dewats and horizontal planted filters

  • pondskater
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dewats and horizontal planted filters

Hi, I am new to dewats and am interested in building a dewats system with horizontal planted filter for a house with maximum of 12 occupants though occupancy numbers will fluctuate.
I am keen to use the dewats system and have the horizontal planted filter incorporated in the landscape design.
Can anyone please let me know how I can get the engineering drawings for these two systems ? I am a builder and can do the necessary work with our masons and skilled workpeople. Thanks.
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear pondskater-anonymus,

This is not about rocket science, but you may give more information to the susana-users about your self, intentions and the climatic situation for your plannings.

- Do you understand the DEWATS approach and intentions in general?
- E.g. will you have flushing toilets or others?
- Do you will separate grey-water and urine, re-use of treated water, bio-gas use and so on...?

Me and for sure others are happy to reply to you after understanding your basic intentions a bit more/better ;-)

Good Luck
Detlef

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  • pondskater
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

I run a small company building residential houses. I am also interested in reforestation / water conservation methods like rain water harvesting, building new bentonite lined ponds for wildlife in areas where severe degradation has taken place. I also want to increase awareness of and provide technology to other builders ( not for profit)of dewats and other recycling programs. I will also, once I have developed the experience, build dewats systems for others, on a commercial basis or when desired provide the drawings and technique free.
I am learning about dewats from info on the internet and
- Yes, we will have only flushing toilets/ bathroom water / kitchen water after passing through grease trap. Both kitchen water and washing machine / dish washer waste water will have detergents.
- For our first project, incidentally my own house so I can experiment, we will not separate grey water / urine. Reuse of water will be for gardening with excess water let back into earth via soak pit. No bio gas in this project. This house is in coastal area, sandy soil, 300 metres from ocean but has a potable water acquifer with high water table, during monsoon time water table is at 2 metres below ground level. I want to use this first system in my house as a demo and presentation one for showing others what is possible. We are in the suburbs of Chennai city, south India.

I have a good team of masons and other construction workers, a competent civil engineer and architect, so following drawings and building exactly as per engineering drawings wil not be a problem. Thanks for your reply and please do let me know if I can provide other details. Look forward to your reply.
Prem Krishnan / Aka Pondskater
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  • pondskater
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Climatic situation _ from wikipedia
Chennai has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw). The city lies on the thermal equator[57][58] and is also on the coast, which prevents extreme variation in seasonal temperature. The hottest part of the year is late May to early June, known regionally as Agni Nakshatram ("fire star") or as Kathiri Veyyil,[59] with maximum temperatures around 35–40 °C (95–104 °F). The coolest part of the year is January, with minimum temperatures around 15–22 °C (59–72 °F). The lowest temperature recorded is 13.8 °C (56.8 °F) and the highest recorded temperature is 45 °C (113 °F)[60] The average annual rainfall is about 140 cm (55 in).[61]

The city gets most of its seasonal rainfall from the north–east monsoon winds, from mid–October to mid–December. Cyclones in the Bay of Bengal sometimes hit the city. The highest annual rainfall recorded is 257 cm (101 in) in 2005.[62] Prevailing winds in Chennai are usually southwesterly between April and October[63] and northeasterly during the rest of the year. Historically, Chennai has relied on annual monsoon rains to replenish water reservoirs, as no major rivers flow through the area. Chennai has a water table at 2 metres for 60 percent of the year.[64]
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Prem,

Thanks for more details.

First of all you have to make a living and making an honest profit with your own work. This is the base, as it is for us all the same. To distribute your know-how to others too will bring your more jobs them competition. I been in Chennai city and have a "picture".

You may go through SUSANA's online materials and other Internet sources, you will find for your scale many drawings and text and go for "COPY & PAST". This might be OK for your own little try and errors by learning by doing.

