Just for the Health of It

Tips For Building in Remote Locations

All of the considerations for transportation, material, access, utilities and good design should be considered. Often future home owners buy a lot, and discover that for any of the above items, or other legal restrictions imposed by ministry or townships, are unable to build what they have planned, or even build at all. A good site has ease of access, good topography, water availability and potential for utilities. The lay of the land, or topography, often has a major impact on building design. Basically, try not to obtain lots of in low lying areas, the soil tends to be unstable, and future flooding could destroy your home. Consider the access, if water access is available, is it publicly or privately owned. Are there any fees for its use, and is it large enough to meet the needs of a barge, which you may or may not use to transport material. Is the access navigable. For instance, a lake with a multitude of floating logs, cannot be accessed by float plane. Utility considerations for weeping systems, water supply and electric generation units need to be considered.

Fresh water supply

First and most important is a ready supply of fresh drinking water, or what builders call, “potable water”.

1. Unless heavy trucks and equipment can make it into your site, the possibilities of a drilled well are very limited. There is, however, a small core drill machine available, which is portable, and capable of drilling a 2″ diameter well. One drawback to this type of well is the limited ability of pumps to bring the water to the surface. Such pumps are generally limited to a water table depth of about fifty feet. Once you include a storage “head” of 20 feet, then the well must have reached the water table at least thirty feet or less below the surface.

2. Another alternative is the dug well. This type of well usually has a lower water quality, but is much easier to install in difficult locations. They are simply a hole dug to four feet below the water table to allow storage of sufficient water.

3. Thirdly, if you are near a lake or stream, you could pump water directly from the source. Again, there is a question of water quality, and you could require the installation of filtration equipment or water treatment systems. An advantage of a stream is that you can install a water powered ram pump, which is capable of pumping water up to higher elevations. This type of pump requires a fair amount of maintenance, and a good steady flow of water to work effectively.

4. Finally, if you are fortunate, you may have a spring or artesian water well. Such sources tend to be a good, dependable source of fresh drinking water.

In any case, you must consider weather or not you will be utilizing a pumped pressure system, or gravity fed system. If a spring, artisan well or other water source is available on terrain above your building, a gravity system could possibly eliminate the need for any mechanical pumps requiring an outside energy source, at all.

Most often, builders opt for a gravity system, which utilizes a large storage tank located approximately 15′ above the highest plumbing outlet. Often they set up an installation so that the system is either self-filling from gravity water sources, or pumped only occasionally to refill the storage tank. This is the cheapest alternative, which provides very satisfactory results.

Sewer and waste systems

Disposing of waste products such as dishwater, showers or toilets must be done in accordance with the codes and laws. This may require the installation of a septic system, or certified waste handling equipment. Or you could simply build an outhouse. But the choice is yours. In the construction industry there are two types of wastewater. Grey water, which comes from dishwater, bath or shower water, and sump pumps and sanitary waste, which comes primarily from toilets. kho thuc pham dong lanh tai ha noi

1. If you like all the conveniences of home, then you should consider installing a septic system. This type of system is by far the most expensive. The weeping bed must be installed in conformance with environmental laws, which means importing special gravel and/or filter sand. There are plastic tanks available on the market, which can be transported, even to remote sites, or you could opt to build a tank, but it would require professional design. The advantage is an independent, reliable system, requiring little maintenance, which should operate for the life of the building and handle both grey water and sanitary waste. Secondary systems include the use of outhouses and biological or chemical toilets, combined with a grey water filtration or septic system. Grey water systems can be filtered either mechanically, or through a set of weeping pipes laid below ground (consult your local Ministry of Environment concerning the exact regulations to follow).

2. If you feel comfortable using an outhouse, and consider a separate grey water system, then this is the cheapest route to follow. Outhouses can be constructed to be both aesthetic and relatively odor free, but without secondary heat, can be rather cold in the mornings, especially during the winter months.

3. Chemical or biological toilets are waste handling equipment and must meet certain safety or environmental restrictions before being put on the market. They are a relatively cheap means of having an indoor toilet, and many guarantee to be odorless (which actually has proven itself to me). Some require the use of electric motor and fans, and some are a fully energy free mechanical. They are easy to install, and relatively maintenance free, requiring only seasonal cleaning.

4. Grey water systems, when combined with the use of biological toilets or outhouses tend to be the systems of choice. Grey water systems are generally a series of weeping pipes, lain amidst a gravel bed, which connect to the building through a distribution box. Do not, under any circumstances try to connect a toilet to such systems as they are only designed for free water, and solids will stop up the pipes. Grey water weeping systems are maintenance free, and require little cost and effort to install.

Of the three, I would suggest the use of a biological toilet and grey water system. This combines indoor service convenience, with lower costs, and performs well in future years.

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