Thursday, 28 June 2007

I'm back!

Ok, I'm back from holiday, and ready to blog.

First thing: why can't you flush loo paper down the loo in Greece? I wondered about this quite a lot, it is very odd. Which part of the system is so susceptible to blockage?

It can't be the loo itself, because they (appear to be) exactly the same as the loos you see anywhere in Western Europe.

The pipes within the house? But why? The villa we stayed in seemed fairly new (certainly less than 10yrs old, maybe less than 5), why use narrow diameter pipe if you are designing a modern building from scratch? (You do sometimes use narrow diameter soil pipe in the UK where you are converting an awkward space into bathroom, but then you just add a saniflo to mash and pump everything.)

I didn't risk testing whether this is just a myth, but I did ask our tour operator's rep about it: she said that every year some clients do ignore the instruction, and sure enough the drains get blocked. She (understandably) didn't know which bit of the system got blocked.

Could it be the actual sewage treatment system, not the house drainage? But surely most houses will be using a local septic tank, they can't all be on mains drainage on a mountainous island like Corfu.

I recall Yugoslavia (as it was then) had the same issue with loo-paper-down-the-loo. But of other countries in roughly this area that I have visited (Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Turkey) I am fairly sure none of them have this problem.

I couldn't really figure it out. Anyone know?


Michael Jacques said...

I have recently built a house in Corfu, we used quality bathroom products (Ideal Standard)and pulmbing.
The problem is this:
Under our garage we have 2 concrete tubes placed one on top of the other which are very porus, with a cap and inspection hole, each tube has lots of little holes in it the size of a tennis ball,
the waste goes into these tubes and runs away into the ground which is also very porus, but the toilet paper has little fibres in it and these can block the micro pores in the concrete and then the waste and liquid won't run away and in time you'll have a blocked up concrete tube.
The good news is that Corfu is installing a sewage system, the bad news is that the further away from Corfu Town you are, (we are about 35 km away on the N.W coast)the longer it will take to get connected so don't hold your breath (only in my garage).
So there you are.
All the best, and keep visiting the Island.
Mr. Mike.

Company blog said...

Interesting, so it is the type of septic tank used which causes the loo paper problem. That certainly makes sense. Although, lots of other countries use septic tanks of one sort or another in rural areas (we have one in my house), and they all manage to cope with loo paper. I suppose it is just what you are used to: if you consider putting loo paper in a bin perfectly normal, you aren't going to go and specify a "special" septic tank to deal with loo paper.

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