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Casa Divina: Leading Sustainability with Innovative Wastewater Treatment

Water is one of the fundamental pillars that sustain life on our planet. Its preservation has become an urgent priority, due to the increasing pressure exerted on water resources by population growth and climate change. 

In this context, Casa Divina, as an Eco Lodge committed to sustainability, not only recognizes the critical importance of water but also assumes the responsibility to lead the way towards innovative practices that protect this vital resource and generate a positive impact on the community of Mindo and its natural environment. 

Aware of our interdependence with the environment, we strive to implement solutions that mitigate the impact of our operations and inspire and motivate others to join this movement toward a more sustainable future.

Visitors to the Casa Divina in Mindo-Ecuador are integral to its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship by actively supporting the vermifilter system implemented at the lodge. 

 

The Importance of Wastewater and Sewage Treatment

At Casa Divina, located 2 kilometers from the town center of Mindo, we do not dispose of the water we generate in the town’s sewage system, which is ultimately discharged into the Mindo River. Instead, we use a VERMIFILTER system to treat gray and black water. 

Wastewater, also known as gray water, has been used in domestic activities and contains a variety of impurities, such as food waste, detergents, oils, grease, and fats. Black water comes from toilets and contains human waste.

Guests who stay at the lodge return home with this knowledge, making them sustainability ambassadors. This exchange of experiences and mutual learning strengthens environmental awareness and promotes more responsible practices in all spheres of life, thus extending the positive impact beyond the boundaries of the eco-lodge and into a greener and more prosperous future for all.

The vermifilter system is a method that uses worms to transform organic waste and clean the water. It consists of a series of tanks filled with suitable substrates. These worms, mainly red worms (Eisenia foetida), decompose organic matter and convert it into humus, rich in nutrients. 

As Efrain Toapanta explains, this system is “cleaner, it’s a process that is all covered by a layer of soil,” he says.

This system was first tested by Efrain and Molly, owners of Casa Divina, in their own home before they decided to implement it in the Eco Lodge. “Because of my environmental awareness, because of what I believe, I am convinced that the water we use, we have to give it back clean and let it run its course.” 

“For us it is important to know that I am doing what I can to avoid contaminating the water and feel good,” says Efrain. He also insists that “everything that comes from the land, must return to the land.” 

The treatment process in a vermifilter begins when wastewater passes into a chamber to separate grease and is then directed into another filtration chamber. As the water passes through the special substrate with volcanic stones, the worms feed on the organic waste in water, such as food debris and other organic compounds. During this process, the worms metabolize this waste.

In the last step, the water undergoes a final filtration and is released to the outside already clean and suitable for use in irrigation. 

To ensure the optimal functioning of the system, it is crucial to have the active support of our visitors. We ask you to avoid flushing unsuitable materials such as sanitary napkins, tampons, chlorine bleach, etc. down the toilets. We use only biodegradable products for cleaning, such as soaps, shampoo and conditioner.

 

Benefits of Wastewater Treatment at Casa Divina

Casa Divina’s wastewater treatment not only safeguards the environment but also directly benefits the community and the surrounding natural environment. From improving water quality to promoting public health, the positive impacts are tangible and significant. 

Proper wastewater treatment helps protect the surrounding aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems by reducing water pollution and preventing the death of aquatic life. This, in turn, preserves biodiversity that is critical for food provision, climate regulation, and recreation. 

The lush gardens surrounding the lodge, which receive purified water from the wastewater treatment system, are not only a testament to the ability of sustainability to transform the landscape but also a reminder of the beauty and vitality that emerge when environmental stewardship becomes a priority.

Every corner of the garden appears to be carefully designed to celebrate the harmony between nature and sustainability. Small streams add a magical touch to the landscape, refreshing the air with their breeze and providing a welcoming home for birds and butterflies that flutter around them. This green oasis is more than just a garden; it is a living testament to how environmental conservation can coexist in perfection.

These gardens are an inspiring reminder of the transformative power of eco-friendly practices. Every plant, every flower, and every drop of treated water tells a story of resilience and hope, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in a world where nature and sustainability converge in an eternal dance of beauty and life.

 

Reducing our impact 

Casa Divina is at the forefront of adopting sustainable practices, leading the way to a cleaner, healthier future. Its commitment to wastewater treatment is an inspiring example of how companies can positively impact their environment.

As part of our community, we invite you to take concrete steps to reduce your impact on the wastewater system. You can use biodegradable personal hygiene products, for example. Every small action counts in building a more sustainable future for everyone.

Don’t miss our next blog about the photovoltaic system we’ve implemented to continue driving sustainability at Casa Divina!

Escrito por: Lucila Donoso 

 

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