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      Posts to this Support Forum are to be related ONLY to one's ARCR membership. Posts inappropriate to the Support Forum will be removed without comment. Please post all other types of questions to the appropriate Forum. Only Forums Moderators, Administrators and ARCR Employees ae able to make any replies to this ARCR Support Forum. Paul M. Forums Moderator ==


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About Jamieanne

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  1. Thanks, Paul. I thought that's what I was saying. Sorry if it was unclear.
  2. All of the above. Except, as I see it - Ron, you need to leave every three months to keep your driver's license valid, but because you have applied for residency, you don't need to leave to renew your visa. For people who heed your advise and not apply for residency, they will be 'perpetual tourists', and their stay here will be dependent on the whims of the immigration officials they have to see every three months. Another suggestion is to do what you did and apply for residency, but do it without an attorney. It's not that tough - get your papers in order and if you don't speak much Spanish, take a friend who does. That way you can save your money, be legally secure, have time to decide if you want to stay, and if the answer is 'yes' you'll be ahead of the game.
  3. Toilet Paper

    Jal - good question. First you wrap it in plastic - almost every day esp. in the summer - then throw that plastic into another plastic garbage container, or into the trash by itself. After going to the landfill, the plastic bag takes on a life of it's own and does the things plastic bags do...kill animals, break down in the ocean, add to the massive plastic island, get caught on trees, etc. The paper? it breaks down! Eleanor, Yes, I want to understand how things work and I have no agenda except to make sure that if I build something the paper will flush! Opinions and answers are two different things. The reason I asked in the first place is because visitors I meet often ask the question and my answers are also...I don't know, maybe this, maybe that... Just do it - it's the way it is... So - I just asked a friend who lives here and was a septic designer. Why didn't I think of him before ? His answer/opinion is that there is not a technical understanding of how septic systems work, even by many engineers. Not only are lines, tanks and drainfields not sized and/or installed correctly, but the basic workings are not understood. This is why new systems often do not work - they are just not designed correctly...Where installed properly one could flush mountains of TP and it would break down easily. If you want technical, I can get the friend to explain further.
  4. Toilet Paper

    Sheesh, Eleanor. I can assure you I am not "sniffing" at those plumbing pipes. I wasn't necessarily talking about individual homes. I'm talking about public restrooms, restaurants, hotels etc. Why do so many of the newer systems still work the old way? Yes, you can generalize about septic systems - they're designed for specific locations and soils, but in general they are meant to safely dispose of human waste and not cause harm to others or the environment whether they're jerry rigged or not. I don't agree that all those toxic chemicals won't harm the environment - it's a major problem around the world and one that can be alleviated. But that would be the same whether they went into the gray water or into the drain field. I just put a hank of TP into a glass of water and gave it a swirl or two. it totally dissipated within 30 seconds. It could navigate a 90 degree turn - maybe? (but the solids could not).
  5. Toilet Paper

    Yes, I agree that reusing gray water is a great idea with the proper set up, and deliberate and conscientious use of what goes into it. Yes, it is gaining popularity up north, for individuals and municipalities. However, with the amount of chemicals used generally (just walking down the cleaning products aisles will about knock you out - disinfectants, bleach, heavy duty clothes soap - and the smell of bleach is often in the air in populated areas in the early part of the day when cleaning is being done - definitely NOT environmentally friendly - all of that stuff goes into the groundwater, rivers, and streams and to the ocean, and is extremely harmful. I can't imagine that the plants in the garden would like that much. Of course it's not so good for the septic system either, but at least it can be kept at home. Septic systems can easily be designed to take the gray water as well as black. Really, properly done ALL of the waste water could be filtered, treated and reused onsite. The question about toilet paper, however, is different. 90 degree turns in a plumbing line? that would be an install problem, not a tp problem - one that i wouldn't think happens often as instinct would tell anyone that that wouldn't be such a great idea. Maybe the problem is the strength of the flush in older toilets and/or not enough water and/or pressure. It's not an actual septic system problem. So with newer toilets and reasonably correct install it should be ok - but the culture of not flushing tp prevails even in some places with new plumbing. David - Happy Birthday, by the way - I always heard that dropping a tiny bit of meat into the system increases the enzymes that break down the organic matter...and counterbalance the enzyme killing detergents. But you're probably right about just leaving it alone.
  6. Could someone please tell me why toilet paper can't be flushed in so many places here in Costa Rica? It's biodegradable, and less volume than much other flushed material. I've heard it's because of the smaller pipe sizes, but given above, does that make sense? I'm wondering if this is a case of "we do it this way because we've always done it this way?" Also, why doesn't the gray water go into the drainfield with the black water if the system can be built to handle it? Wouldn't one rather size the field to clean the water than just send it down the hill? Is it even allowed?
  7. A possible source for pond plants: https://www.facebook.com/vivero.lacon
  8. So much good information. Thank you all... If we go with this plan I will post updates.
  9. Yes...ingoing and outgoing in a relatively closed system - circulating from the regeneration portion of the pool to the swimming portion, being 'topped off' by stored rainwater as needed. It would be aerated by a simple pump. I need to find out about aquatic plants that do well here and are not invasive...I think it was noted above that they are difficult to find? But that's kind of counter intuitive given that we are in rainforest/waterfall country with plenty of water friendly plants. No???
  10. Actually, a natural pool is one that is built similarly to a traditional pool but is cleaned and filtered with aquatic plants. These types of pools have been built extensively in Europe and are increasing in popularity around the globe - even for public use. They can be in the shape of a traditional pool or like a natural pond. The plants compete for nutrients with algae and the plants, if done right, win - so no green scum. They are aerated with a simple filter, and a skimmer takes junk off the surface. There are many resources - here is one if you are interested: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/natural-pools-swimming-ponds.html oh - about changing water - a natural pool never needs draining, where a chlorinated pools gets dumped periodically. The maintenance involved is mainly gardening. I'm thinking a cistern that collects roof water in the green season for keeping levels at the right level would be the way to go.
  11. I am interested in building a natural pool - for the benefit of the environment, low energy consumption, and enjoyment of swimming in clean water not contaminated with chemicals. I read many many reviews about how wonderful they are, but haven't heard much about them here in Costa Rica...Does anyone out there have any experience with such pools?
  12. Lake Arenal

    Tronodora is a wonderful town. But you might consider Tilaran for more children, services and school choices. It's only 10 minutes from the lake (tho the lake is not known for recreational activities). There are several private schools - one for younger children. I don't know much about them, but they would be worth exploring. At their age, Spanish only would be great - they'll get English from you. The town is peaceful, safe, and clean, with less traffic congestion than towns of similar size in the central valley. It's got 5 grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, - everything you need. It's really convenient to beaches, rainforests, waterfalls etc. I've lived in both the central valley and the Tronodora area, and yes more wind but only at certain times - (good for windsurfing) but from my experience, less rain. As I understand, it's wetter in Nuevo Arenal and La Fortuna than Tronodora and Tilaran. Take the advice to visit before moving...