It’s easy not to think of it at all. There’s just water coming out of a tap. Many of us are so removed from water as the source it actually is, it’s almost like we think the water originates from the tap itself. But guess what?! It ain’t like that!
Would you guys believe me if I said that my biggest vision for our new house was to have a great, green sewage system?
Yeah, we’re talking wastewater today. Sexy, eh?
Water is the number one source of life, we all know this and yet, in todays society it’s like we’re doing all we can to pollute that same source. That ain’t working for me. So. Green plumbing. Are you thinking compost-, vacuum- or separation- toilets now? While there are some really awesome inventions and products on the market (many of these even look as the ’regular’ water toilets we’re used to at this point) I was drawn to another system that mimics natures own clever way of purify all wastewater.
We are going to be using Alnarp Clearwater which is based on natures own way of purifying sewage (all hail microorganism and waterplants!). Not only is it an incredible, self regulating system showing that sustainable innovation can even be a smart move budget-wise, ACT is also really pretty. Never thought you’d hear that about a wastewater system, huh?
Because we are building on new land, we had to do everything from scratch. A road, a well, drainage system, electricity. The works.
Most homes in Sweden are connected to the mains sewers, but we chose not to be. The main sewers collect blackwater and treats it with chemical and mechanical processes to remove contaminants. It separates sludge (partially used as a controlled fertilizer) from liquid (discharged into the nearest large body of water).
The issues with conventional sewage systems (and the issue of how we pollute the waters of planet earth) are many.
Sewage/blackwater is a mix of wastewater from both domestic and industrial sources, there’s of course faeces and urine but also bleach and cleaning products, paint, solvent, drugs and oils. That’s not a pretty mix and since the water we have is the water we have, we get it all back into our body, pollute our oceans and destroy aquatic life. Sewage dumping is one of the biggest environmental threats of today, endangering and completely killing aquatic life in huge parts of the oceans. We cannot separate ourself from this issue. We must step up, take responsibility, and clean up our own shit.
If you’re not connected to the main sewers and need to figure out which system to use, know this: conventional small sewage systems and plans are often energy intensive, requires the adding of chemicals and regular costly maintenance etc. Many of them have been shown to leek a lot too.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!
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Elenore Bendel Zahn