I discuss collecting rainwater, whether it is illegal or legal in your area (I don’t care). I also talk about reclaimed water in a graywater (or greywater, however you may spell it) system.
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Next week will be a special episode, I will be interviewed by another big name in the survival industry.
Listener call in: Michael from Mississippi
2-liter bottles can keep freezer cold
Great in coolers
Thaw, now drinkable water
We begin working on bottles but other stuff as well
After starting the bottles, work on other stuff
50 bucks at Lowes
Place under downspouts
Screen on top for mosquitos
Can get some chemicals from shingles
Use a first catch diverter flush method
Filter in top of barrel
Water great for gardening because rainwater catches nitrogen from the air as it falls
Extremely simple Rain Barrel
No filter, just a screen
No first flow
Don’t drink without treating
Use barrel, trashcan or Rubbermaid tub
Cut hole in lid
Place screen over hole and possibly hold with bungee cord
Install a spigot on the side and elevate the barrel above a sink
Sink then flows into a similar collector made from 5 gallon bucket
Close to top of barrel, place a PVC overflow to drain into the sink
Roof Top calculation
If you have 1200 sqft home and only half of it empties into a 50 gallon drum, it would only take .13 inches of rain to fill it up!
so the same home would only take .65 inches of rain fall!
figure it out on your own: not done in show
1 gallon = 231 cubic inches ≈ .1337 cubic feet
1 square foot = 144 square inches
Surface area of the roof draining into barrels (Hint: you do not need to take into account the pitch, or slant, of your roof. You do have to take into account what fraction of your roof is emptying into rain barrels.For example, if you have a simple roof, say a rambler style house, and all the downspots in the back empty into rainbarrels, then the surface area emptying into rain barrels would be approximately 1/2 the width of your house times the length of your house. If you have two downspouts in the back and only one empties into a rain barrel, than it might be more like 1/4 the width times the length.)
(total capacity of barrels in gallons x 231)/(surface area in inches of roof draining into barrels)= # of inches of rainfall to fill
Elevation for pressure
Typical Tap pressure is 50-70 psi
Each foot of height provides 0.43 PSI
Need 10 foot of elevation to meet same as city water, but just 5 feet would give near 20 psi, which is plenty.
Pressurized cistern with city water, use city water to pressurize it.
Water goes out, you have a reserve
If in attic, remember how heavy water is
8.33 pounds per gallon
50 gal is 416.5 pounds!
250 gal is 2082.5 pounds!
These calcs are without the tote weight
In ground as well, but no pressure
Always have backup hand pump for wells.
This and good yard mulching helps the ground retain a lot of water for plants
Rivers, lakes, streams, underground springs
Usually minimal bacteria in these
Bad or sketchy water source, and in a jam, just use purification tablets (I carry this set in each B.O.B).
No urine, and no crap
Sinks, bathtubs, washing machines
Typical Home Water Use
26% is used for flushing toilets.
23% is used for the laundry room.
20% is used for showers or baths.
15% is used for faucets in your kitchen and bathroom.
13% is lost due to leaks and drips
and 3% is used by the dishwasher
Just shower and bathroom faucet cuts water use by 25%
Graywater makes great irrigation because the alkaline pH.
Tank under bathroom sink going to toilet
Bathing and washing
That water can be used for interior plants
Then drained water is used for toilet water
Then sent outdoors (septic or botanical cells)
Don’t contact or consume greywater
The microorganisms that treat the greywater are very detrimental when breathed in, so don’t atomize the water or use sprinkler systems with it.
If you wash cloth diapers, or your water is generated by infectious people, divert it to septic or sewage.
If the system is designed for you, it is for you, not a party of 30 or even 3. Divert to sewage of septic so you don’t overload the system.
After 24hrs, the water should be considered blackwater. Rid of it.
If you don’t want it in your septic, on your plants, or in your soil, don’t use many household cleaners. There are many organic and even edible cleaners that work very well now.
Discharge into a mulch-filled basin so you don’t contaminate the surface water.
Related posts from my survivalist blog:
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!