Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A water dilema leads to a new project.

The heating element in my water distiller recently stopped working, forcing me to come up with a way to eliminate my dependence on a single water purification device and a corporate water supply company as a backup for my roughly 12 gallons per day water requirement. The grand plan consists of harvesting the rain water, running it through some type of water purification system and ultimately storing it for later consumption.

I decided to start this project on smaller scale and build a simple water irrigation system to water the recent landscaping around my backyard shed. Along with irrigating the water from falling on my firewood which sits directly under the roof on the back side of my shed, this project should also remove my need from hand carrying buckets of water to provide this essential element to my new leafy green friends.

The most time consuming part of this project turns out to be the installation of a gutter on the shed. I found and purchased a reasonably priced DIY vinyl gutter kit that was pretty much screw and snap into place. As long as my angle is correct, I can now control the flow of my newly harvested rain water.

After considering the numerous rain barrel options, I decided to go with one that offered a small, unsightly footprint. It's a big hallow plastic rock, and I decided to tie it in to the landscape. As the water is harvested and provides life to the single legged critters that it will feed, the hope is that the rock and shed will be hidden/ covered in green and other colorful plant life.

The threat of rain was there for the entire weekend, but besides a drop or two here or there, I managed to install the gutter in 30 minute intervals across a single weekend. As soon as I completed the installation and put all my tools away, the rain let loose. I was a little nervous that my gutter might crumble as the storm pounded down, but at the same time happy to see all that water gushing down the gutter and filling the 40 gallon reservoir.

The next morning I went out to check on things and was thrilled to see that my rock was completely full and my gutters were still *properly* hanging from the shed. I also noticed that there was water flowing through a soaker hose that I installed to the base of the rock. It was a success!

With step one complete, I've been able to play with and figure out how some of this rain water collection and stuff works. Now I need to go back and draw up some plans for a slightly larger system to try to collect even more rain from the roof of my house.


this is paul said...

great news - need to figure out how to freeze protect the system in the winter time

Nicolette said...

Hi Mike - I find your blog truly inspirational. As a Gerson Caregiver and the environmental coordinator for Whistler, BC, I spend my days working on rainwater capture projects (I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your own water project), pesticide and air quality bylaws, etc... and I spend my evenings and weekends communicating about the Gerson Therapy and the links between environmental health and human health. It's great to see that you are in the same "line of work". I encourage you along your healing journey and look forward to future posts - the world needs more conscious people like you to share their stories of courage, perseverance, and strength to question and think beyond the box.

RE: Paul's comment - you can line your pipes with heat sensors to prevent freezing.

Enjoy a healthy and beautiful life - Nicolette Richer