Ecology was important when building a new cottage in Taivassalo, Southwest Finland.
– The site, in the picturesque archipelago landscape, is rocky and rugged. When we started building our new sauna cabin, we didn’t want to excavate or destroy the beautiful natural scrub. We wanted to leave the environment as untouched as possible. But there was very little space on the site for a graywater cleaner and sinking a cleaner would have been technically challenging, Pekka Nokelainen says.
System squeezed into a tight space
There was a sauna cabin built in the early 1980s and an old outdoor toilet on the site.
– We discovered the Raita system, which fits into tight spaces and is easily operated, and doesn’t need big tanks or cut-outs. There is a little hollow in the rock under the foundations where the system was installed. We got the greywater cleaner to fit under the terrace even though it was a tight squeeze. The absorption modules are at the rear of the cleaner. We compost all our WC waste and biowaste and the end product is pure soil. The soil is used in the large planter boxes around the terrace, Nokelainen explains.
We included a Raita composter in the system when a separate heated WC and storeroom were added behind the terrace. The drinking water purification system was also integrated into that space. The greywater cleaner under the terrace is so well insulated that the optional extra heating elements weren’t needed.
Ease of use and maintenance
– We wanted a system that was as maintenance-free as possible. It was also easy to purchase the Raita system, it’s a straightforward and efficient system, and it fits into a small space upright. I called Ilkka and he was on to it straight away. The company developed the products itself and the functions are properly thought through, so you can trust them, Nokelainen says.
The capacity can easily cope with a family of three plus weekend guests. The washing-up water from our outdoor kitchen in summer goes to the same greywater cleaner. The system we have now is also big enough for the main house we’re planning. We’ll just add a grease trap in the kitchen.
– Our cottage has all the creature comforts. In the first year, we used the old outdoor toilet, but we got tired of trekking out to the old latrine. The toilet is next to the terrace, which makes it easy in the fall and when it’s raining, Nokelainen says thankfully.