Seeing the green side of things
My daughter just got married, she is with child. Two months later we are having her baby shower. During this time I become very forgetful, more than normal. I do not check my mail for a while. As it piled up, I would rifle quicky through it rather fast then move on to the next item. Boy did I miss something big. BAM! One Friday afternoon I find that my water is turned off. I have to spend the entire weekend without water. Being the optimist that I am I try to think of it like a camping trip. No big deal, a little planning, and I should get through this weekend just fine. On Monday I can simple pay the bill and go have it turned back on.
Friday night, as I am studying for a class (I also am going back to school), it starts to rain, really hard. My first thought it, oh my! Water! I instinctivly go grab a large container and a few buckets then place them in various areas outside my house to collect the water. I have no idea yet what I will do with it, I just know I am collecting it. As one container quilcky fills up I put a stopper in the bathtub and find a piece of cheese cloth to put over another container. After securing the cheesecloth to one container I pour the water from the full container through the cheesecloth and into it, then I pour that starined water into the bath tub. I do this with each container that fills. I soon have over a half a tub of water and the rainstorm is not even over.
I have no clue what I am going to do with this water. I stop to go to the google gods for ideas. Before you know it I am comparing cisterns and water collection systems for home use. I decide that first off, for me, a cistern is the way to go. It rains alot here so I sould be able to harvest plenty of rainwater for reuse. To guestimate how much water you can harvest, you calculate your roof "catchment" area. Simply multiply your homes width by length. Take that number and calculate it with this other figure and you can get yourself an estimate on how much rainfall you can harvest.
Benefits of rainwater vs city water? I was suprised to find many, it is not only better for you, it is free! Rainwater is more oxegynated, naturaly ph balanced, chlorine and additive free than city water. By haveing better water to start with this means less you have to "process" the water to get it to the quality you want it in. It is better for plants by lowering the soils ph, which enables the plants to soak in more nutrients. You can also get LEED credits (and a few possible others) for having a "Green" system.
A cistern can be used with a simple hose bib for outside use. Just connect and go. A simple pump is used to aid in pressure if needed. If I am wanting to be really green and adventurious, I can suppliment some or all of my indoor water with the cistern water. It can be configured to run the rainwater through a series of filters (depending on if the water is going to be use for drinking water or non-potable uses such as toilet, washing machine, water heater, ect.). The cistern also has an over flow where you can plan to pipe the run off away from your house incase of an overflow.
Now my wheels are really turning. I am glad to see that during a crisis and out of necessity I not only lept to think in a new kind of way but I am now moved to try somthing new and sustainable, not to mention money saving, for the future. Am I glad I had my green glasses on. I still will be having my water turned back on Monday , even as I plan on diving into adding a water saving/reusing a system soon. I will post updates on how that goes. This just makes so much more sense. And also, I would always have back up should my water ever be shut off again, for any reason, may it be the city, or a natural cause (eathquake, hurricain, ect..) that interrupts the city system. I will be sustainable with my own water.