Household water use / washing dishes

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nwdiver
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by nwdiver » Thu May 19, 2011 4:40 pm

gato wrote:
nwdiver wrote:Another thing I don’t have in my home is paper towels, I have an endless supply of cotton kitchen towels and have banned paper towels from the house, and the nannies think I’m cheap.
This is good to hear, really. And what kind of pictures are there, on the cotton kitchen towels?
No pictures they are unbleached cotton.
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by admin » Thu May 19, 2011 5:05 pm

Yea, came home in the middle of the day last week to find my housekeeper with a highly toxic bottle of oven cleaner wiping down the counters. The one that says do not mix with other chemicals, use protective clothing, do not come in contact with skin, 101 fun chemistry experiments, and so on. I have also had to stop her from burning all kinds of toxic crap in the fireplace such as laminated lumber scraps, sappy pine 2x4 scraps, plastics, and so on. Good old wood is sufficiently polluting on its own.

Most of the cleaners sold in Chile will break a septic system. You almost have to have a grey water separation system to keep the septic systems working the way they are suppose to, especially if your housekeeper has not been in school since the periodic table was put together.

I am designing a grey water system in to my house also (really much easier and cheaper than buying a bigger septic system anyway). On the off chance that someone ever complains about it (not likely, but sometimes just the argument alone is more costly than the "go away" solution), I am adding a secondary diversion system to reroute the grey water to the septic system until they go away and I can simply flip the valve back. Will likely use for landscape watering for now, as I am too lazy to work through any more complex treatment system at the moment. I do plan to get back to that, so am leaving the option open in the planning.

I have also decided to add double septic tanks to the normal system. Creates added backup, greater capacity, and the black water gets treated longer. There are some States in the U.S. where they are required because of the high water table or poor soil. Going through the trouble of laying a system in the first place is the relatively expensive part, one more tank and some extra pipe is fairly cheap.

I have also got plans to do a rain water collection system for backup water supply, even though I have a community well for water. There is no shortage of rain water in southern Chile (even durring the summers), and most of it just drains over the yard anyway. Without needing to get in to complex treatment of the rainwater, I plan to use it for toilets, showers, and irrigating the greenhouse. In an emergency (even just a dead pump on the community well, or short contamination), it will be fully possible to use it for drinking. If I am going to spend so much effort trying to get the stuff to drain correctly around the yard, it should earn its keep.

Honestly, I am not sure I would allow a Chilean architect to do much more than simple drawings to get you past local codes. I am having a relative draw my plans, and a local architect will be assisting only in as far as needed to get past the building permit process. Of course the plans will meet or exceed codes, just again avoiding the argument over what qualifies is often easier. We have a bunch of engineers and architects around Chile that we have worked with over the years for clients' projects, so I don't expect too much arguing with any of them about what I want to do. It will be more of "I want to do X, figure out how to get it past the city".
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by gato » Thu May 19, 2011 5:31 pm

patagoniax wrote:The soap here is in fact technically organic and it is biograded, and the garden is very happy.
That is because your soap is made from certain nasty (and annoying) dogs (and cats), perhaps. And so are the "biodegradable bags", that are so nicely provided in JUMBO (and the likes of it). Pretty "safe" to bury (or not), and perfectly "green". Could make any garden happy. I would respectfully disagree. Though, what do I know?
"The wise will do what I say", said Nasreddin once, "and not what I do."

"The common people will do what I do, but not what I say."

"As for the fools, they will laugh whatever I say or do as if I were joking. That is good. If they would listen to me, I might be saying something wrong. Now, let's see who heeds my words."
The time that you spend reading this sentence could be employed to better advantage in almost any other way.

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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by nwdiver » Thu May 19, 2011 5:42 pm

My grey water will go through 2 200lt sand filters which can be back flushed into the sewer system. The water will be great for the gardens with the soaps and cleaners we use in the house. The most aggressive cleaner we have is vinegar mixed with a bit of borax, the windows are cleaned with vinegar/water and old newspapers that are then shredded and composted for the garden. The nannies have found the vinegar/water works very well to cut the smog on the outside of the windows, they chatter about it to everyone now.
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by admin » Thu May 19, 2011 5:54 pm

By the way, you can download grey water systems plans (and all kinds of other plans) from a bunch of web sites and from University extension offices in the States online. They have everything from grey water treatment systems to solar house plans, to things like barns and fence designs. All Free.

I just built a shed using a set of those plans ( resized to more efficiently use the Chilean lumber sizes ).

If you have to explain to someone in Chile how the system is suppose to work, a picture is worth a 10,000,000,000,000 words. Especially if your architect or engineer will not have to think about it too much. Just copy, paste, and attach a of their degree for the city planning department.

I have this small war chest of documents and scientific studies on everything I am doing in my house, ready to do battle in the event someone finds something they say I can not do in Chile because it would take them too long to figure out if it is was correct or not. Still, trying to avoid that by keeping it all very simple, and very rubber stampable.
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nwdiver
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by nwdiver » Thu May 19, 2011 6:02 pm

I’m building on the coast in a very restricted area, but it’s the outside they care about, not the systems.

I sold my Los Dominicos house but acquired a property in Los Dominicos from someone that needed money and not a 1500m tennis court complex (nice flat land), so may end up building on the site, which will need all sorts of city approvals. I would think reducing water use by recycling grey water would be easy, but I’m told not so in Las Condes.
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Re: Household water use / washing dishes

Post by admin » Thu May 19, 2011 7:14 pm

Yea, once you get inside an urban area, the beucracy increases in proportion to your property taxes.

Rural, or semi-rural (hard to tell sometimes in Chile the difference), you can do more or less whatever you want depending on how far out you are. The more South you go, the less local oversight. At some point it almost becomes a dangerous lack of government oversight. Like in the case of where I am renting now in Frutillar. The city inspector just happened to be reviewing new permits on a house being built near us, and realized that none of the neighboring houses had permits. Some had been there for many years. We are not that far out of town. We are like 2 km from the urban zone, and we should really be in the urban zone but for local politics. Get out much more than that, and the rule book goes out the window. The bigger problem is trying to get the city to come inspect in remote areas to issue the permits at all.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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