Water management at Château de Birazel
From the outset, the Boeckx family and the Château de Birazel team ensured that their project was coherent, culturally, commercially, and technically. Therefore it also needed to be sustainable. This is why all attach decisive importance to the respect of the environment, and the sound management of natural resources, especially water.
Four tanks were buried under the lawn, in front of the cellar and higher up, next to the castle, to receive 40,000 litres of rainwater.
Four tanks were buried under the lawn, in front of the cellar and higher up, next to the castle, to receive 40,000 litres of rainwater. Global warming makes rainfall more and more temperamental, but rain has been abundant in the Réolais region, with an average of 762 millimetres per year. By way of comparison, in France the annual precipitation is generally between 550 and 650 mm. It would have been a pity to disregard this guaranteed supply of water, which proves very useful in times of drought or a heat wave.
Of course, it is not just about storing water in cisterns. Rainwater must be purified before it can be used again safely. First level of filtration: a grid was placed on top of the gutters, to prevent leaves and twigs from clogging the downspouts. As it flows into the tank, the rainwater first passes through a basket retaining the debris that slipped through the grid. It is then sterilized using a bank of UV lamps. This third filter removes 99% of the bacteria, microbes, viruses, algae, moulds, and other microorganisms the water may contain.
Although this filtration system does not make rainwater drinkable, it does allow it to be recycled safely for all domestic uses, in the home and outdoors. Pumps bring the sterilized, odourless water up to the outside taps. It is used to water the park twice a week, especially the feet of young environmental hedges and truffle oaks. The water collected next to the cellar is used to clean the outdoor spaces. The overflow is discharged into the well that has been overlooking the vines for centuries.
This is how at Château de Birazel, without going so far as to turning water into wine, we ensure the highest possible quality of both, returning to the earth that which we have been given.