The Water System at 7L (Sieben Linden)

7L has recently been forced to go onto mains water supply by the water companies backed by city laws. They say each house has to have one tap  from the city mains as the 7L treated recycled water cannot be sure to be uncontaminated. 7L’s lawyers said it was not worth fighting over this. The business around water is big and needs exposing.   Once again safety is used as a smokescreen to hide business interests. The issue of how experimental projects that want to model new approaches i.e. not be illegal but open, can also push boundaries against present bureaucratic and business structures is a big one. It is one issue that LCNC is going to face.

But all that aside… 7L do clean all their grey water. I will tell you about sewage, black water, in my next post. Grey water is from showers, washing up and laundry. The showers in the seminar house are lovely.

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The sinks


This water is then taken to the reed bed system to be cleaned in 2 reed beds.  They are building a third bed and some of us helped with that. Each bed can clean the grey water from about sixty people.  Here is the plan of the reed bed system:

P1320050Before the water goes in the beds it is filtered and the big bits are composted.


Then the water goes to the reed beds. Here is Martin in front of the reed beds that are up and running, holding a reed and showing that it is hollow. He said that in fact the reeds only do 3% of the work of cleaning  the water and are actually almost pointless but people like the look of them and they are good for thatch. The cleaning is really done by the filtering.


Here are the old beds:

P1320398 P1320397Here is the new bed with the pipes sticking out of the sand:

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Beside the beds is a concrete access point which Martin entered and showed us the clean water. It smelled like water and was clean enough to drink according to all the tests they do on it. However  they only use it to water the garden as they have paying guests and cannot be 100% sure that no one would ever get sick from it.

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P1320040It is lovely water and such a shame the city cannot see that!

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