In your business oriented case you are more lucky with your business if you start already business minded, as you have south near Chennai AUROVILLE goo.gl/maps/dE0ET , where you have many lively examples of DEWATS and horizontal CW's for your intention and you have good experts by hand, who can deliver to you ready made systems or just know-how for a living (for money).

If you are not lucky with them, please come back.

Good Luck
Detlef

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  • canaday
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Prem,

Welcome to the Forum. With your work, you can set a good example and contribute to positive change.

If possible, I would recommend implementing Urine-diverting Dry Toilets
(UDDTs; www.ecosanres.org/pdf_files/Ecological_Sanitation_2004.pdf , also available in Tamil and other languages; some of my contribution at inodoroseco.blogspot.com),
as these solve the most dangerous part of the problem from the start, instead of expecting one or another system to do magic later (and this magic is never 100% effective). Remember that when we say graywater, it is understood that feces are kept out of it.

By DEWATS, are we mostly referring to Anaerobic Baffled Reactors (ABRs)? These seem like a good option for what you are looking for (and Detlef actively promotes them). Here is a good summary:
www.sswm.info/category/implementation-to...tewater-treatments-8

Does anyone know of a good online construction manual for ABRs?
This would be good to upload to the SuSanA Library.

With any Constructed Wetland, make sure to previously eliminate as much of the suspended solids as possible (e.g., with an ABR). Even so, I believe that Horizontal-flow CWs have a greater risk of plugging, as the water must travel greater distances at higher speeds through the sand substrate than in Vertical-flow CWs, as I build with my friend Dr. Ronald Lavigne ( www.newswet.com ). More info at:
www.sswm.info/category/implementation-to...tewater-treatments/v

I suggest planting the CW with marsh grass that can be fed to cows or other animals ... or other useful plants (e.g., reeds that can be woven into mats, baskets, etc.).

The final effluent might best be used for irrigation of agriculture, industrial use (incl. concrete), or toilet flushing (if you really want flush toilets), thus making maximal use of the water and avoiding potential contamination of surface and ground water.

Let us know how things go.

Best wishes,
Chris Canaday

Conservation Biologist and EcoSan Promoter
Omaere Ethnobotanical Park
Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador, South America
inodoroseco.blogspot.com
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Prem and dear Chris,

In my opinion Perm is better connected at local level to very "hands on" people and "experts" them us, very near to his home town.
www.green.aurovilleportal.org/


If Perm is not happy with the "experts" from AUROVILLE "we" should step in...

All the Best
Detlef

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  • pondskater
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Chris,
many thanks for the info and the links.
The first system I am building is for a residential house with four toilets all flushable.
Yes, ABR's is right. We have a coastal road that runs from Chennai city and all the way down south till the cape. Right now the road is over three hundred kilometres long.
Residential houses are being built on this road starting from just outside chennai but there is no piped sewage system. Most houses are middle class and above though the original houses of the rural folks are alongside. These first houses have badly designed and leaking septic tanks. The new houses, for want of an immediately available alternate technology are still using these poorly designed septic tanks which overflow into a pit.
The septic tank merely has a large compartment with three walls inside but do not follow the ABR system so the overflow is full of fecal and other bacteria with resulting ground water contamination.
So this is my first two objectives - build an ABR with a planted filter for my own house and use it to show others what is possible at a low cost.

The sswm link you sent me is very useful and one sentence from this site describes my present situation:
'ABRs can be constructed with locally available material. However, expert design is required'.
YOur suggestion for an online construction manual is exactly what is required, I can then also send these links to other builders and house constructors.
For my house I thought of a horizontal planted filter as I can include this in the landscape, plant it with reeds and canna plants and also have guppy fish. Looks great in the garden. For other projects I can use the vertical cw and will go through the links you sent me.
We have a network of people here in Chennai who are absolutely commited to improving the way we use resources and want to make a change. Our architect, a German settled in Chennai, has extensive experience in many areas of sustainable building practices. So we are in the process of putting many new practices into operation and spreading information about these. I will read through the links and come back with questions.
In the meantime, please have a look at this - a huge reclamation of waste land, 70 acres, has been converted into an eco system;
www.pitchandikulamforest.org/cms/content/view/23/31/

