Friday, October 31, 2008

Septic systems in Indonesia verses a biocycle

I took these photos about 2 months ago but have been too busy to post.

I was shocked to discover what happened to our household sewerage.

We have lived in rural locations for the last 12 years and have always had a BIOCYCLE unit.
A biocycle is a home waste water recycling unit. Ever drop of water that is used is recycled in to clear water.
You can not drink it, but is safe to use on the garden.
This is a small scale version of a modern city sewerage system.
These units are expensive to purchase but are very environmentally friendly.
They operate by mixing good bacteria and oxygen (very simple girl

The only draw back is that you have to be very careful about the product you use, eg no antibacterial cleaners, alkaline cleaning products, napisan, washing powder with enzymes etc.

You can read about my Brisbane one here (from 2006).

I was always careful to keep the unit balanced , if the bacteria levels went down I would have to add bicarb soda in, about 1-2 kilos, as well as some garden fertilizer (yes stinky blood and bones.....). To add this I would have to flush it down the toilet........nothing like fertilizing your toilet LOL! (or I could just give GJ and his mates a huge feed of meat curry...that would boost it up too!).

So I was use to the idea and operation of a septic system or so I thought....

A lot of the public toilets in Indonesia have signs and bins for used toilet paper, the systems can't cope with it, it certainly adds a lovely aroma to the already strong smelling bathrooms.Now I know why.

The owners maintenance man came and told me they needed to do some work on the septic, I just assumed it would be the old sludge removal thingy.....I just asked that it be done while I was a work and the kids at school.

I now know what a Jakartan septic system is; its a hole in the ground with a bit of bark in the bottom.
So the contents of the toilets just goes into a pit and eventually wanders off into the water table.
This is about 6 meters from where the well is sunk for our tap water .

Can you imagine what the ground water is like in a city of 20+ million people......

All other water goes into a open ditch roadside and eventually gets to the river.(here is a description).

So live at the top of a hill and don't drink the tap water, or wash your vegetables in it (and don't think about anything as you shower....)


Tanya said...

Hmm same for us Im thinking...actually scratch that Im trying not to think...

johnorford said...

i used to always brush my teeth with tap water... never again!! : )