Friday, June 18, 2010

Water Filtration II

Well, I didn't win the water filter. Oh well.

I'm still thinking about water though. Perhaps because it's been raining so much the past couple of weeks.

Here's a few of the things I've been mulling over.

Rain Barrels. Oh how I want some rain barrels. Iowa is blessed with copious rain fall and it just drives me crazy to watch it all go down the drain. We have 3 downspouts, 1 of which lets out right at my garden, and I might leave that one as is, it has the smallest part of the roof and I feel like I trap most of that water in my garden and there's not much need to mess with it. The other two downspouts empty the majority of the roof catch, and they both empty onto weedy gravel that's not being used for anything. I'd love to have rainbarrels at those two spouts. I can't afford to buy a ready-made barrel for both, that would far exceed my budget, so creative DIY is in order. I've contacted the Ice Cream plant in town and they have a Material Reclamation department or some-such that I've been advised to ask about used barrels and buckets. Depending on what I can scavenge, I'll use the window screen I already have, some basic hardware (spigot and small hoses) and either stack or daisy chain the buckets or barrels to make something big enough to actually be useful. Useful in my mind is something on the order of 100 gallons. (200 would be fantastic, and is a good goal for the future. ) With any luck I'll be able to find a couple of 55 gallon drums and meet that goal with one drum under each spout.

Filtration. Rain barrels are great for veggies and other plants, but for cooking or drinking, more filtration would be required. Again, most filters are out of my budget, and not being one to reinvent the wheel, I've found some really promising DIY water filters and instructions for building them on the web.
The basic thought is spend the money on the Good Filters, and DIY the containers that hold both the water that's filtering and the finished water. I like the plastic bucket look. Not as shiny as the finished product that Berkey puts out, but with a couple of their Black Berkey filters inside, buckets will do just as well.

I'll update again when I actually have some containers and I start building something.

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