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Diary Article 15.

This week was one of those rare weeks when I didn’t have a bonfire. Instead I started the day off by cutting some of the growth from round what I though was just a cesspit, but it is a lot more than that. The old cesspit was upgraded with a new system some 3 years ago when the new Café was built to bring it up to standard and cope with the expected extra usage from the café. It was installed in the Winter months and so the diggers made a real mess of the garden area round it with all the wet and the mud, but you wouldn’t know it now with the lawn all re-grown and the borders nice and tidy. (It was the spoil from these excavations that made up the mound of soil that I levelled out and tidied up some months ago.)

I was told, by one of the committee, that the cesspit is actually combined with a mini effluent pre-treatment plant very much along the lines that some of the smaller, rural villages have at edge of the village designed to reduce the quantity of effluent by removing some of the solids as well as starting the treatment process.

Apparently the system incorporates, a big drum that slowly revolves, and an air pump that blows in air to oxygenate the waste and encourage aerobic bacteria. These are an essential part of decomposition, but not so smelly as anaerobic bacteria that occur naturally in stagnant, oxygen deprived waste and water. In fact the system works so well that you wouldn’t really know that the whole thing was there because of the lack of smell that you might expect with a cesspit which is nice because it is at the back of the garden and visitors want to smell the flowers – not other things! There are enough “Country Smells,” from the cows and other animals!

As with most cesspits, the excess water drains off into the land drains, but unlike other cesspits it is far more hygienically clean having been pre-treated. It seems that the main reason for the installation of the pre-treatment system, was because of the poor soil and bad drainage conditions that prevail on the site of Oak Tree Farm. When it was all installed, an inspector of some sort came several times to check on the efficiency of the system with repeated tests to see if everything was working to the required standards and apparently it passed every time.

Oak Tree Farm likes to be “Green,” where they can and it might be an artificial, man made treatment system, but it would seem to be a more reliable system than the type that can be found elsewhere that relies fully on natural Reed beds. It always struck me that it is fine when the Reeds are growing in the Summer months, but what about in Winter when the Reeds are all dormant? Whereas, Oak Tree’s artificial system works efficiently 12 months of the year helping keep the environment just that little bit cleaner and less polluted.

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