Sunday, July 2, 2017

Water use for off-the-grid living

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Another post in the water sub series in the main off the grid series of posts.

Original posted 7.1.17, updated on

7.2.17, 5:30 :

My rain bucket stays full, so what to do with that water.  Filter it and use it, by golly.  And that is what I am doing.  I found an old zero water filter, and combined it with a used, plastic, gallon jug, and I am siphoning water from another one filled with rainwater.  It seeps through the wash cloth, and drips into the filter.  The filter cleans it up, and then I run it through my other filters that will bring it down to zero dissolved solids in the water.  From there, I will disinfect it with a UV light that I received last week.  Ready to drink!

The original post follows:

When I left off, I was doing those water distillation tests.  It had gotten to the point where I feel that the water could be taken to the highest level through the zero water filter and final disinfection with UV light.

It is a part of the goal to get down to five gallons of water use per day, and to recycle dirty water.

I am making this because of ideas I had and have implemented recently.

  • soapy water can be used to flush toilets and to mop the floor
  • water left over from cooking can be filtered for use again, and ...
  • cooking water can be mined for food particles that can use to feed earthworms
  • make a rainbarrel as a dual use for an antenna set up.  Fill it up with clay, cement, pebbles, and pool sand, use only rainwater to clean it up for use

Another thing to remember is the principle of not cleaning very dirty water.  It isn't worth the effort.  What you could do is make water work harder.  Less than filthy water can have additional uses, as mentioned above.  The idea is to stretch the water supply to its limit, and recycle what you can..

Since I have been back home, I have consistently held my water usage down to a tank of black water and a tank of grey water per week.  It is assumed that there is a thirty gallon capacity for each tank.  I am sure I am well below the fill up point of either one, meaning no more than sixty gallons total.  This means about 8.5 gallons per day.   I think it is probably less than that.

The big problem is wash water.  It is really hard to get soap out of water.  The idea to get around this must be to minimize the amount of soap that reaches the water.  I do this with pots and pans by wiping the soap off with a paper towel.  Can a similar procedure be done with washing the body?

Laundry will probably not be done on the property, but I could do it with that little washer.  Getting that water clean is a problem, though.

It may well be that this water could be cleaned with a solar distiller, or a distiller that can be purchased.  It will need to be able to handle a lot of water.

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