Rethink your sewage system

in Water

Like or not, it is time to think a summer cottage’s waste water purification system. Based on the regulation given in 2004, all estates in Finland must have a waste water purification system in use by the end of the year 2013. Most of the cottage owners see this as mandatory burden, but with the right attitude this is now the opportunity to rethink the whole waste water and sewage plan at the cottage.

Waste water can be divided in two: Grey waste water consists on bathing water, laundry water and water used for cooking and washing dishes. Black water is toilet waste water, namely feces and urine.

If both grey waste water and black waste water are dumped in the same waste water management system, sturdy and costly waste water treatment system is compulsory. This system processes all the water, and uses living micro-organisms and chemicals for water purification. The system is like a waste water treatment plant in miniature size, and quite high-priced too.

If grey and black waste water can be separated, there are more cheap and ecological solutions available. The organic materials of black wastewater, phosphorus and nitrogen, are actually the same ones that used as the fertilizer in farming fields. When correctly collected and processed, they can be also be used for summer cottage’s garden or plantation. Some waste water purification systems can even produce composted peat straightaway, so this fertilizer is produced without extra effort and is therefore also energy efficient (in Finnish: energiatehokkuus).

Urine is also a good fertilizer for plants. It should be collected and diluted with water in proportion to one to one. The mixture must be left for a year before use.

If it is possible solution to give up of the flush toilet at the cottage, it is worth doing. Grey water filters cost less than 2000 euros, whereas sturdy waste water treatment system might be something like 10000 euros, including the construction work. The filter system will also eventually pay back itself, if the composted material is used for gardening.

So although bringing extra effort, this is also a possibility to think the ecological aspects of the summer cottage comprehensively. The reason for this regulation is to protect the environment: the less unclean waste water is directed into the wild, the better the environment will stay. The next generation will not like inherit the summer cottage with ruined environment and unclean lake next to it; it is wise to think all the values of summer cottage while making the decision of waste water purification system purchased.

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Maarcko Crane has 61 articles online

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Rethink your sewage system

This article was published on 2011/11/23