-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

more info on Ozzikleen system

Dad sends more information about the Ozzikleen wastewater treatment system...

Email from Dad (Feb 12)

Hi again,

Here is a scan of part of the brochure sent to me by Ozzikleen.

I have taken time today to call the Vic Rep to enquire of some factors that impact on your use of the water:

1. Malcolm said the system could be upgraded to another level of water treatment by installing a sand filter initially. Russell, the Vic Manager said this was possible and that back washing it quarterly as part of the EPA required periodic maintenance would be about $25 extra. The cost of maintenance for other things is about $80-85. If you add chlorine it costs more. There are many applications for the water which doesn't require chlorine to be added according to Malcolm so we need to check this out as chlorine costs about $25 extra too. The water is tested and the chlorine concentration required set and is then added automatically by the system for that quarter.

2. I explained that the system will not be commissioned for many years and that Malcolm advised that we could extract the submersible pump, which is contained in a PVC cylinder, and store this in the shed so no maintenance or deterioration was going to happen while this period passed. He agreed with this appraisal.

3. The natural next question was whether rainwater could be stored in the tank during this period before commissioning and pumped out to use on the garden or/wherever. He said the tanks were made from potable water grade PVC so that would not pose a problem.

4. I then asked about the greywater system. Before commissioning a starter kit of bacteria is placed into the tank's 3000 litre treatment section. Water is pumped into a pumping well as the next stage, which is ready for use, but only 300 litres. This is of great concern because I had wanted to pump water from this reserve on an automatic basis into the cistern supply to flush the toilets. That is one of the main functions of the pumping well. When this well is full it is automatically dispersed to the irrigation field, or wherever we choose.

5. So I asked then if I could disperse it to the open stock tank and use it for growing the water lilies. A phase of this would be to aerate the water that has a dual purpose of allowing uptake of oxygen and purification by sunlight. He agreed that this would be entirely okay.

6. I asked if I could store it in a tank for dispersal later, and he said that was fine because of the chlorination process. So you can get set-up to store water for irrigation at a time and to where you like. I asked about using it on vegetable and fruit, and he said this was perfectly alright and permitted. So it could be pumped uphill to the irrigation tank and await use on the garden where-ever you choose and whenever you choose. I would prefer you chose to keep the irrigation tank used for the dam water separate from that acquired from the greywater. I think pumping it to a tank on the other side of the house but uphill of the walled garden would be the best solution, but that is your call. I think where possible you should distribute the water as soon as possible to sites about the property as needed by plants.

Update (April 2009): Unfortunately, we later learned that storing the water for later dispersal may not be possible for us, at least initially. It would be perfectly safe to do so given the treatment to the water, but the local council apparently doesn't allow it yet. It's a bit like when I was a kid they used to ban (seriously!) rainwater tanks in suburbs - vs now they give subsidies to encourage people to install. Apparently some councils are already more flexible on this, so hopefully ours will have changed by the time we move back...

7. I spoke at length to Malcolm about the irrigation system. He said we could setup the system with a manifold which permited by valve management routing water to whereever we wished it. At present we cannot plan to store any of the black water, but that may be possible one day. That is the smaller supply because it involves only water used when flushing the toilet. The showers, washing machine, kitchen wastes, etc goes to the greywater system. A grease trap is usually incorporated in the waste from the kitchen supply. There are several sizes of traps available. This is part of the connection to the house phase of the plumbing and doesn't need be involved in this septic waste system right now.

Will talk more later. I strongly advise you to use OzzieKleen. I am much more impressed with their product range than with Septech, and having Malcolm to maintain it and advise on other plumbing design is going to be great.

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