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Best Environmental Practices
for Managing Energy, Water and Wastewater
at Off-grid Mountain Facilities
Karen Rollins
Backc...
Approach
• Assimilate information about options for managing:
1. Energy 3. Grey water
2. Potable water 4. Black water
• Co...
Reduce the Need for Heat Energy
!
$
4
7
,
1
5
0
TRIPLE PANE
LOW-e HIGH
PERFORMANCE
WINDOWS
SUPER
INSULATION
AIR TIGHT WALL...
Alpine Club of Canada - Des Poilus Hut
• Energy is needed in the backcountry for heating, cooking,
lighting, waste management, ventilation and
communications
• E...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Very reliable, logs readily
available, easy to
operate
Environment In...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliable, readily
available, functions well
in cold temperatures
Envi...
Wood Burning Stove vs Propane Stove
• Propane is 25% less expensive than wood burning
once you consider transportation cos...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Newer models are more
reliable.
Installation requires site
assessment...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliable.
Weak link = batteries
Environment No issues with soils, air...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Choose harsh cold model
Steps prior to installation
Annual maintenanc...
• Potable water = drinking water
• Sources: snowmelt, streams, springs, glacial melt water
• Treatment is required to kill...
Method Advantages Disadvantages
Boiling Simple
Does not alter taste
Takes time
Consumes energy
Hepatitis not completely in...
• Grey water = kitchen waste water
• Contains: soap, food particles, oil, grease, nutrients,
bacteria, viruses, chemicals
...
Grey Water Grease Trap
Grey Water Dispersion Field
• Sieve under the sink to filter out large
food particles
• Bucket carried out to drainage fie...
• Black water = sewage = urine, fecal waste, toilet paper
• Objectives of black water management:
– control pollution on s...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Simple method
Environment Requires sufficient soil,
will not decompos...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliable, requires access
to helicopters and
trained staff
Environmen...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliability depends on
manufacturer, requires a
custodian, propane an...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliability is
unpredictable: final
product requires further
treatmen...
Vermicomposting
• Process of composting that uses worms
and bacteria to convert solid waste into a
stabilized and safe end...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Reliability varies,
requires qualified
technician
Environment Require...
Criteria Comments
Installation
operation
maintenance
Purchase bags, education
program and checking
action to ensure
compli...
Urine Diversion (Source Separation)
• Involves separating urine from feces
before they are allowed to mix (urine is
steril...
Dehydrating Toilets
• Urine source separation combined with
dehydration of the solids can reduce the
amount of waste by 90...
• When choosing a black water option consider:
– Access
– Environmental conditions (soils, temperature, proximity to
surfa...
Decision Tree – Black Water
Decision Tree for Choosing a Waste Treatment System
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Low Use High Use
!
...
BEES
B a c k c o u n t r y E n e r g y E n v i r o n m e n t a l S o l u t i o n s
www.beeshive.org
Karen Rollins - Best Environmental Practices for Managing Energy, Water and Wastewater at Off-grid Mountain Facilities
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Karen Rollins - Best Environmental Practices for Managing Energy, Water and Wastewater at Off-grid Mountain Facilities

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Presentation to Sustainable Summits 2014.

