All electric power used at the lodge is generated by a 25Kw micro-hydro power plant which is located in the river some 500m east of the main lodge building. The plant generates power by diverting 30% of the river flow through a turbine which has been located at the bottom of a 25m drop, down which the diverted water is piped. Timing mechanisms and power management ensure that this constant power is sufficient to deliver all the electricity needs of the lodge but a backup generator may have to be used on some occasions. Efficient appliances, such heat-pump hot water heaters which act as a reverse refrigration, ensure that the lodge minimises its power draw to ease power management issues.
The lodge takes water from the river and subjects it to slow sand filtration and purification. Water is stored in large holding tanks and is pumped up to the top of the site during periods when power draw from the Micro-Hydro plant is low. The high tank provides pressure head for our taps and showers and as the water leaves the header tank it passes through a UV filter to provide a final level of purity which will permit our water to be drunk straight from the tap.
Bale Mountain Lodge is committed to minimising non-biodegradable waste. To that end packaged products will be kept to a minimum with maximum use being made of local food products and bulk purchases. Solid waste will be processed through the Biogas unit. Glass and plastic are taken out of the park to be recycled elsewhere. Waste water will initially be filtered through the same biogas unit but run off will be subjected to further filtration before being fed through a cleansing reed bed and permitted to flow back into the stream. All firewood is sourced from sustainable plantations to the south of the park in order to ensure that fires are carbon neutral. In addition to this source of wood it is planned to press briquettes from waste paper and combustible materials in order to provide additional fuel whilst minimising wood use.
With the passage of time and the onset of warmer weather a biogas unit has been recently began to produce Methane Gas. The biogas unit is fed from kitchen scraps and other bio degradable wastes. We plan to use the gas for cooking purposes in the service quarter kitchen. Once the bio degradable waste has been rendered inert it will be used as a fertilizer.