Fecal pits, sewage treatment and irrigation
Parque Botanico has two fecal pits they are an important first step in the water purification process. Here the raw sewage water is collected and pumped to the water treatment plant located above the AP7.
Technical issues: The problems with the fecal pits result from the lack of professional maintenance and a preventive maintenance program. Some of the pumps are broken, burned out, have broken stopcocks and in general they are all on a very bad condition. Residents regularly flush hygiene products, diapers, and condoms down their toilets. These products clog and damage the pumps and require many man hours to repair. Repeated requests not to do this have so far been of no avail. We have now replaced several pumps or overhauled them, and a preventive maintenance program has been implemented.
Outcome of Failed System: If the fecal pits do not work or do not work properly, the water purification installation will not receive sufficient water. The purified water is used for the irrigation of the gardens of Parque Botanico. The direct consequence of this is that we cannot water the gardens adequately. If the pumps fail , the fecal pit can overflow, causing raw sewage to flow out uncontrollably. Besides the fact that this poses a danger to public health, this can be punished with fines that can amount to more than €6,000 per incident.
Explantion of Fecal System
The waste water from Block W and the Villas del Valle goes to Well 1 (behind the tennis court). From there it flows to Well 2 located below Villas del Rio, where the wastewater from Block E and the Villas del Rio combine. From Well 2 the reclaimed water goes to the purification installation above the AP7 to be purified, after which it can be used for the irrigation of our gardens.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT
Technical issues: Due to total lack of maintenance, the hydraulic valves, control panel, and the electric-mechanical valves are broken. The complete piping system is rusted, plus the chlorinator is leaking. Due to the above the system is only working at 30% capacity which results in a constant shortage of water to irrigate our gardens.
Wastewater from all apartments and villas ends up in the sewage system through drainpipes. The polluted water goes through two fecial pits to sewage treatment plants which are located on the other side of the AP7. There the wastewater is purified in such a way that it can be used for irrigating our gardens. Bacteria are used to treat the wastewater clean, but they need oxygen to do their job properly, Aerators introduce extra oxygen into the water speeding up the purification process. The aerators ensure that the water is continuously in motion and that the bacteria can do their work. After the bacteria have done their job, the water passes through various filters and chlorine has been added, the water can finally be pumped back for irrigating our gardens.
Outcome: The wastewater plant needs to be completely overhauled and modernized to ensure that we have enough water in the future to adequately water our gardens.
The irrigation system is very outdated and broken in many places. The automation of the irrigation system no longer functions meaning that all valves had to be opened and closed manually. The problems with the water purification contribute to the regular occurrence of not enough having sufficient water for the gardens. Unfortunately, this problem is also magnified because some residents themselves take the initiative to turn on the irrigation in certain places, making the distribution of water disproportionate and creating a water shortage. Some residents wrongly believe that they have the right to connect their private irrigation to that of the community. The community is not responsible for the watering of private gardens, it leads to an even greater water shortage and risk of leaks.
The automation problems have now been solved and the entire irrigation system is now being systematically overhauled. A preventive maintenance plan will be implemented. Unfortunately, this is only part of the solution, if the problems with the water purification installation are not resolved we must use the available water wisely.