EAUTARCIE is more than a simple technical option: it is a leap towards free-spirited open-mindedness. It expresses a political standpoint that tackles present-day consumer-society, the « all-to-the-bin » logic and its analogous « all-to-the-sewer » philosophy. It is a way out of our « throw away » society of institutionalized irresponsibility.
About the word EAUTARCIE (pronounced « Oh-Tar-See »): in French, ‘EAU' means water, ‘AUTARCIE' means AUTARKY, or a self-sufficient system independent of outside influences: EAUTARCIE, is therefore a neologism. The word was first coined by Philippe Gauthier and Manu Simon in 1997 in their film production « Eautarcie: Le civisme hors la loi » (Eautarcie: Civic Stances Outlawed), about the first set-up built along these lines.
The EAUTARCIE website's pages could easily fill a book. The Site Map – Glossary – FAQs – Downloads will help the reader find all practical information sought. But to understand the technical solutions proposed, it is best to read the chapters as you would a book. Reading individual pages out of context can instil further interrogations that are answered in other chapters. In fact, most frequently asked questions from my readers reflect a superficial reading of the website. As to sanitary engineering specialists, I can only urge them to a full reading of all pages, to avoid too hasty a judgment and faulty conclusions about the philosophy propounded on the EAUTARCIE website.
To see examples of EAUTARCIE homes that are self-sufficient and self-contained in terms of water consumption, click here.
It is interesting to read a testimonial from Andalusia (Spain) on EAUTARCIE’s benefits in dry regions.
To visualize the general schematic of a PLUVALOR system, click here.
To visualize the general schematic of a TRAISELECT system,
The EAUTARCIE website has been adapted and translated from the French version by André Leguerrier architect, Montreal, Canada.
The text within this page was first published in French on www.eautarcie.com: in 2003
The original text has since been adapted and first published in English on this page at www.eautarcie.org: 2009-06-15
Last update: 2016-10-23
To get an overview of EAUTARCIE’s Guiding Principles, click here.
EAUTARCIE’s originality lies in a philosophical approach that could be called « biocentric », as opposed to the dominant « anthropocentric » one. Instead of placing humanity at the centre of the universe, we take a more modest stand that consists in considering humanity as a part of a greater whole, the biosphere. Since humans are part of the biosphere, humanity’s future will benefit from all efforts made to uphold and restore the biosphere.
When examining the various proposals contained within this website, the reader will discover that the way to keeping climate change in check inescapably involves the concomitant management of water and biomass. Ultimately, the elimination of water problems worldwide is the natural by-product of this approach. The implementation of a global water/biomass management program depends on political and economical decision-makers. Some will say that individuals has very little say in the matter. In reality, everyone can induce a dynamic to change, even with modest household systems. A slogan of Friends of the Earth says that « great achievements are the sum of millions of small actions ».
Our first goal was initially to provide information to those who have the power to decide of the outcome of our beautiful blue planet. Years of unsuccessful lobblying have shown us that political and financial decision-makers have their limitations. We must count on an enlightened public opinion to get decision-makers moving and acknowledging truly innovative ideas. Thus the EAUTARCIE group decided to inform the public (our readers) on practical, down-to-earth solutions to bring us to a more life-sustainable world. One can only hope that technical advisors who counsel decision-makers will come to understand our approach and suggest its implementation. Needless to say we have no illusions on this.
With all the environmental gloom and doom that is spread around by the media, EAUTARCIE aspires to provide solutions of hope. Beyond the growing inventory of environmental problems, it is distressing to observe the absence of concrete solutions to our dilemma. We hereby proclaim: humanity can shift away from the present destructive course. A new path is set, but it is time to make the correct decisions, on a global scale and at individual levels.
As mentioned above, the spearhead for change lies in the hands of those enlightened individuals of the public.This spearhead is a key purpose of EAUTARCIE’s practical components.What is wonderful with the solutions herein proposed is that they do not put in question our modern comforts, and they are simpler, more reliable and less expensive than current mandatory techniques. They also provide better health safeguards. However, they have a « major drawback »: they call in question the centralized management of systems that are controlled by monopolies, and are less profitable techniques for those industries that depend on pollution remediation. Furthermore, by not adopting a new way, some players are tempted to control water as a commodity and a means of blackmail to increase their power. It should be noted that current legislation worldwide is the key obstacle to alternative techniques as it imposes environmentally-destructive solutions. In fact, most techniques propounded on the EAUTARCIE website are shrugged off as marginal, or even prohibited.
It is urgent to stop such techniques as the massive destruction of the biomass contained in our urban wastewater, the valorization of biomass for energy production (wood pellets, biomethane, biofuels, etc.) and speculation-based agricultural production.
The techniques proposed herein, like rainwater harvesting for whole-house reuse (such as the PLUVALOR system), can be set up in any home., whereas others, like whole-house greywater recycling must be adapted to each situation (rural, periurban or urbanareas). In a future we hope is not too far off, entire city neighbourhoods will be built with respect to EAUTARCIE system principles. It can easily be shown that by integrating sustainable water management, such neighbourhoods will cease to pollute water and will have little impact on our water reserves. Up to now, the few attempts that have been made in this direction by individuals and groups of individuals have been categorically refused by regulating authorities. Even for small-scale experimental projects.
Our techniques are the result of 20 years of scientific university research, field-tested in Europe and Africa, and the contribution of the day-to-day experience of EAUTARCIE correspondents, with solutions that tend towards greater simplicity, lesser cost , and better environmental performance.
This website's purpose is to inform, without any commercial pretence.
This video provides a prospective view of sanitation.
If your home's horizontal roof area exceeds 30 to 40 m² per occupant, you can expect:
To become independent of the public water supply network.
Plus, you can:
Have at your disposal naturally mild freshwater for all domestic uses, at a cost varying between 0,50 and 1,00 € per cubic meter (1 cubic meter=1000 litres), when considering amortization of the initial set-up.
Get high-quality drinking water that is comparable to the best bottled mineral water sold on the market, at a cost between 0,02 and 0,08 € a litre.
Get high-quality compost to regenerate the soil of your garden. This compost will absorb all your garden and kitchen waste, thus reducing the volume of your household garbage for municipal pick-up, by 40%.
Finally, you can count on:
Recycling all of your household wastewater in the home’s garden.
Recycling your soapy greywater by watering the garden, in summer.
Saving up to 5 000 € on your household wastewater treatment system (e.g. septic tank and leach field).
Having a clear conscience with respect to future generations.
By applying EAUTARCIE, your home will have little impact on the site : no water will be taken up from water reserves and no water will be polluted by the home. The water that falls on your roof will be restored to the soil in a state that is close to that of potable water. Finally, you will be restoring the nitrogen and phosphorus from your dejecta back into the food production cycle.
Homeowners who wish to espouse sustainable water management in the home;
Architects and engineers;
Potential builders and homeowners who plan to renovate their home;
Plumbers and other tradesmen specialized in water purification and treatment;
Students in architecture, sanitation engineering, environmental sciences, etc.;
Developers and residents of eco-communities;
Eco-consultants and specialists in sustainable development;
Technicians in water management and sanitation engineering : they will discover the new paradigms of sanitary engineering;
Politicians who are concerned about sustainable development;
Advocates for the environment;
All those who are truly concerned about sustainable development.