Facilities maintenance

Version: 31 August 2011 (added details about gutter cleaning)

The Delta buildings are located in an unsewered country township and so wastewater generated in the business is treated on-site via a septic tank. The facilities are managed to minimise water and energy use, with a greywater recycling system and energy saving globes. As equipment is replaced, water and energy efficiency are assessed as part of the purchase decision.

The septic system is a large one in comparison to the site population and is maintained by pumping out every 3-5 years. In order to minimise the frequency of maintenance and to prevent blockages, bad smells and other breakdowns, the following advice is provided:

The greywater system is a series of bypass valves on drains leading from individual sinks in the buildings. Attached to the bypass valves are hoses that reach the gardens and connect to 'spreader hoses' that spread the greywater discharge over the receiving garden beds. Greywater is not held in tanks. The valves may be opened and shut to dislodge any material that builds up in the pipes, and the hoses may be disconnected to be cleaned out. The need for such interventions is reduced if the following advice is followed:

Use only eco-safe laundry detergent in the washing machine. No matter which wash cycle you choose, select "cold wash" to save on hot water use.

Hot water is produced using a solar HWS with instantaneous gas boosting for periods of grey weather.

Temperature and light regulation: Windows are washed regularly to keep internal light levels high. St Kilda has a moderate maritime climate. Cool temperatures inside during summer are generally maintained by use of blinds, external shading and cross breezes, although evaporative air conditioning is available during extreme weather in the main building and reverse cycle air conditioning is available in the laboratory and office. Similarly, winter daytime temperatures are maintained by opening blinds to allow solar gain. Very efficient gas heating is available for cold mornings.

An 1.5 kW embedded photovoltaic generation system (solar panels) provides much of the energy used by the business during business hours.

The water supply to the facility is an automatically switched mains/rain system. When the rainwater tanks empty or when power fails, the system reverts to the mains water supply.

To ensure the best quality of rainwater, gutters are cleaned annually and all first flush devices and tank strainers should be regularly maintained. Prior to gutters being cleaned, the first flush diverter on the drinking water tank shall be opened so that any gutter washings do not enter the tank. The main storage tanks shall have the strap that holds the gutter downpipe onto the tank inlet sieve unscrewed so that the downpipe can be moved way from the tank inlet, for the same reason.

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