UPVC threaded nipple into these fittings in order to achieve this seemingly simple installation.

(Of course I could have used UPVC flanged fittings to the base of the box with the aid of neoprene gaskets, steel backing rings and bolts but this assembly would not allow me to remove ALL water to waste when carrying out a discharge because the assembly stands above the base of the unit leaving some water remaining. For the penny-pinchers reading this, I could also have used the cheap plastic 110mm bolted fittings as seen in all the budget units available elsewhere – alas, these would have collapsed at the first pull of a standpipe! )

Without going into great detail and if you are really interested, why not, just for fun, compare the cost of two 4” bore UPVC plain pressure sockets versus the cost of two 4” bore polypropylene plain/thread pressure sockets together with two 4” bore threaded nipples? I do believe this will open your eyes!


  • The Production

    This single cost example indicates the quality of all items used in the production of all ERIC units….

  • Conclusions

    As you can see, I do not have a machine endlessly spitting out boxes from a given mould that regulates all dimensions …

The Production

This single cost example indicates the quality of all items used in the production of all ERIC units.

The pictures here show just some of what is involved in the production of ERIC filtration units.

Steel work cutting, drilling and assembly of support frames plus final powder coating process.
ERIC Steel Frame being madeERIC Steel Frame

ERICMAT high density 38mm thick & 19mm thick sheets used in the assembly of the biological units after the apertures have been drilled.

This produces the single unit seen here made up of fourteen flat sheets held firmly in place by the four 316 grade stainless steel bars anchored by nylon screwed caps through the polypropylene tops and bottoms of the unit.
Making cartridgesERIC Cartridge
If you meet do meet up with Jason and Danny, it would be better NOT to mention the brush box in casual conversation as this is, by far, the most labour-intensive and probably the most costly part of ERIC production!
ERIC Brush Box Construction
This unit needs to be as robust as is possible for removal/re-positioning when required. The 9mm. polypropylene tops and bottoms are held firmly in place by six legs formed from solid 1” diameter polypropylene bar after they have been drilled at the exact places. Once the structure is finished, the fifteen fine-density filter brushes are inserted and held in place securely with the stainless steel core. The unit can be positioned for the brushes to face the incoming water either horizontally or vertically. The brush box itself is far more important than the brushes contained within.

This shows the construction of the outer box which needs to be water tested and checked before the internal parts and fixings are welded into place.
Jason and Danny making ERICERIC Boxes Ready to be Shipped

The pre-cut divider wall can now be welded into the box after the simple sluice assembly has been fitted to the base of the wall.

Precise levels have to be made to ensure the two 4” (110mm.) bore polypropylene sockets are installed to finish exactly at base level of the box. In this way, all water will leave the box completely empty and clean after large discharges have been made. The threaded undersides of these sockets are connected to 4” (110mm.) UPVC threaded nipples for connection to bottom drain lines and sewer line. Obviously the fixing of these sockets has to be very strong to ensure the daily removal and replacement of the standpipe cannot weaken the fusion welds.
4" Drainage Hole and 4" Feed Pipe
The ‘O’ ring standpipe is also formed throughout from polypropylene tube to give added strength for the usage it will face daily; a recessed pull handle is fitted as shown.

The end of the standpipe is machined to take a ¼” diameter rubber ‘O’ ring and a thin coat of Vaseline is applied as a ‘one-off’ treatment before the standpipe is used for the first time.

All units are fitted at the end wall of the box with a 1.5” or 2” polypropylene threaded outlet for connection to the water pump so that UPVC pipe work can be attached. The bore of this fitting can be specified when the unit is ordered with either a male or female thread connection.

The next task is to supply and fix the end baffle after the threaded outlet connector has been fixed.
End Baffle

The baffle is installed to surround the threaded outlet at dead centre in order to produce an equal pull around the entire diameter of the baffle.

The final internal fixing to the box is that of the ‘tram tracks’ on the vertical walls to both sides of the base in order to allow the 38mm. flat sheet to be slotted into the tracks as and when required.
ERIC End Mat Sheet
After the box structure and the internal fixing have been completed, support lugs are fused to the outer box to provide strong supports for the box section steel frame and the angle section top frame. Once these have been positioned exactly the angle section is screwed to the box at pre-drilled intervals. After this is completed, the 3/8” pre-measured air assembly is fixed together with solvent cement and slotted into place through the holes in the angle section. The membrane air diffusers can now be fitted in place.
The shot shows the ERIC THREE PLUS unit, which is now ready for the second water testing before the internal boxes can be positioned for final completion.


As you can see, I do not have a machine endlessly spitting out boxes from a given mould that regulates all dimensions because ERIC units are all hand-fabricated and naturally, labour-intensive as can be seen.

More to the point I am most grateful that I do not need a warehouse in which to store any finished units, as they are all made to each specific order.

The only place in the world that my ERIC units can be seen is on this website and on the systems they are running in real-life applications.

Of course, if world demand for high-end pond filtration systems was actually high enough then these outer boxes could be churned out in China endlessly in volume at a far lower end price. Whilst this in itself would produce some savings, it would not be worth the effort as the real end cost is determined by what’s actually INSIDE the units. However, this huge volume demand for quality pond filtration units is not there and nor has it ever been for as long as I can recall.

Much more to the point, I would like to keep the skilled guys over here in work bearing in mind that our maximum possible weekly production is positively minute in comparison to all other manufacturers.

This brings to mind a page from a 1987 Infiltration catalogue of mine that quotes words from John Ruskin in 1873 and states –

‘There is hardly anything in the world
that some man cannot make a little worse
and sell a little cheaper.
And the people who consider price only
are this man’s prey’

A later version followed to say ‘One generally gets what one pays for’ and I’ll go along with that. I have no objection in paying the asking price for an item I need, just as long as the item lives up to the claims made by the manufacturer.

IMPORTANT. On a similar subject, if one wishes to purchase just one ‘very good but not quite tategoi’ nisai Go-Sanke today from a Japanese breeder with reputation, one must be looking at around a minimum of 300,000yen to buy this Koi. If one discounts all expenses incurred in order to get to the breeder but adds a very modest 25,000yen for freight to this price – it will land at Heathrow at 325,000yen – add to this 15% VAT payable on arrival and this final figure is 373,750yen. Convert this today to Sterling and the end result is £2,875.00.
There is absolutely no question in my mind that an excellent pond and filtration system is needed for keeping a collection of similar quality Koi in order to develop them to their best possible potential.

On a final note regarding the finished ERIC units, it is of vital importance to me that, despite their overall performance and simplicity of quick maintenance, it is critical that they also look superb – especially when installed in any garden setting. After viewing all the finished units with a very critical eye, I am absolutely delighted with the visual yet ‘workmanlike’ aspects of all the systems available. Whilst I do realise that many will have to be buried almost at ground level, it does seem somewhat of a shame to have to conceal most of them!