Author Topic: Waste systems  (Read 3904 times)

Offline knnn

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Waste systems
« on: October 19, 2015, 01:47:52 PM »
Simply put, where are the bathrooms?

Historically, the easiest way to do this would be to dig a hole in the ground.  This is obviously not an option in a habble.  The second way to do this would be to have an actual sewer system.  You'd have to overcome the following issues:

1) You really need a large supply of running water to flush things down.  Sure "water gets collected", but unless there's only a few public toilets, that's a lot of water for use.

2) Miles and miles of pipes.  These would have to be crisscrossing the bottom of each habble (presumably with some sort of incline so all the waste gets to the right place). 

2a) Plumbing would be a nightmare.  Consider that someone eventually is going to try to flush the wrong thing down the toilet.  In a regular setting, you can dig down and clear out the blockage (though manhole covers would allow access to the bigger sections).  Problem is, you can't actually dig through the spirestone.  Thus if something gets badly blocked in one of the smaller tunnels, you are royally screwed.

3) I can imagine putting up new walls/vatteries/etc. throughout the spire, but think about hooking up a new house/vat to the existing sewer system.  You either have to use an existing hookup, or add pipes, etc. above ground.

4) Doubly so for habble Landing.  They need to have a source for water for everyone (kinda hard if it's a fountain in the floor), and need to have good sewer, otherwise it would be very unpleasant for the people living below.

5) Think also where all this sewage goes.  On Earth, this this goes into the ground, eventually decomposing, etc.  Here I'd think you'd essentially need to take it outside the spire. 

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Offline Aminar

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 02:30:15 PM »
I go the idea it all heads out of the spire and groundward. Likely using gravity as a driving force. Whoever the builders were, they had access to much greater tech than the people do now so they clearly made some ingenious system for this.  My question is about the cats.
No litter boxes in sight.
But perhaps Iron rot offers a clue to some particularly talented bacteria...
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2015, 02:39:01 PM »
There's a part where Folly is looking at the spire and can see the Etheric energy flowing to and down it, as if the thing is channeling a huge amount  of it naturally.  I took this to mean that the spire itself was able to power the support systems they mention (the ones that fill up the outer 'circular' section of each Habble) like Ventilation and other basic utilities, including plumbing, as a fundamental need which the Builders would have needed to address when designing the system.

That being said, they grow meat in blocks in Vats, pealing a leather rind off them periodically to let them develop, and they mention hydroponics for plant growth, so I doubt they'd let the resources represented by a sewer to be discarded completely out the base.  For hundreds of years the urine of a city was a valuable natural acid, and the feces was the primary source of Potassium Nitrate for Gunpowder, among other uses.  It wasnt until well after the industrial revolution that large scale chemical processes overtook the more natural sources.

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Offline knnn

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2015, 03:10:38 PM »
That being said, they grow meat in blocks in Vats, pealing a leather rind off them periodically to let them develop, and they mention hydroponics for plant growth, so I doubt they'd let the resources represented by a sewer to be discarded completely out the base. 

Absolutely agree.  If nothing else, the shear amount of waste of ~1,000,000 people is mass that needs to be replenished.  The problem is that adding an efficient recycling system on top of the sewer problem is even more complicated to get right.  Sure the "Builders" might have put something in place, but it seems to me that keeping it running without some good technological knowhow would be hard.

P.S.  There's also mention of "vat sand", though I don't know if this means they use vats to grow sand or if it's sand they put into the vats.
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2015, 03:23:46 PM »
Absolutely agree.  If nothing else, the shear amount of waste of ~1,000,000 people is mass that needs to be replenished.  The problem is that adding an efficient recycling system on top of the sewer problem is even more complicated to get right.  Sure the "Builders" might have put something in place, but it seems to me that keeping it running without some good technological knowhow would be hard.
Very true, but I dont think it would take any more than the ventallation systems, or the meat cloning vats for that matter.  Modern water treatement plants are basically just big vats of aglae/bacteria with air bubble supply and a skimmer; the hardest parts are actually more about filtering all the TP and other non-crap crap out of the water.  It would take some chemistry knowhow to recycle and make more efficient use of the verious trace elements, but nothing that they werent doing a couple centuries back in RL. 
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Offline knnn

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2015, 03:33:55 PM »
Very true, but I dont think it would take any more than the ventallation systems, or the meat cloning vats for that matter. 

