This is the access point for our plumbing systems. As I placed the pipes I flowed water through and pressure tests to make sure my joints were tight and the pipes sloped to empty as viewed in all my check points. My plumber’s level said everything was fine but I still liked running some water through the systems to see it all in actions. Besides, it’s fun!
Access Point Before Pipes were Added
The access point is actually a honeycomb of larger sized pipes at the end of the plumbing trench. I then slid the actual water pipes through the larger sized pipes. This made it easier to setup, maintain and modify in the future. Doing it this way was easier than fitting all the pipes in place and then sealing around them and it gives a better trench seal.
In a USDA inspected meat processing facility one is required to separate what is called the welfare waste water system from the process waste water system until the pipes exit the building. This is for sanitation so that the septic can never backup to the process rooms. We take it a step further by completely disconnecting the two systems.
We actually have six ‘waste’ systems. This lets us treat different types of materials appropriately:
Welfare is the floors of the administration section like the hall, inspector’s office and bathroom as well as the toilet, shower and laundry. This all runs to a septic system with a tank and leach field much like many rural homes. This isn’t really ‘wasted’ since the bacteria in the tank and then the leach field break down the organics and return them safely to the earth.
Process water from the abattoir, chiller, cutting room, fermenting cave, refrigeration rooms is very high in organics like protein, fats and such which means a high BOD load. All of these run to a wet compost system so that we can capture the organic nutrients by mixing them with carbon and letting microbes do their magic to produce soil amendments, fertilizer, for our farm.
Blood is handled by it’s own drainage system although that will actually redirect into the compost since blood contains valuable nutrients for soil amendment. By building a separate line though I can control the mixing.
Salt is a preservative, in addition to making things taste good, so the brine system collects salt water that could kill the septic or compost microbes. Salting the earth is generally a bad idea.
Smoke room floor drains collect the water from the smokehouse to a separate system because those fluids are high in smoke particulates and fats. The smoke in particular can kill the microbes we want to nurture in our compost and septic so we need to keep those out as well. Remember that smoke, like salt, is a traditional preservation technique.
Offal such as the inedible guts portions will go via barrels to our on-farm ‘dry’ compost system so that we can recapture those nutrients as well as the wet compost nutrients. I know that the fertilizer I produce with our own compost is not only the highest quality but it is also free of herbicides and pesticides. I can’t buy organic fertilizer this good. Our land is nutrient poor so by returning these as valuable organic fertilizer to our mountain soil we can keep the nutrients on our farm to grow the next pastures, orchards, nuts and other crops that will feed future chickens, ducks, pigs and sheep.
These multiple ‘waste’ systems helps us treat the different streams separately to recapture the nutrients for our farm, returning them to the soil where they can be reused in the cycle of life.
Outdoors: 65°F/39°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F
Daily Spark: Waste is a verb. -Many