Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Water V

The water from our well is pumped into two cold water tanks, one of 750 litres, the other 1000 litres. In the first case (in the cottage we call the Fienile), it is either used cold or heated via a conventional gas-fired boiler which connects to taps and standard radiators. In the other, it is either pumped straight up to the house for drinking, washing and cooking, or transferred to another, insulated 1500 litre tank and heated thanks to a modern wood-fired furnace. The furnace heats the upper layer of water and the solar thermal panels' fluid heats the lower layer through a heat exchanger. 

This second hot water tank is also called a 'puffer' and hot water is accumulated from the bottom up, according to rising temperatures, ('stratification'). In the upper layer there is a separate sub-tank storing the hot water for washing. The warm water for the underfloor heating is stored in the surrounding volume. Hot and cold water is then pumped into the apartments. The water for heating runs through hundreds of metres of flexible tubing which spirals beneath the floors. 


cold water tank

 hot water tank

inside hot water tank (puffer)

The drinking water at some sinks is available as acqua diretta, literally 'direct water', direct from the cold water tank, which is unsoftened; and/or as softened or treated water which is less harsh on machines (dish washers and washing machines) and pipes: thus the water we use for drinking and cooking and watering plants is quite alkaline (full of calcium) and generally mineral-rich. We check it regularly for both bacteria and minerals through a specialised laboratory. Luckily it is very good quality water.

The softening technique used is achieved through ion-exchange resins or reverse osmosis. For a technical explanation have a look here.

by De Rerum Natura

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