Pila & Antenna
The top of the rock seen in The Promised Land:
was capped with concrete and the pila constructed on it. The antenna base is bolted to the concrete base with eight 3/8 inch expansion bolts. The pila is a little over 5000 liters, and the labor cost $196. I'm still working on the materials cost. The pila is fed by a spring quite a ways above the farm, but the pressure is insufficient for irrigation, and to move the water further around the farm. Hence the pump and pressure tank. We were going to go with a split system of domestic water pressurized by the fall from the spring, and water pressurized by the pump for irrigation, but I realized that when the float valve that fills the pila opens, I lose my water to the "house". While toilet would still flush without problem, if I were taking a shower when that happened, the shower flow would drop to an unacceptable level. So, we are pressurizing the entire water system.
The rest of the rock top will be capped too. It's a bit involved: we drill holes along the perimeter with a hammer drill, then drive in rebar, pour a footing, fill in the rest of the area with rock that is stabilized with concrete pour, and then finally form and pour a level slab. That cement mixer was a wise purchase.
We're then going to fence the rock with chain link topped with serpentina. I have an LED light with a sensor that will illuminate the area at night from the top of the tower, and I will probably add one of the inexpensive alarms that I have posted about here.
There are no antennas on the tower yet, but I hope to have that project completed before I leave end of June. With a consistent cell signal and internet it will be easier to keep in touch.
Monday we start work on the septic tank. This is really just a divided pila, this one is 60 cubic meters (4x3x5). In the US you'd dig the hole, and make a call, and a concrete prefab or a fiberglass tank would show up the next day. Of course, you'd have to pull a permit, endure a couple of inspections (at least) . . the permit would be more than the $393 the labor is costing me. We're using 4" sanitario so we will be able to flush the TP,, something the Nicas will have a hard time getting used to.
The pila at the spring will be twice the size of the "local", and I'm going to build it with a smaller entrance chamber so any dirt will settle out. The water is clean now, but that might change with the rain. This might not happen until next year, as we need dry ground to work on.
We're on a relative roll right now, having the right tools really helps. Of course, a little infrastructure breeds more speed and ease: Once I get a really secure bodega I'll be able to bring a lot more of the tools and "stuff" up from Condega. I've got an excellent mason, he responds to my ideas and concerns ("let's put some rebar ell's in the corners, Melvin" -- "OK"), and he likes the idea of the steady work.