Sunday, December 2, 2012

Extreme Water Salvage

I've written before about water independence and will surely write about it again, because I happen to feel that it is a very important topic.  It may not seem so to most, and indeed, if you feel comfortable and confident in the ability of the public water supply (and the distribution thereof which is completely dependent on a petroleum platform) then you have no need to worry about water independence.  If however, you are like me and are concerned that the petroleum industry and everything it supports are in their waning years, then you may want to spend some time pondering water filtration and rainwater harvesting.  Hence my project of the morning.

At the beginning of last month when I cleaned the water barrels I actually left most of the barrels on the back of the house unclean.  It may seem strange to not clean everything up when you have the chance, but there was a method to my madness.  I did not want to leave the family waterless if the rain that had been promised turned out to be insufficient.  Ultimately I would have to say that I am glad I decided that way because we have been working off of that marginal water now for a month.  There have been two small rains since then that we have filtered into the drinking water tank

The powers that be are promising rain once again.  Tonight and Tuesday night we are supposed to get at least a little bit of rain.  The barrels behind the house have gotten worse and worse, but still I did not want to waste all of that water, (previous barrel washings have included much dumping on the ground of dirty water) especially since we are indeed in the midst of a drought.  So I came up with a plan.

First Micah and I skimmed off as much cleanish water as we could from the barrels, filtered it, and poured it into a clean barrel.

Then we cleaned the barrel we'd been scooping from with the last of the dirty water in the bottom of the barrel,

A broom works great for this task because it forms itself to the side of the barrel, and it also acts a bit like a sponge/scrubby.  Now here comes the important bit.  All of the dirty water was saved in other bins for watering plants in the greenhouses.
Now what will we do with the 70 gallons or so of salvaged water?  When the solids settle out it will serve just fine for washing dishes or showering.  and when the dishes are done instead of dumping that water down the drain the way I normally would, you can be sure that, until real rain comes, it will be greedily scooped out to water plants with. 

It's not unusual at the beginning of a time of want for people to not recognize it as such and continue to squander their resources.  I have passed that point into the realization that, for now at least, every drop of water is precious, even if it is full of leaves and slime!

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