Stories from the site on low impact development:
June 2014: Ecological Surveying
Ecologist Sam Brown surveys grasses and flowers in the MG5c rare grassland found at Steepholdling, Greenham Reach.
May 2014: Water Treatment - No to Sand Filters
We installed a rainwater harvesting system on the barn at the site, with 20,000 litres of above-ground storage. The water is currently being filtered by a series of gravity sand filters designed by a community water engineer and installed by director Oli Rodker. The smallholders then use a ceramic filter in their dwellings.
Since installing the sand filters we have been asked by the district council to replace them. Our water engineer Alex Massey explains why: "Environmental Health were primarily concerned that the maintenance would be too complex for those living on the site. This is due to the need to remove layers of sand from the filter every year to ensure that it does not become clogged and a full removal and washing of the sand every 5 years or so. These are simple operations which can be easily conducted without specific technical skill and do not cost anything to perform; however this is perceived as more demanding by Environmental Health as it requires an understanding of the biological processes involved and is more onerous than replacing a standard filter.
Slow sand filters remain a tried and tested technology which are low maintenance and very low cost to operate, and they are used throughout the world with great success and as such should explored if considering a low-impact development; however the nature of the occupancy on the site is likely to determine whether Environmental Health will be content with the approach.”
Alex is referring to the legislation governing the supply of potable water to more than one dwelling.
We are now installing a series of micro-particular filters and a single UV filter.