Hundredfold Farm Cohousing Community

"a place to grow"

Hundredfold Farm Cohousing, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Integrated Water Conservation Strategies

The trends are indeed troubling.  Surface and groundwater is being degraded in almost all regions of the world by intensive agriculture and rapid urbanization.  It is estimated that over 1 billion people - about one-sixth of the world’s population - lack access to safe drinking water.  This percentage is estimated to grow to almost 50 percent by 2025.  Hundredfold Farm takes very seriously its responsibility as an environmental steward.  This is evident in our decision to be a showplace of available technologies in the areas of water conservation, treatment, recycling and disposal.

USEPA
Chlorination
Information

Potable water is provided to the homes from two community owned wells. Any necessary treatment, primarily sediment filtration for example, takes place in our “water shed” near the common house. Due to rising concerns with the use of chlorination, our water is sanitized using current ultraviolet technologies. This water will be available for all uses in the houses, with the exception for toilet flush water and exterior hose bibs.

Wastewater is collected from the homes in individual underground tanks near each home. The waste slurry from these tanks is pumped to a greenhouse located near the top of the property.   Within the confines of the greenhouse, the raw sewage from our 14 homes and commonhouse will be pumped through a series of gravel beds and above ground tanks. The beds and tanks contain plant species whose root mass creates a habitat for microbes, bacteria and other sewage-eating organisms. Sewage is broken down naturally as it flows through the beds and tanks, just as it would in nature. Adding additional oxygen flow to the tanks accelerates the process. The goal is to create a series of healthy and diverse ecosystems. After the waste has gone through the series of tanks the result is clear water that meets state standards for reuse. It is then be pumped back to the homes for non-potable purposes such as washing laundry, landscape watering, and toilet flushing. Excess treated water will be disposed by way of a sub-surface drip system that will be used to irrigate our non-edible crops such as trees, berries and flowers.

Individual home rainwater collection systems, as well as a centralized community laundry that make use of high efficiency horizontal washers, are available as supplementary water conservation measures.