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A Russian Submarine in my Garden

May 27, 2013

Just when things are getting better, you are looking forward to enjoy time in the garden, you all over sudden find the strangest things in your garden. Who has parked this thing that looks like the upper part of a Russian sub in my garden?


Okay, okay…! Let’s go back to DEFCON 4. It’s not a Russian Sub. It’s a water filtering field and a sewage tank.
I was a little bit surprised how “big” it turned out to be. Yes, I knew it’s going to be some 20 meters long and some 5 meters wide, but this is a bit more than my imagination was ready for. When the guy driving the digger told me that there is going to be this little “hill” at the end of the filtering field due to the slope of the land, then I was thinking of some nice little elevation, but not this miniature Mount Everest. It all looked so innocent when he measured the field with laser equipment.


Anyhow, what had to be done had to be done. I wish he would have dug in 50 cm deeper but that wouldn’t have made some much difference either. It all started with shovel of dirt being dug out.


With brutal force and precise guidance, we dug ourselves up the hill. The biggest fear was that we will hit a rock that we couldn’t move. If that would happen, then we would have to either hold the whole work to call in the dynamite guy or move the field more inside my back yard. But with the exception of one rock that penetrates the water filtering field bottom by 50 cm the digger could move all the rocks in the way.


Once the whole was dug, it was time to build the water filtering sandwich. The bottom layer is some medium-sized gravel on which then the pipes that collect the filtered water are being placed.


On top of those pipes comes more gravel. Plenty of more gravel. The inspection pipe where the water is collected is placed and  (in this case going around the corner towards the left in the photo below) the pipe from which the filtered water runs into bed of gravel is attached.


Next up is the placement of the filtering tank that separates any sediments such as mud or sand in the grey water from the shower from the dirty water.


And then more gravel and more sand, and more gravel…


This is how it looked at the end of day 1. There is still more gravel to come and more sand, the second set of pipes which disperse the dirty water into the filtering field, and soil on top of the whole the thing but I couldn’t document the second day as I had other things to do. Next time I arrived the works were ready and it looked like this.


The 5500 liter sewage tank is under the first pipe in the photo above. After that comes the separation tank of the filtering field and the pipes which allow air to vent through the field. At the moment, it looks rather … ugly but the gardening works are still ahead.


And how much does such a thing cost? I don’t have the invoice yet but below are the approximate prices of what it should cost:

  • JITA sewage tank and filtering field parts: 4000 Euro
  • Earth moving costs: 1200 Euro
  • Moving digger to site: 150 Euro
  • Plumbers time: 600 Euro
  • Sand and gravel: approximately 2000 Euro.

Above prices are without VAT and, therefore, the whole thing should cost round about 10.000 to 12.000 Euro.

UPDATE (11.06.2013):

I got now the invoice for the water filtering field. I was pretty close with my estimates without ALV:

  • JITA sewage tank and filtering field parts: 3829 Euro
  • Earth moving (18 hrs, includes some extra landscaping work): 1080 Euro
  • Moving digger to site: 150 Euro
  • Sand and gravel (84m3 sand, 16.5 tons 0-16mm gravel, 36m2 8-32mm gravel): 2144 Euro

That’s a grand total of just below 9000 Euro with ALV. Missing is still the invoice for the work of the plumbers to be invoiced separately but I doubt it will be more than 500 Euro.

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