[Greenbuilding] cistern questions

RT archilogic at yahoo.ca
Fri Aug 3 10:08:51 CDT 2012

On Fri, 03 Aug 2012 02:47:13 -0400, John Salmen <terrain at shaw.ca> wrote:

> In terms of aesthetics the generally round access lids are not the nicest
> detail in an interior floor. You can get some cast iron lids that have a
> certain charm or have one custom made that look better than the typical
> plastic ones.
> There is a fengshui thing about being over water - but I think a large  
> part of the world lives over water quite happily.

In this corner of MooseLand, the lids for the access hatches tend to be  
square or rectangular with a handle that's made from a piece of rebar bent  
into a rectilinear horse shoe-like shape cast into the tapered lid.

That sort of a handle might make for interior decorating challenges. But  
OTOH, it might be useful for tying-up a misbehaving mutt.

I dropped in to see the neighbourhood septic tank maker when I was  
building my home and I was impressed to see that the fellow had cast  
finely-detailed little birds, frogs and 4-legged critters when using up  
the excess concrete from casting tanks.

I would imagine that Sacie's local septic tank maker could be encouraged  
to work with her in designing/fabricating an aesthetically-pleasing access  
hatch lid with inobtrusive handle hardware. (Essentially just a standard  
concrete lid with some fancy pattern cast into the top surface. ie It  
might be a piece of granite (ie a cut-off from the local granite counter  
fabricator) laminated to the concrete plug during casting with some brass  
ship's hardware.

Nor would it be a challenge for have him (or her) cast in reinforcement  
and points-of-attachment hardware (ie for wall ties  to an outer wythe of  
4 inch CMU) designed for the somewhat non-standard application.

But I do think that insulation is critical. It'd be a major PITA to try  
and replace a cracked (or re-level frost-heaved) septic tank that is the  
foundation for a structure above that is attached to a house.

As for Feng Shui (Feng = "wind", Shui = "water") :

Much of what Occidentals are fed as "Feng Shui" is stuff that came from  
practitioners who spent most of their working lives in Hong Kong  -- a  
place of high-rises and asphalt.

Trying to apply Feng Shui in such a situation is akin to teaching a dog  
how solve third order differential equations. That's why a lot of "Feng  
Shui" that Occidentals (and Hong Kongers) see is silly nonsense based more  
in superstitious mumbo-jumbo than empirically-based pragmatism, the latter  
being what genuine Feng Shui was about ... basically sizing up a site and  
then designing to take advantage of the opportunities that it presents  
(ie  passive solar for winter heating, summer breezes , proper drainage  

There would be no Feng Shui recommendations WRT to building on top of a  
pre-cast, reinforced concrete box.

=== * ===
Rob Tom					AOD257
Kanata, Ontario, Canada

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