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Karen Rollins - Best Environmental Practices for Managing Energy, Water and Wastewater at Off-grid Mountain Facilities

  1. 1. Best Environmental Practices for Managing Energy, Water and Wastewater at Off-grid Mountain Facilities Karen Rollins Backcountry Energy Environmental Solutions (BEES) Sustainable Summits July 2014 www.beeshive.org
  2. 2. Approach • Assimilate information about options for managing: 1. Energy 3. Grey water 2. Potable water 4. Black water • Compare the technologies using criteria: – Cost – Reliability – Installation, operation, maintenance – Environment – Cultural value – Health & Safety – Planning & permitting • Develop recommendations - BEES philosophy: • Reduce environmental impacts • Reduce the use of fossil fuels • Foster energy efficiency
  3. 3. Reduce the Need for Heat Energy ! $ 4 7 , 1 5 0 TRIPLE PANE LOW-e HIGH PERFORMANCE WINDOWS SUPER INSULATION AIR TIGHT WALL CONSTRUCTION WITH NO THERMAL BRIDGING HEAT RECOVERY VENTILATION TO PREHEAT FRESH AIR BUILDING ORIENTED FOR MAXIMUM SUN EXPOSURE BUILDING SHAPE FOR MAXIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY
  4. 4. Alpine Club of Canada - Des Poilus Hut
  5. 5. • Energy is needed in the backcountry for heating, cooking, lighting, waste management, ventilation and communications • Energy options include: – wood burning – propane – micro-hydro – photovoltaics – wind power 1. Energy
  6. 6. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Very reliable, logs readily available, easy to operate Environment Incomplete combustion results in air quality issues. Wood burning produces greenhouse gases. Cultural value A fire may be desirable, traditional heat source Health and safety Some air quality issues, may be a fire hazard Wood Burning
  7. 7. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliable, readily available, functions well in cold temperatures Environment Fossil fuel = greenhouse gas emissions, but lower than wood burning Some air quality issues (CO, NO, particulates) Cultural value None Health and safety Lowest flammability rating of all fossil fuels Propane
  8. 8. Wood Burning Stove vs Propane Stove • Propane is 25% less expensive than wood burning once you consider transportation costs • Propane requires half the number of helicopter flights than wood burning • Propane is less polluting to the indoor and outdoor air quality • Propane produces 15% less CO2 (greenhouse gas emissions)
  9. 9. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Newer models are more reliable. Installation requires site assessment. Environment Affects stream flow and aquatic life. Considered ‘clean’ power Some visual and noise. Cultural value May be seen as ‘green’ Health and safety Normal electrical safety procedures Planning and permitting Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada Waterpower Initiative, Dominion Water Power Act and Regulations Micro-hydro
  10. 10. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliable. Weak link = batteries Environment No issues with soils, air quality, odour, noise, flora & fauna. Some visual impact, some issues with end of life recycling. Cultural value May be seen as ‘green’ Health and safety Normal electrical safety procedures Photovoltaics
  11. 11. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Choose harsh cold model Steps prior to installation Annual maintenance Environment No impact to soils, odour, air quality. Some visual impact, noise, birds & bats. No fossil fuel. Cultural value May be seen as ‘green’ May be inappropriate invasion of natural surroundings Health and safety Normal electrical safety procedures, ice shedding, shadow flicker, helicopter flight path Planning and permitting Environment Canada Wind Turbine Recommendations: - Choose a wind turbine with proven success in harsh cold climates
  12. 12. • Potable water = drinking water • Sources: snowmelt, streams, springs, glacial melt water • Treatment is required to kill or remove disease-causing microorganisms: bacteria, protozoa, worms, viruses • Other issues: turbidity, heavy metals 2. Potable Water
  13. 13. Method Advantages Disadvantages Boiling Simple Does not alter taste Takes time Consumes energy Hepatitis not completely inactivated Chemical treatment Used anywhere Does not consume energy Takes time Taste may be altered Cold water takes longer to disinfect Turbidity decreases effectiveness Filtration (ceramic) Simple procedure Does not alter taste Does no consume energy Equipment is fragile, needs cleaning Does not remove viruses UV treatment Not as much energy as boiling Does not alter taste Reliable power source required Inactivated micros not removed Turbidity decreases effectiveness Potable Water Treatment Methods
  14. 14. • Grey water = kitchen waste water • Contains: soap, food particles, oil, grease, nutrients, bacteria, viruses, chemicals • Objectives of grey water treatment are to: – Control odours – Not provide an attraction for wildlife – Prevent contamination of groundwater and surface water – Prevent eutrophication of surface waters 3. Grey Water
  15. 15. Grey Water Grease Trap
  16. 16. Grey Water Dispersion Field • Sieve under the sink to filter out large food particles • Bucket carried out to drainage field • Mechanical processing: sand and gravel • Biological processing: bacteria on sand and gravel decompose organic material $ 4 7 , 1 5 0 150mm PVC PIPE Greywater Drainage Field 19mm CRUSHED GRAVEL SAND 50mm 600mm
