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Above: the Soline Natural Park

SANBOX prototype on the Mediterranean coast - the challenge of building the prototype at Soline Natural Park in Slowenia 

November 29, 2010
The goal of the Sanbox prototype at Soline Natural Park in Slovenia is to treat the wastewater (blackwater) from the toilets in a compost filter to remove solids and nutrients, and to treat the wastewater (greywater) from the washbasins in a constructed wetland system. An evapotranspiration module will use solar radiation to evaporate the liquid part of the blackwater.

Short construction diary

The prototype location was defined in April 2010. It was located at the entrance, by the parking lot, outside of the salt marshes.

The SANBOX prototype location.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Schematics of the SANBOX prototype at Soline
Natural Park. Click on photo to enlarge.

The detailed plan for the SANBOX prototype was accomplished in May 2010. Construction works started in June 2010. However, challenges with unexpected unstable ground conditions occurred during the foundation work of the new toilet house and SANBOX prototype, resulting in an additional foundation being added - with 27 pine poles driven to a depth of 7 meters prior to the concrete foundation being laid. This caused substantial additional construction costs and a delay of three months.

Marking the locations for the pine poles.
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Driving the poles into the ground.
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Poles in the ground, ready for concrete pouring.
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Concrete foundation finished.
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Authoritites require sewage connection

Furthermore, the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia required a sewage connection, although the prototype was planned to produce no emissions. Additional permits were necessary to obtain during the construction from the local Communal Company Okolje Piran to construct the sewage connection. This action was unexpected and required a month of a procedure, mostly due to summer holidays at the Agency and Okolje Piran. The permits were obtained at the end of August. The construction of the SANBOX prototype continued in September 2010.

Construction of the sewage connection.
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Construction of the sewage connection.
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Floods cause further problems

On the weekend of 1719 September 2010, Slovenia experienced catastrophic flooding caused by heavy rains resulting in one of the worst floods in the country's history. The floods affected more than 60% of the country, including Soline Natural Park. The flood disaster Slovenia suffered in September delayed the construction work of the SANBOX prototype and increased the construction cost further, so that installation of the prototype was not accomplished until November 2010. Therefore no testing data will be available until the end of a tourist season.
External link with further information on the flooding (in Slovenian): http://www.delo.si/clanek/122145

Catastrophic flooding at Soline, September 2010.
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Catastrophic flooding at Soline, September 2010.
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Prototype installation finished november 2010

Despite all the challenges faced during the prototype construction, the toilet house was finished successfully in November 2010 thanks to the long experience of the motivated construction companies and Soline. At the end of November 2010 the first tourist visited the new toilets at the entrance of the Soline Natural Park. The first monitoring setup is planned to start on December 1st, 2010.

Final phases of construction (October 2010).
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Final phases of construction (October 2010).
Click on photo to enlarge.

Tourist groups visiting the Soline Natural Park and the
SANBOX prototype at the entrance (November 2010).
Click on photo to enlarge.

Tourist groups visiting the Soline Natural Park and the
SANBOX prototype at the entrance (November 2010).
Click on photo to enlarge.

   

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