Update: Earthship Guatemala Day 4
Vaults/Assembly Lines/‘Outlaw’ Septic
Business as usual today for the Earthship/Long Way Home crew with 60+ volunteers. The third vault is on, bond beams are poured and cement is being hauled up the hill by an assembly line of people throughout the whole workday. Plaster work has begun on the east vault. The grey water planters have been dug out as well as the ‘outlaw’ septic. The cisterns will be moved to another location on the site because they cannot be buried behind the building and their new space has not yet been determined.
The day ended with another Q&A session from Phil, the project director. One main focus was the ‘outlaw’ septic system for this building design. The evolution of the S-Pod has allowed for this building to have a flush toilet. This system, being designed down, allows for a 5ft diameter hole dug onsite, rather than a septic system costing $1,000. The cost for this septic only includes the plastic that it is lined with. The septic basically has two chambers, one for liquids and one for solids. The septic has a rebar-framed dome on top, which is plastered with a small hole at the top. The solids go inside of a dug hole with stacked tires that is surrounded by large rocks. Solids will break down themselves and the tank will never have to be pumped, unless the bacterial activity is altered which can slow the process (i.e. addition of bleach). Liquids essentially leak through the tires and enter into the second chamber outside of the tires and are channeled into the lined black water botanical cell. These black water cells need to be planted to that the plants can transpire the effluents. This system is called an evapotranspiration bed. The goal of these systems is to have zero discharge.