So…they turned off the showers at Blazing Swan!

By September 1, 2017Prepare

Photo by Christian Clowes

So…they turned off the showers at Blazing Swan!

Much has been mused over the planned lack of showers at Swan in 2018. Leaving aside the endless debate and cries of foul-play, I thought I’d pen a few words to accompany the original article on Grey Water which was aimed at encouraging greater levels of self-reliance.

Editors note:  While shower facilities will not be provided at Blazing Swan 2018, there will of course still be toilet amenities provided.

Now that Swan has aligned itself with every other Burn…the Big One and all the regionals, managing grey water will form a small but significant part of every participants experience. I would strongly encourage everyone to read again the article in this year’s Survival Guide “Grey Water at Blazing Swan” as it really does pretty much explain all that you need to know.

Any theme camp or individual considering gifting showers should have a robust plan in place to bring water to Kulin, ensure public health and safety and then manage their waste product…usually the biggest issue with grey water is having enough containers to hold it.

Storing water…the simplest method of storing water in bulk is with an intermediate bulk container (IBC). These are the palletized and caged large cubic plastic containers often seen on farms. They hold approx.1000 L of water and weigh over 1000 Kg when full. An average full toilet flush is about 6 L so, being frugal, if you can offer a shower that is the equivalent of half a toilet flush…you might get just over 300 showers from an IBC (that would give approximately 10% of next years anticipated numbers one shower during the week).

Locating water at Kulin is another logistical headache. Blazing Swan has an agreement with Serge (the site owner from whom we rent the site) to fill the local storage tanks. It takes approximately two weeks for them to fill and the Committee still have to pay to have water carted to the site for the flush toilets. Theme Camps wishing to purchase water to fill their ICBs will have to pay the going rate for transportation.

Assuming that you have an intelligently deviant plan to fill an IBC…locate it in such a way as to provide a head of water to run a shower, rig-up a clever shower floor that drains into another IBC thus collecting all your waste…and have a strategy to cart it off-site, you’ll still need to ensure that anyone using your shower is not exposed to anything that may be harmful to their health.

Not wishing to pour cold water on to anyone’s plans (pun intended)…provision of public showers is logistically very challenging…and while not beyond the imagination and skills of our awesome community…I do wonder if folk would be better off planning for their own hygiene during their stay.

The Survival Guide

How not to fail at Blazing Swan. Also available in Theme Camp edition!