Documentation & convincing of municipality (North of Portugal)
First off, thanks for the bunch of work and research you've done on the topic, as well your sharing and openness - I really appreciate it !
At the moment I'm living a more 'regular' contemporary life in Amsterdam together with my wife, but we're looking into chasing our dream of a simpler life in partnership with nature, in Portugal. We have our eye on a piece of land not too far from Porto, but it is urban land, and we would normally be connected to the grid (the infrastructure is there). I don't know if, in this case, the municipality would let us choose an alternative way to deal with our 'waste', but I'd really like to try. As the plot of land is about 3,5 hectare, we shouldn't cause any nuisance to neighbours even IF the system would produce some smell for a bit.
Basically, my question is this: did you build a case / documentation in writing which you presented to the municipality, and if so, would you mind sharing this documentation with us? I imagine you would have presented your research in Portuguese..
We're looking to combine permaculture-based agriculture with tourism and (nature) education on the land, as well as ofcourse living on it ourselves. Although it seems to be getting more common in the more southern parts of Portugal, I haven't really found this kind of combo close to Porto. Maybe we could invite and inspire the city dwellers there to broaden there horizons, and maybe get inspired themselves just like we have been with many great examples before us, such as yourself.
My wife reminded me of something critical I forgot to mention: I've reached out to Porto university's biotechnology department (they teach Permaculture there too) to see if we can help eachother in some way. This was (only just) before I found this beautifully 'simple' toilet system... Perhaps they'd be up for setting up and testing this system with us, and if so, that might also help persuade the municipality to allow it. I'll pitch it to them and keep you in the loop should there be any news.
Thanks again for the inspiration.
Hi Duarte, Hi Wendy,
Apologoes for jumping into your thread Duarte. I have a property in the north of Portugal as well. I am about to start the renovation of two ruins. I am just about to submit the first phase of the project, the architectural part, to the Câmara, Arcos de Valdevez. Please could you let me know if you do have any documentation that could also help us in our desire to use a vermicompost system. Or if you are aware of any other installations in the area, that would also be useful knowledge.
Thank you so much for producing this useful resource. If we manage to get this licenced we will be happy to post a case study and share our experiences here.
I just wanted to post a quick update. After hearing from Wendy that she wasn't aware of any documentation I checked with our architect. It turns out that in Portugal there is no specific certification for installing a septic system. Our architect advised us that there is no 'control' over what means you use to treat your waste, as long as there is something. There is only a problem if there is a problem if you like. Therefore we will be using this vermicomposting system for our project. We will be happy to share our experiences.
Great news Ben! Though doubtless you will get a different answer from every municipality in the country ... CM-Arganil advise us that if architects specify "septic tank with drainage" then the vermicomposting system can slot into that category quite nicely.