For July one of my big projects has been the final lower plumbing in the butcher shop. In the basement, the trenches we made in 2009, I’m bringing all the plumbing together along with the potential for future expansion and changes. This will get capped over with insulation to create a openable space should we ever need to get at it and then covered over with a layer of concrete as we pour the final floors.
The goal is to end up with as few floor penetrations as possible so we have floors walls and ceilings jointed as seamless as can be. This maximizes ease of sanitation and food safety since the bacteria won’t have places to hide. The purpose of the maze at that point is to bring a lot of pipes together so I can have fewer penetrations for clean outs and those floor penetrations can be in a dry hall area rather than wet processing floors.
The area shown above is the junction in the middle of the Administration hall. In one direction it goes off to the initial cutting room which will later become the smokehouse and warm kitchen. Beyond that are the rest of the processing rooms in reefer. In another direction it goes to the abattoir, the kill floor. All pipes also lead outdoors to the compost and septic. You can see a floor plan on the Butcher Shop page.
In a most buildings there is only one Drain Waste Vent system (DWV). In a USDA Meat Processing facility we are required to have two systems by regulation. One is for welfare which is the sewage from the toilet, the washing machine, the shower and such. The other is for process water which is the floors, sinks and other drains of all the processing rooms where food handling happens. These two systems must exit the building separately for sanitary reasons.
Often there is also a blood drain system since blood is so high in nutrients (BODs) which could clog up a septic system. We actually have two blood drain systems to allow us to switch compost systems. We will wet compost all the process water and blood to recapture those nutrients. By capturing those nutrients we return them to the soil and it means we can use a smaller septic system than would be necessary if all the process water went through the septic tank and leach field.
Our building has two additional DWV systems. One for dealing with the brine, the salt used in curing. The other for dealing with the smokehouse. These two extra systems are because I don’t want these solutions going into our septic or our primary compost since either could kill the helpful bacteria in those digestive systems.
That brings our plumbing systems to a total of five – six if you count the redundant blood system. By separating these process outputs we can better deal with them individually to capture the nutrients and return them to the soil where they benefit nature and our farm. It’s like separating your recycling.
Outdoors: 74°F/52°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 65°F/62°F
Daily Spark: There is no need to go backwards when you can go forwards.