La Cabrière Country House was the first Guest house, in Franschhoek to operate, since September 2011, its own gray water treatment plant. The treatment plant and its 3 storage tanks of 6000 liters treated clean water each, are underground and invisible to our guests. The water is used for irrigation around La Cabrière and to fill up the dam in front of the guest cottage, making La Cabrière an advanced eco-friendly hotel.
The plant can handle up to 3000 liters of waste water per day, from the toilets, showers, dishwashers, washing machines and kitchen sinks. We only use biodegradable cleaning agents an washing powder incl.a biodegradable bleach. We also provide our guests with biodegradable soap. We endeavour to go the extra mile, in order to keep the bacteria of treatment plant alive and healthy, in order to ensure that treated water leaves the plant clean enough to drink. This system is a major ecologically friendly contribution, towards a cleaner Franschhoek and nature conservation as a whole.
The system has been approved for our eco-friendly hotel by the Franschhoek Municipality and is constantly being monitored and serviced by factory specialists. Every three months a water sample has to be sent for laboratory tests, in order to ensure that the water quality is perfect. In order to create a healthy ECO system around the dam in front of the guest cottage, we have planted 82 Trees of between 1.70 and 3 meters of high. Stellenbosch University has given advice and support, in choosing appropriate water plants, to attract insects and to prepare the Dam to stock some fish, like Tilapia, Grass Carb, Largemouth Bass and Rainbow Trout. The fish will be stocked from October 2012 onwards, but as a gift from mother Nature, insects, frogs and some fish have already appeared naturally in the dam. The food chain around the dam is already very attractive for birds like, Black-headed Heron, Giant King Fisher, Black Cormorant, Hamerkop, while Egyptian Geese and Blacksmith Lapwing(or Schmiede Kiebitz) are regularly spotted in and around the water.We are constantly upgrading the vegetation around the dam to create breeding ground for the Birds and to allow pairs to settle here in Franschhoek.
How the Fusion ® System works
Flow Diagram of the Fusion
Sedimentation Chamber This chamber is designed to physically separate solids (sludge) and fat/grease (scum) from the incoming water.
Anaerobic Chamber This chamber contains a spherical-skeleton type of filter media (4.3 inch diameter). Through fixed film processes on the surface of the filter media, biological anaerobic treatment thrives while suspended solids are captured. Furthermore, the microorganisms in this chamber convert nitrates in the recirculated water returning from the aerobic chamber to gaseous nitrogen. The nitrogen then escapes to the atmosphere.
Aerobic Filter Media Chamber The aerobic floating and circulating filter media chamber consists of an aeration upper section and a filter media lower section. The chamber is filled with hollow, cylindrical filter media (0.6 inch diameter and 0.55 inches long). Biological treatment takes place with the help of the fixed film growth on the filter media surface. Aeration is continuous. Residual suspended solids are captured by the filter media circulating in this section. The filter media in the Aeration chamber are backwashed regularly (5 or 10 minute cycle, twice a day) by the backwash system located at the bottom of the chamber. The backwashed water is transferred by an air lift pump back into the sedimentation chamber for further digestion.
Treated Water Storage Chamber During normal operation, a recirculation line transfers a portion of the treated water back into the sedimentation chamber by way of an air lift pump. This chamber is designed to temporarily store treated water coming out of the aerobic filter media chamber. The treated water in the storage chamber is ready for discharge.
We are very proud of La Cabrière’s status to be recognised as a top eco-friendly hotel in the Franschhoek, Cape Winelands and greater Cape Town area.