  17. 17. • Black water = sewage = urine, fecal waste, toilet paper • Objectives of black water management: – control pollution on site – prevent disease through human contact • Options for black water management in use in Canada’s alpine include: – barrel fly-out – incineration – composting – tertiary waste treatment – carry-out 4. Black Water
  18. 18. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Simple method Environment Requires sufficient soil, will not decompose under freezing T, can pollute ground and surface water, odours Cultural value May be seen as having low environmental protection standards Health and safety No issues if operating properly Planning and permitting 1 meter above ground water, 30 m from surface water Pit Toilet VENT% BOTTOM%OF%PIT%AT% LEAST%ONE%METER% ABOVE%GROUND% WATER%TABLE% 1000% LOCATE%PIT%AT%LEAST% 30%METERS%FROM% SURFACE%WATER% RAISE%THE% STRUCTURE%OR% MOUND%UP%SOIL% TO%PREVENT% FLOODING%OF%PIT% SOLIDS% ACCUMULATE% AND% DECOMPOSE,% LIQUIDS% PERCOLATE%INTO% THE%SOIL%
  19. 19. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliable, requires access to helicopters and trained staff Environment Functions in any environment. No local environmental impact to soil and water. Environmental impact from odours, noise, fossil fuel, risk of spill Cultural value All waste removed is positive, helicopter use is negative Health and safety Maintenance staff may come into contact with barrel contents. Planning and permitting A permit is required to fly in the National Parks Barrel Fly-out
  20. 20. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliability depends on manufacturer, requires a custodian, propane and electric, alpine requires a longer burning time Environment Odour and air quality depend on the manufacturer, no impact on local water or soils Cultural value All waste removed - positive, odours and fossil fuels - negative Health and safety No issues Planning and permitting Permit may be required to deposit ash on site Incinerating Toilet
  21. 21. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliability is unpredictable: final product requires further treatment Environment Requires a heat source, fossil fuels, leachate may pose a risk to ground and surface waters Cultural value May be seen as ‘green’, warm seat, no odour Health and safety Risk to maintenance (respirator) Planning and permitting No regulations Composting Toilet Recommendations: - vertical chamber (first in – first out), bigger is better - source of heat – fossil fuels - electrical energy source to run the ventilation fan - knowledgeable staff to operate - end product (hazardous waste) needs further treatment
  22. 22. Vermicomposting • Process of composting that uses worms and bacteria to convert solid waste into a stabilized and safe end product
  23. 23. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Reliability varies, requires qualified technician Environment Requires warm conditions, effluent may contain pharmaceuticals and synthetic hormones Cultural value May be seen as responsible management, flush toilet is possible Health and safety No issues provided effluent is of high quality Planning and permitting Regular monitoring of effluent Tertiary Waste Treatment
  24. 24. Criteria Comments Installation operation maintenance Purchase bags, education program and checking action to ensure compliance Environment Requires 100% compliance, end disposal may have global environmental issues Cultural value Individuals may feel good about carrying out their own waste and leaving no footprint or they may feel it is a burden Health and safety Some risk to the user Planning and permitting Regulations for disposal need to be developed Carry Out
  25. 25. Urine Diversion (Source Separation) • Involves separating urine from feces before they are allowed to mix (urine is sterile, feces contain pathogens) • Urine may be dispersed on site in constructed leach field • Evaporation of urine is a promising alternative to on site disposal • May reduce the amount of remaining waste by 80-90%
  26. 26. Dehydrating Toilets • Urine source separation combined with dehydration of the solids can reduce the amount of waste by 90% • Pathogen elimination cannot be totally achieved with this method • Dehydration will cease if the pile freezes • Urine Diversion dehydrating Toilets (UDDT) – Ecosphere Technologies (France)
  27. 27. • When choosing a black water option consider: – Access – Environmental conditions (soils, temperature, proximity to surface and ground water) – Amount of use (seasonal, number of visitors) – Energy requirements vs energy availability – Budget – Availability of resources (custodian, access to transportation, level of skill required to operate the technology) – Health and safety codes – Land manager requirements Black Water Option Selection
  28. 28. Decision Tree – Black Water Decision Tree for Choosing a Waste Treatment System !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Low Use High Use ! ! ! No Soil Sufficient Soil ! ! Custodian No Custodian ! Carry&out! ! Pit!Toilet! ! ! ! Energy No Energy! !!!!!!!!! ! !!!!!!Barrel fly-out! Source Source Urine!Diversion! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Barrel!fly&out! ! ! ! ! Barrel!fly&out! ! No Centralized Facility! Urine!Diversion! ! ! ! Urine!Diversion! Dehydrating!(UDDT)! ! ! ! ! ! Tertiary! ! ! ! ! ! ! Composting! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Carry&out! Incinerating! Vermicomposting!
  29. 29. BEES B a c k c o u n t r y E n e r g y E n v i r o n m e n t a l S o l u t i o n s www.beeshive.org

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