Did you know that all the indoor toilets here at Stanwick Lakes are flushed with water from the lake beside the building? Most people recycle water using water from the roof which is collected when it rains. As we had a big “tank” right beside the building we decided to use that instead.
However, very few places in the UK do this, so the technology was experimental and designed specifically for our needs. Needless to say, it has had to be fine-tuned to meet our requirements and to allow for the fact that water is being taken from a lake alive with wildlife.
We found that a creature called a Zebra Mussel lives in the lake and lays eggs so miniscule they were getting through the fine mesh filters and hatching in the system. Sadly, now we have a UV filter to kill them off. These mussels are an extremely invasive migrant species from Southern Russia and are detrimental to our environment so we do not feel quite so badly about having to kill them.
You may have noticed that over the past couple of months the water in the toilet bowls has looked a bit grubby. This is because all the rain and snow we have had in the past year has stirred up the silt on the bottom of the lake. The water is taken from the lake through a pipe just under the decked area.
A pump in the lake pushes it into our plant room. It then goes through a series of filters and a UV ray to get rid of the sediment and other debris before another pump pushes it to the various cisterns. Because the sediment on the bottom of our lake is so fine, some of it has got through and is making the water in the toilets look a bit unsavoury. It isn’t, honestly, it is just sandy, reflecting the historic use of the site for sand and gravel extraction. It will clear naturally as the weather improves and the water is able to calm.
We are planning to extend the water system to the outside toilets once we can get the funding to buy the extra pump and filter systems that are necessary. So, for now we have to rely on mains water where the pressure can be a little erratic in the summer months.
– by Karen