Thanks again,
Prem
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  • pondskater
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Detlef,
Thanks. I have been to auroville and saw a beautifully designed horizontal planted filter there. I also met two commercial dewats/ ABR contractors based near Auroville.
However the price quoted was too high - for my four bedroom house in dollars US it was 6,600. Now since I have both the materials and skilled workers, I could build this same system for a lot less. Also only by using local workers, contractors will I succeed in popularising this system as many of even the middle class house builders will baulk at spending $ 6,000 when they can build the useless but cheap old septic tank for about $ 1,200.
Auroville has a centre for scientific research which builds dewats for a very reasonable price - I had met them. But they are hopelessly overloaded with work - more important work of providing dry, urine excluding toilets in very rural areas. So I did not want to trouble them. Their work is very needed in remote areas. So if I can become an expert, then I can spread the techniques to benefit more people.
thanks again, will be back
Prem
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Perm,

Go straight to the center in AUROVILE and "purchase" just the needed know-how (planning) and a kind of hands-on supportive direct construction supervision for your first own planing and installation. Make your own experiences first together with your working colleagues. Take it from their further by your self, this will take up your confidence in further sanitation planing. In the past, in this way I started too, with the help of a local German company Aqua-Nostra, Mr. Maik Hermann on "my" CWs.

In your country you have very good experts too to do so.

www.auroville.org/research/csr/dewats_nov_09.pdf
www.auroville.org/research/csr/csr_water.htm

at International Pavilion (American Pavilion) it is a urine separation & dehydration toilet, not a composting!

Doing a know-how transfer from a very distance may create misunderstandings and frustrations on your side.

Good Luck.
Detlef

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  • christoph
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Dear Perm,

I think your approach to build a system for your own home in order to learn, before offering the service to others is a good one.

The situation you describe seems to be just family homes. For this situation, a double chamber septic tank as pretreatment is totally sufficient. An ABR in this size range does not offer any advantage (I do ABR from 20 pe. up.

I think you should team up with people, who know how to dimension and calculate – especially who know how to choose the material for the wetland, if not you will end up with problems. And doing it commercially will be a high risk without knowledge – you cannot gain this knowledge from manuals.

But I would like to stress another point. U$ 6000 seemed high to you, for a system with pretreatment and wetland. From my experience in Brazil and Peru I can only say – that’s the price – for a correctly dimensioned, well done system. What do you expect cheaper? A septic tank seems to be the same price as here U$ 1200 – so the rest is probably as well. Doing it for your home with your labor is totally different than offering the service as a company. You have the engineer (to design the system), the masons (I guess you know the secondary (hidden) costs of hired staff), the transport of the material and the liability. A sum of U$ 4000 (6000 – 1200 one chamber septic tank – 800 second chamber) for the wetland does not seem high to me.

We cannot expect miracles – normally cost miracles in sanitation end up in failure. So I would agree with Chris – if it has to be low cost, do a very nice UDDT. But explain to the people that sustainable (waterborne) sanitation on household level has its price.

We are on that way in Brazil and Peru – not easy but possible.

Yours
Christoph
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  • AquaVerde
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Re: dewats and horizontal planted filters

Just a good CW example for your own inspiration by German company Holzapfel:

Horizontal CW's (H-CW) having over time often problems with clogging of inlet area by sludge coming from septic tanks or ABRs . Holzapfel uses cleverly a partly vertical distribution via pipes on the surface, a combination between vertical and horizontal CW's. The example is showing a grey-water CW. The pictures within attached PDF will tell you enough to understand. Same principles you could use for your purpose.

To "keep" sludge by all means in septic tank or ABR you may use "Party Filter" too, see example forum.susana.org/forum/categories/35-bio...br?limit=12&start=12

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