The Definitive Water Thread

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Dogs_In_A_Pile's picture
Dogs_In_A_Pile
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Re: How much should a well cost?

goes211 wrote:

I am just being paranoid?

Joel -

If cost isn't an issue, why not look at the expense for the well and supporting systems as an insurance premium?  Once it's done, you can check off "Water Supply" from your list of things you need to do.  Instant peace of mind as far as where you and your family - and from the sound of things - your neighbors can turn to get a clean source of water for drinkng, washing and irrigation.

Echoing what LG said, I'd look at a solar powered option for your pump(s).  I think Ready went that route.

Hope your New Year is off to a good start.

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Re: The Definitive Water Thread

I agree that I can look at it like an insurance policy.  I can afford it right now but the question is, is this a good use of limited financial resources?   Also adding solar will greatly increase costs (and probably family resistance).  Employment looks ok for now but the house it not paid off and you never know what might happen. 

If the cost was $1K it would be an easy yes.   If it was $25k it would be an easy no because I think I can find better uses for that kind of money.  What I am trying to decide is if this is a fair price and if that piece of mind is worth it?  I guess first I will probably talk to some other well drillers to see what they have to say. 

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Re: The Definitive Water Thread

You might try compromising like we did. $5K for a 200-ft deep drinking water well (into the bedrock) was beyond our means, so we spent $2K for a "sand well" for irrigation. It's 60-ft down, and we hit water at 20-ft, so it should produce even in a drought. Warning: A well that shallow will still have bacteria. In a pinch you could boil any drinking water

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Re: The Definitive Water Thread

Goes

Since you wonder if the price is fair, just get two more estimates from companies with good reputations.  Then you'll have one question answered.

Travlin 

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Re: The Definitive Water Thread

Would it be safe to store tap or purchased water indefinitly in any sort of cheap plastic jug found at Costco, Sam's Club. etc. and just run it through a Big Berkey water filter before drinking it?  I'm considering purchasing several 5 gallon plastic jugs and am wondering if it would be safe to drink the water in them well after their expiration dates.  I live in a rather dry climate and storage room is limited.  Thanks.

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Re: The Definitive Water Thread

Set wrote:

Would it be safe to store tap or purchased water indefinitly in any sort of cheap plastic jug found at Costco, Sam's Club. etc. and just run it through a Big Berkey water filter before drinking it?  I'm considering purchasing several 5 gallon plastic jugs and am wondering if it would be safe to drink the water in them well after their expiration dates.  I live in a rather dry climate and storage room is limited.  Thanks.

Set -

Would you drink it if your well was dry and city water was in short supply or off?  I'd rather risk a couple of nasties leaching out of a plastic container than dying of thirst.  FWIW, we have 40 gallons of emergency water in plastic - I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a pinch, but I would filter it through my Berkey or Katadyns.

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Re: Rain barrel first-flush systems

One problem rain barrels can have is that the first water coming off a roof in a rainstorm is usually full of debris, bird poop, etc.  This material needs to be diverted from entering the water storage system to ensure the cleanest possible supply.  Various mechanical systems have been used to divert the first flush, but these have moving parts that fail or need careful rigging and maintenance to work properly.  Simpler solutions are needed.

I recently traveled to various permaculture sites in VA and NC (USA), and found first flush systems for rain barrels like the one pictured below fairly frequently.  Thought I'd share. 

Approx dimensions of the tank below: 8 ft high x 3 ft dia tank = about 1,100 gallons.  Not that much for irrigation, actually, but hey, it's way better than nuthin'.  Courtesy Will and Jeana Hooker, Raleigh, NC.

Will Hooker Rain Barrel

The downspout pipe drops vertically beside the tank to a closed end with a screwable/unscrewable fitting.  This section of pipe must fill before water diverts into the tank, hence the first rain off the roof doesn't go into the tank.  The plastic tank is painted with a special primer, then black paint, then white, to prevent algal growth.  Note the overflow at top right, the screen-cone top for mosquitoe and debris control, and the stripe of unpainted plastic for reading water levels.  With a small hole in the screw cap at the bottom, the pipe would slowly empty on its own, too, so it would reset by itself.

