August was an exciting month! Fairy lights, bonfires and a veranda with a SHOWER!
Our area is completely off grid in that we have no municipal services, however we are offered the option of connecting to what is called ‘irrigation water’ – water that is pumped up from the river into a holding dam, then pressure fed to properties who pay to connect to it. The connection fee is once off and covers the cost of the pipe and labour. This is the only service the municipality provides us in return for the rates which we must dutifully pay them monthly (grrr), but at least a very useful one – and they don’t meter it. It is not potable water, and a filtration system to make it drinkable would cost a fortune. It’s good for plants, and for now, for us to shower in and wash our dishes. Happy days, with the irrigation water connected in August, we were able to move on to getting a shower and a sink happening. You doesn’t realize what a luxury running water is until you have to lift heavy containers every time you need a bit of water!
Our next step was to add a covered area behind the cabin to give us a bit more living space, as well as some more formal ablutions. We built a shower cubicle and a toilet cubicle, while putting on a roof that runs the full length of the cabin (6m) and comes out to 2.8m. Pretty much doubling our living space woohoo!
We used Zincalume AZ100 roof sheets to match the cabin roof, and treated poles for the support pillars. We didn’t have anything to clad the ceiling, but we did have some left over sisilation from doing the cabin, so that went up. It’s proven to have been a good move – in Summer temps reach 40deg here, and we are still able to sit under the veranda for some of the day without it getting too baking hot. We used the same roof sheets to make the walls of the shower & toilet cubicles.
We bought a Dewhot gas geyser to heat the water for both the kitchen sink and the shower. I am VERY happy with this geyser, its been light on gas, and adjusts to the incoming water temperature fluctuations very quickly. It uses a battery for ignition. We set the hot water temperature to 46deg and only use the hot tap when we shower, and it’s been perfect.
Once we had water connected to a kitchen sink and a shower, we needed drains to take water away. I was also keen to get the toilet urine separator pipe set up to drain away, rather than having to empty the bottle every few days. To this end, I dug and planted the banana circle grey water system, and we ran our pipes out to it.
I love fairy lights, and couldn’t wait to put up my collection of solar lights. They add so much ambience and really transformed the space into something magical!