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Spimewater

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Compared to automated city life, here on the countryside we have a few additional tasks to be managed. From living perspective I consider water management as the most important one, although heating and offgrid electricity are vital too.

Our drinking water comes from a 60 meter deep bore well located under the garage. Well is directly on the bedrock, and although our home is technically on an island, water quality has been excellent for the last 10 years. We do, however, send samples to a water laboratory every three years, and the Grundfos bottom pump has active fault monitoring. After all, undrinkable (or unshowerable) water would mean major difficulties for daily living.

If the water supply side is straightforward, the outgoing part is bit more complex here in the middle of nature. The nearest municipal sewer system is about 20 kilometers away, and piping it here would be a major effort due to rocky surroundings. Therefore, we use a small, multi-chamber sewage treatment plant which separates solid waste into a compostable tube and adds iron sulfide (or polyaluminumchloride) to outgoing water before releasing it to the forest.

The sewage plant has a complex logic which controls four pumps, aerating and mixing the sewage and carefully adding the chemical in order to obtain the best biological conditions for minimizing phosphorus emissions, while also utilizing beneficial bacteria by always keeping the plant warm.

Now Finnish legislation is quite strict what comes to sewage emissions, but the law is somewhat powerless as there’s no active monitoring requirement. In our case it’s not an issue, as the plant is fully monitored by BaseN Platform, but the countless (enforced) new installations are usually checked once and then left to their own devices, unless there are detectable odor problems. I have even seen people bragging online how they save by replacing the chemicals with plain water.

If we are serious about keeping our nature clean and at the same time claim to be one of the most technologically advanced societies, processes like wastewater treatment and drinking water sourcing should have real time and verifiable spimes – by law. It’s an old saying, but you can only improve things you measure and control.

//Pasi

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