water water everywhere...

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Just wanted to pose a question to the forum to see how you all would solve it. If one has a stream, creek, river, whatever, but no well (and no money to have one drilled), what solution would youall use to get said water to storage place, garden, etc. without the benefit of generator, electricity, solar... Would a hand pump work to get water to storage container. How would you set this up if you were thinking of using this source? rainwater is also being considered. Also, i do know that this needs to be filtered prior to drinking. Just mainly wondering about things to look out for, practical info. etc. Thanks

-- Damian Solorzano (oggy1@webtv.net), December 11, 1998


Two problems:

1) Living organisms 2) Chemicals & foreign materials

For living organisms, boiling will kill everything. Filters work for the larger organisms, but not viruses. If you filter (rather than boil), you need chlorine or iodine to kill the smallest organisms.

For chemicals, there is less that works. Carbon filter get SOME of the chemicals, but without sophisticated chemistry at your disposal, you are limited in the chemicals you can remove. For foreign materials such as asbestos (which you get with rain-water from your roof), most filters should do.

Days of life without water: 2?

Days of life without food: 30?

-- Anonymous (Anonymous@anonymous.com), December 11, 1998.

I believe my brother in Australia once had only a creek for his water supply at one stage, I think this is quite usual over there. Not sure how he purified or stored it.

Perhaps Leo or NZ bob might know.

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), December 11, 1998.

A couple of possibilities:

1) a floating, undershot waterwheel to turn a pump. (the connections might be interesting as an exercise in engineering on the float)

2) a unit called a water ram, which uses the fall of the stream to develop the pumping capability (X stream head = Y lift capacity)

You will want to use an elevated tank to store the water, and then filter it as it comes out of the tank, so the last step before the faucet is filtration.


-- Chuck a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), December 11, 1998.

There is some pretty good info at the library and at your county extension office on purification of water. Generally they recommend settling the water first, adding chemicals to destroy bacteria, then filtering to remove bad taste and soften the water.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), December 11, 1998.

Water ram see RAM
-- RD. ->H (drherr@erols.com), December 11, 1998.

Odd effect in this thread -- following "chlorine or iodine" the screen turns apple green. Refresh, and the whole screen turns green. Happens only on this thread. No color tags in the source code, so far as I can see.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), December 11, 1998.

I didn't use blockquote-- but maybe I can turn it off:

Hope this helps.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), December 11, 1998.

R.D. used BGCOLOR tag for some reason. And his text didn't show up, can't figure out from the source why this happened.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), December 11, 1998.

Boil the water in a large pot and tent plastic over the pot and run the distilled water off the plastic. You will then have pure water.

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), December 11, 1998.

Set up home distillation unit for purification.

As a back-up, little red wagon, i.e. "wheels," and buckets for carrying/transporting creek water.

Rainwater works.

Look into desert survival tips. Lots of ways to get water in ingeneous ways. Dig hole in ground and create a funnel trap. Put plastic bag tightly wrapped around tree branch, water condensation will collect.

Water limit, someone on earlier thread said 4 days. One/Two was enough for me in Grand Canyon adventure!


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 11, 1998.

Talking about storing freshly distilled untreated water.... it wasn't chlorinated... grew biologics....turned green....seems logical to me.....

Boy does the keyboard ever look funny after looking at a green screen!

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), December 11, 1998.

Also, Damian, I think youre in the S.F. Bay Area. Get to know the other water supplies in the area.

Santa Clara Valley Water District has a web-site with maps showing the local creeks at http://www.heynoah.com/. Chances are other local water districts have water related info. A good link page for Water Agencies is http://www.heynoah.com/otherlnk/wtrlinx.htm#wagencies

Does East Bay Mud handle water? Their web-site is http:// www.ebmud.com/ Happy exploring.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 11, 1998.

Gravity Gravity gravity. if you can get it to shift your water then its free, apart from the cost of the pipe.

Check out where the water is coming from. Walk the water course and note what flows into it.. any drains or pipes. If the water comes from a spring you can put is a spring tapper. Ask and I'll send details.

If the water has an urban area in the catchment leave it alone, go for rainwater. Too many unknowns with urban water.

Rainwater is usually OK but check for local agricultural activity, crop spaying programs and weed spaying programs. Ask the locals what they do for water. Check also for the material on the roof. If unsure ask the local health inspector if rainwater off your roof type is safe. Lots of lead flashings on the roof? leave it alone.

Any grey water, bath/shower/clothes/dish washing water can go on the garden.

Drinking water can be filtered in a storage tank with a slow sand filter which will remove vegetable material. Micro organisms can be removed with any of the usual water purifciation methods including boiling.

Country folks in NZ 'get used to their own bugs' so manage with a variety of water sources all pretty much untreated by urban standards.

Give me site details and I will suggest solutions for any person emailing me.

-- Bob Barbour (r.barbour@waikato.ac.nz), December 11, 1998.

Here's a small additional question for all. I think i will probably go with a combination of low tech rainfall catching, plus using stream water for irrigation, etc. I will probably use solar distillation for drinking purposes, with boiling/purifiers as a backup. I'm thinking in the long term as much as i can. For storage, i've found either above ground (containers such as polyethylene bags, wooden storage tanks, even considered a covered pool :) ), or below ground, cistern, or buried polyethylene type bag designed for storing water. Has anyone any experience with either or both and know the advantages/disadvantages of either. Among considerations is cost, life span, maintenance, ease of operation, practicality, not necessarily in that order.

-- Damian Solorzano (oggy1@webtv.net), December 12, 1998.

Checkout either a 'ram' pump, if you've got the gravity to work with. Or a 'sling' pump. The sling pump sits in the water flow and pumps water via a flexible pipe. It's output is not that great (neither is the ram's) but it's the amount of water pumped over time that will make a difference.

I think you can find a sling pump in the Jade Mountain catalog (www.jademountain.com).

Good luck.


-- jd (hemwat@bellsouth.net), December 12, 1998.

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