January 09, 2014

How an engineer looks at the world

When I look at this, the first thing that springs to mind is "mosquitos".

Venice is famous for its canals, but there's a downside to it all. Venice is built in a lagoon, and the water doesn't flush. Another thing Venice is notorious for (besides flooding) is insect plagues. Insects breed in the lagoon, and sometimes they swarm. It is so dense that it shrouds the city in darkness.

I've visited Amsterdam, which also is famous for canals. However, the Dutch, being superlative civil engineers, have their situation under control. The entire canal system is controlled by a set of gates, and the city engineers flush the water in the canals six times per week with water from the Amstel river. As a result, the water in the canals doesn't reek and they don't get insect plagues.

And the owners of this merry little chateau are going to have to do something to keep the water in their little lake from getting putrid and loaded with insect larva. I wonder how they do it?

50 gallons of Clorox every Sunday?

Or a different possibility: 5,000 Koi?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Engineer's Disease at 10:34 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Koi to eat the bugs, herons to eat the koi.

Or just fill the moat with gin.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 09, 2014 11:49 PM (PiXy!)

2 5,000 koi sound like a perfectly good solution here.  Or at least, perfectly good given the amount of resources otherwise being thrown at the palace.  I suspect it would take fiddling to keep the lake's "ecosystem" from going into some undesirable talespin, though.  And probably the first thing to go?  The transparent water.

Posted by: metaphysician at January 10, 2014 07:15 AM (3GCAl)

3 The usual trick is to put fountains in; this supposedly disturbs the water just enough that mosquito larvae can't survive.  At least, every artificial body I've seen in places like Florida and Texas does that.

Posted by: RickC at January 10, 2014 07:21 AM (A9FNw)

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