Fair enough. 

So the main problem that remains is pipes that you cannot reach (because they are stuck in indestructible walls) and blockages/filtering.


...what about the problem of collecting enough water for everyone?  On earth, we pump water from miles around to bring to our cities.  Here, if you only rely on water that actually falls on the spire, I don't think you'd have sufficient amounts.   Basically, you need to have efficient means of extracting water from the air, or pump it in from outside and bring it two miles up.
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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 03:49:58 PM »
Fair enough. 

So the main problem that remains is pipes that you cannot reach (because they are stuck in indestructible walls) and blockages/filtering.
For the volumes we are talking, they probably do it the same way we often do...they send a low-paid individual to crawl through them. 
Quote

...what about the problem of collecting enough water for everyone?  On earth, we pump water from miles around to bring to our cities.  Here, if you only rely on water that actually falls on the spire, I don't think you'd have sufficient amounts.   Basically, you need to have efficient means of extracting water from the air, or pump it in from outside and bring it two miles up.
Pumping it isnt too much of an issue if you assume that the Spire is itself a Power plant to some extent, supporting it's own systems.  That height would take a pressure of around 4500 PSI to go the whole way in a single push, which isnt out of the question for steam powered systems.  But more likely they'd only ever have to pump from one Habble's reservoir to the next one's up or down, which keeps it in far more manageable distances. 

I agree that I dont expect that the outside of the Spire would see enough rainfall/condensation to supply all it's needs, though that would depend on things like humidity and atmospheric content, which The Mists cast a big ol' question mark across. 
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Offline Aminar

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 04:08:17 PM »
For the volumes we are talking, they probably do it the same way we often do...they send a low-paid individual to crawl through them.  Pumping it isnt too much of an issue if you assume that the Spire is itself a Power plant to some extent, supporting it's own systems.  That height would take a pressure of around 4500 PSI to go the whole way in a single push, which isnt out of the question for steam powered systems.  But more likely they'd only ever have to pump from one Habble's reservoir to the next one's up or down, which keeps it in far more manageable distances. 

I agree that I dont expect that the outside of the Spire would see enough rainfall/condensation to supply all it's needs, though that would depend on things like humidity and atmospheric content, which The Mists cast a big ol' question mark across.
With the obvious high humidity it isn't hard to believe that the ground is pretty water rich. So Spires having an Immortan Joe style pumping system wouldn't be out of the question. Hell, it might have been how the Builders deckded where to put the spires.
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Offline knnn

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2015, 05:28:59 PM »
For the volumes we are talking, they probably do it the same way we often do...they send a low-paid individual to crawl through them.

To bad you can't send a cat...
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2015, 05:38:01 PM »
To bad you can't send a cat...
Nah, that's Human work.  Such things are far beneath the dignity of a cat.  Obviously.   ;)
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Offline newfan09

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2015, 08:16:30 PM »
Am I the only one that had a three sea shells reference pop into my head while reading this.
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2015, 09:50:30 PM »
Am I the only one that had a three sea shells reference pop into my head while reading this.
No, but thanks to you I will henceforth! 
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Offline Rygar

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2015, 09:56:50 PM »
So the main problem that remains is pipes that you cannot reach (because they are stuck in indestructible walls) and blockages/filtering.
One would assume the Merciful Builders foresaw this issue and included regular access to sewage pipes/tunnels for this reason.

Offline Mith

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 01:37:27 AM »
As someone in Civil Engineering, I think the best idea is to not think too hard about this.  Or assume these fantastical Builders came up with an ingenious design system that is self maintaining.  Or perhaps they put in regular inlets and outlets throughout each Habbles.  With devices that flow the length of the pipes finding and fixing problems.
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Offline Quantus

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Re: Waste systems
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2015, 12:56:53 PM »
As someone in Civil Engineering, I think the best idea is to not think too hard about this.  Or assume these fantastical Builders came up with an ingenious design system that is self maintaining.  Or perhaps they put in regular inlets and outlets throughout each Habbles.  With devices that flow the length of the pipes finding and fixing problems.
I tend to picture a more modular system, rather than a massive Network with centralized systems.  So each habble only has to deal with the utility needs of it's own residents more or less, and only has to move material to it's neighbors (rather than the whole height of the spire).  This also may be the reason why some of those habbles are currently unoccupied, rather than simply a matter of the population not being at capacity. 
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