Servicing your hut!
OFF GRID GLAMPING
This may involve drilling a water well, alternatively rain water harvesting and filtration. Rain water is soft and doesn’t contain any minerals or heavy metals the Ph is neutral and so captured rainwater is highly suitable for taking showers, washing hair and filling the hot tub, flushing toilets. Rainwater is not suitable for drinking or cleaning teeth.
A simple filtration system such as the British Berkefeld is a suitable solution. Water can also be taken from a stream or river and can be filtered through the British Berkefeld for drinking. Make sure that any water storage tank is sealed against mosquitoes.
There are multiple choices for dealing with human toilet waste.
- Gas incinerating toilets
- Sewerage treatment tank (Discharged to water course or ditch)
- Small bio digester
- Dry composting toilet
- Reed bed system, these often work alongside a septic tank or other treatment plants. Reedbeds have the ability to process nutrient rich waste by biological action, no smells are encountered where pre treatment takes place. Read beds can be accommodated in as little as 1.5 square meters of ground per occupant.
Waste water from hot tub, shower and kitchen sink.
This water can go directly through a reed bed or can be used for irrigation of grass, trees, shrubs or vegetable garden.
Low voltage electricity can be generated from flowing streams or rivers, solar panels, wind turbines or a generator.
The captured energy can be stored in a bank of low voltage batteries wired in parallel.
Thanks to the camper van and caravanning industry there is a good selection of lighting and appliances which work off 12-volt systems. It is possible to convert 12 voltages to 240 volts through an inverter, the downside is that the inverter itself consumes a large amount of the power during the process.
Fridges consume a large amount of energy as they are deployed around the clock.
An alternative is LPG gas fridges.
Bottled LPG gas is available in a wide range of bottle sizes and also large permanent tank sizes. (Planning consent is advisable for the permanent tanks)
Bottled gas is very convenient with distributors across the UK.
Uses for LPG gas include cooker, fridges, water heaters for shower, basin, hot tub, pizza ovens, BBQs and can also be used for outdoor patio heaters and lighting.
ON GRID GLAMPING
Water would be connected via underground service at the depth of 2’6” below surface. As a temporary measure or for the summer months waterpipes can be laid on surface for all but the frozen winter periods. The usual gauges are 25mm pipe with 50mm recommended from a large storage tank for the hot tub. The on-surface option gives the potential to move the hut with minimal disturbance.
Human waste treatment
Where mains electricity is available it is possible to install a large size private sewage treatment plant this can be buried with just a maintenance lid visible. Planning permission is generally required for these plants. But given that they are buried under the ground it is difficult to understand what can be created in terms of visual harm by installing these. The treatment plant breaks down the waste through several filtration chambers the outlet is usually pumped along a 22 to 35mm pipe to a ditch or water course. The discharged water is described by some manufacturers as suitable to drink.
This would be brought to the site by the national grid where it is transformed down to 1 or 3 phases, they will usually require the installation by the applicant of a substantial transformer/fuse box. The contractor will then be expected to excavate 450mm and lay an armoured cable. The armoured cable will then enter a distribution box similar to the transformer box where it will be divided off into smaller armoured cables which will in turn terminate in a hook-up for each shepherd hut caravan or tent. The maximum amperage on most UK sites is 16.
To put this in perspective a kettle is 3.3. amps
Plinth heater 6.8 amps
Hook up supplies can be as little as 6 amps and it is at the discretion of the site management as to what ampage to provide. With electricity costs within the UK being extremely high as at January 2023. If 16 amps of electricity is used it could cost the operator anything up to £28.00 per accommodation unit over a 24-hour period.