Water & Wetlands System

 

WATER & WETLANDS

 

From the clouds, to us, and then back to the land again.
Soliman Bay does not have traditional city sewer service so each home is responsible for obtaining their own water and dealing with waste. With an annual rainfall of 43.3 inches / 1099 millimeters we saw an opportunity to collect rainwater by designing our flat terraces and roofs to feed our underground water storage tanks for non-drinkable household use. After this water gets used (by sinks, toilets, showers) it goes into a beautiful composting wetlands garden system which cleans the used black and gray water into fresh water and returns it back to the land. While not as rainy as somewhere like Vancouver BC, we anticipate the ability to collect a substantial amount of water for daily home use. We augment our water needs with the traditional water truck to fill up our cisterns as needed, and subscribe to a delivery service for water-cooler style drinkable water for consumption.

Why a composting wetlands system and not a septic tank?
We seek to utilize and treat water in a way that more closely mimics nature, leaving a smaller overall environmental footprint and better protecting our mangroves and bay. Wetlands are efficient filters, removing pollutants as water flows through them. Maintenance is minimal, and consists of making sure vegetation is growing well and that water is flowing freely through the system. Constructed so that water never rises above the wetland surface, more than 90% of the input material will be converted to water and carbon dioxide. This leaves us with a small amount of dry composted material that is similar to topsoil.

Why is this important?
Even in a rainy spot such as the Yucatan, water can be a scarce and expensive resource. Soliman Bay does not have city sewer services so each home has to source and treat their own water. Traditional septic tanks can be worrisome in case of leaks or floods and can cause pollution harming wildlife and water quality in the bay. Because of the nature of composting wetlands, a septic state is never accumulated. It’s our hope that this system is useful for others as a working example of a septic tank alternative.

Soaps, shampoos and cleansers
In an effort to keep our wetlands functioning well, we are providing our guests with all natural biodegradable soaps and shampoos. We have sourced locally made and high quality products that our guests enjoy. We kindly ask our guests to refrain from using harsh cleansers or any chemicals in our system. Please let us know if you have questions.

 

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