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Old 11-13-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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Thumbs up A versatile water system for living

Oops, I tried to edit a typo, and got a dupe. I don't see how to remove one, perhaps the moderator will do it.

Not many people realize what a hassle it is to get water. For most it just comes out of a tap, like magic. Well, behind the scenes it takes a lot of doing, and depending on tap water might not be wise down the road, for a variety of reasons. I haven't since I moved to the country in '79, for numerous other reasons. I'm living in what is legally a barn (but it's a really nice one) to avoid some taxes, for one thing, and a water well is one of those things that gets you away from that - and in my case, the ground water isn't that fantastic compared to what I actually get this way.

While I've been working on getting water piped from one of my springs, we're talking a kilometer there, and for 60 of the worst feet - over bedrock, so the pipe freezes in winter till I get a channel blasted out. Not to mention, here in the hills, that spring is 120 feet lower in altitude than my place - that's a heck of a pump to run a km of wire to. Here's what I do in the meantime:

http://www.coultersmithing.com/forum...6&p=3234#p3234

If the owner of this good forum wants me to dupe this stuff here, instead of just linking to my site, I'm all for it - but it's a lot of stuff (and I have more to come on alternate living - and it's all from over 30 years of experience).
I figure all too many might be too lazy to follow the link, or that my own site is a "single point of failure" so I'd love to see this duped, but it's not my bits here - I'll wait till I'm asked.

Last edited by DCFusor; 11-13-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 11-14-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
Oops, I tried to edit a typo, and got a dupe. I don't see how to remove one, perhaps the moderator will do it.
Yes, I'll take care of it.

Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
If the owner of this good forum wants me to dupe this stuff here, instead of just linking to my site, I'm all for it - but it's a lot of stuff (and I have more to come on alternate living - and it's all from over 30 years of experience).

I figure all too many might be too lazy to follow the link, or that my own site is a "single point of failure" so I'd love to see this duped, but it's not my bits here - I'll wait till I'm asked.
You are welcome to share as much BSTS info here as you like.

Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
Not many people realize what a hassle it is to get water. For most it just comes out of a tap, like magic. Well, behind the scenes it takes a lot of doing, and depending on tap water might not be wise down the road, for a variety of reasons. I haven't since I moved to the country in '79, for numerous other reasons. I'm living in what is legally a barn (but it's a really nice one) to avoid some taxes, for one thing, and a water well is one of those things that gets you away from that - and in my case, the ground water isn't that fantastic compared to what I actually get this way.
This is a huge issue. One of the reasons I spent a lot of time researching water filtration and distillation issues. I figured I could always make use of nearby water sources.

But you've opened a broader topic here and I think it's worth exploring. I also have some rain barrels, but to date I'm only capturing around 180 gallons. Not nearly enough to last through the record drought we've been experiencing.

Have you built or experimented with a "moisture farming" (just like Luke's uncle in Star Wars) apparatus? I'd love to see some solar powered machines like Terry LeBleu is building:


http://droughtmasters.net/
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:07 AM   #3
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In theory, all you need is cold to get whatever water is in the air to condense. But pumping heat can be expensive of energy. I could see someone designing a recirculating refrigeration system, so that the cold (and now dry) air going out was used to cool the hot side and make it a heck of a lot more efficient - that might be what this guy did to get a gallon per 500w hours or so (guessing from his quote).

In a not-desert, there's a heck of a lot of water in the soil, and there you'd heat the dirt and then condense water at ambient temperature. A triangular box made of a frame covered in clear plastic, with trays on the sides to collect the drips off the air-cooled plastic works really well - ask any gardener, sometimes it works too well for their needs. This can be light and portable enough to move around as you dry out patches of ground...and you could make it fairly long, or make many to get more per day.

Most air-water things have an issue with dust picked up along the way, and that can be bad to put in your body. Probably best to filter the air on the way in. That's why you probably shouldn't drink what drips out of your air conditioner.

Another topic worthy of exploration is how not to need so much water...I find I take a long time to go through a gallon in the kitchen myself...you find ways automatically if you deliberately make it a little harder to get than just twisting a knob.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #4
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1km, 120ft lift and 60 ft of bedrock in one place ........
Now that tells us how important water is.

The old ranchers ( and farmers here in UK ) used wind pumps and had a decent header tank to hopefully get em through the windless times.

There must be modern equivalents or some PV charging a battery bank ?

Would a radio link to a diesel pump be an option ?

Anything to avoid buying 1km of 16mm ( wild guess) 2 core copper cable .......

As for the rocky bit, are there options to bring in cover material and / or wrap the pipe in high spec insulation ?
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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Yes, water is the biggie - you can fast a long time, but not without water.

Sadly, where that spring is, it's still a long way from a good solar panel spot, but yeah, I've thought of that one (as have others). Sadly, the bad spot is right at the bottom, where the creek is - and the other problem is flash floods putting so much side force on the pipe where it crosses that it sometimes snaps it. (1/2" oil creek black plastic pipe) I really just need a cut slot to stuff it into the rock. I got the part from the house to the creek buried by a guy with a special digger thing - but it wouldn't touch that bedrock (granite/quartz)- just made sparks. From there up to the spring, it's buried in the little creek bed from the water the spring emits - no problems there either, it doesn't wash out. Just that place on the bottom where it crosses the big creek on bedrock.

But hey, I do HE (make my own), have the approval of the BATF (long story, but they're cool with what I do), and all I need is the time and motivation to finally do it. I'd design micro-charges to cut a nice deep but narrow slot, and have a ton of fun doing it in lots of little blasts - about a cup of rock per 1/4 oz of some HE (probably PETN). I could call in some guy with rock drills and dynamite, but hey - then I'd have 2 feet deep and 10 wide, and lose all the overburden - and not get to have the fun!

Or, I can do as now - drive the truck to water (my place has a couple spots, and there must be 10 more inside a mile) and just move on to other things. I don't use much water here (even when I was married, till quite recently) so it's not that big a deal as things sit.

Since all my water collection spots are within a mile of the spring that feeds them, it's pretty good water (no cow poop) if you pick your times - stay away at pollen season and acorn/leaf season and you're good. I have a chemistry set (large) and can distill small amounts if all I can get is really bad stuff, in a pinch.
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