Nice, huh?

A similar but more complex system I saw in Portland, OR some years ago at the Portland Permaculture Institute has the first flush go to a smaller (blue) barrel, which slow leaks to a garden pond down-pipe--or empties in a gush, depending on the setting of the spigot on the blue barrel.  I think the blue barrel was used here because the size of the roof area demanded more first-flush capacity.  The large black tank is 3,500 gallons, as I recall.  The white and orange valve in the gray pipe allows the roof runoff to go directly to the pond if the tank is full.  The gray pipe going up from the blue barrel to end against the wall prevents the blue barrel slow-leak-reset or a fast empty of it from siphoning water out of the larger tank--these pipes are a closed-entry system into the large tank, unlike the system above from NC, so the pipes could all be full of water, allowing siphoning to occur under the right conditions.

Portld PC Inst Roof Runoff

Note, too, that in both systems, if the slow leak is slow enough, the first-flush reserve may not empty completely before the next rain.  This is OK, though, because if there is a shorter time between rains, the amount of dust/debris on the roof will likely be less, so less first flush capacity is needed.  A nice, simple, self-regulating system!

Blessed be all!

Yackity

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Doulton Water Filter - Golf Cousre Chemical Runoff

I live on a golf course in Florida. There is a 'lake' in my backyard that is essentilly ground water (there is nothing feeding it except rain). Unfortunately, the water is contaminated with a lot of chemicals that are used on the course to weed and feed the grass and chemicals used to keep algae and other plant growth in the lake to an absolute minimum. Fish do live in the lake but I fear that they may 'glow in the dark'. Will the Doulton ceramic filter filter out these chemicals leaving me/us with truly potable water? Thanks for any information provided.

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rain from the roof

hi yackity and thanks for your very informative post!  rain from the roof is a big deal for us, since our city water is very expensive and using captured rain water on the garden would be a big help.

HOWEVER, we went to a rain barrel forum at our local library last year and we were told by the "experts" not to use water from the roof for our garden because it is contaminated with oil-based materials (stuff it's made from?) that would leach into our vegetables, and then into us.

does anyone have conflicting information?  i'd love to find something that says it's ok to use rain from the roof for our veggies.

thanks,

lanni

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Saving on Doulton Candles

I purchased this refill kit. At $20 per candle including shipping I think it's the best deal. http://www.amazon.com/2000-Pack-Ceramic-Replacement-Filters/dp/B002R6XGDS I think these are the same that come when you buy them individually. I figure in an emergency I can rig up a bucket filter pretty quickly. I'll get some plastic nuts so I'll have those on hand as well.

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St. Paul Mercantile Is Back Online at chrismartenson.com

Hey, everybody.  This is John from St. Paul Mercantile.  I haven't been on the forum for the past year and a half, but given the way events are happening around the world, I thought it was about time to start reading the Daily Digests again.  I still sell the Doulton ceramic water filters, as well as the Aqua Cera plastic-body filters.  Chris talks about these in his "water" section of "What Should I Do", and he includes links to my website.  Do use his links (or the links in my emails), as they contain a code that tells me that the customer came from PeakProsperity.com, and then Chris gets a commission on your purchase to help keep the website funded.

Supply of water filters has been hit and miss over the past couple of years.  Understand that ceramic candles (the filtering elements used in the water filters) are made by a fairly small company in England.  They are able to keep up with "normal" demand, but when there is a world event, such as the earthquake in Haiti two years ago, then the Japan earthquake/tsunami this year, demand for ceramic candles can go up 20-fold.  That leads to an immediate sell-out in the US, then several months of waiting for new inventory to arrive in the US. 

I am here to answer questions that you might have about water filters, water storage, etc.  I also carry a full line of kerosene stoves, plus an oven that works on the kerosene stoves, kerosene lanterns, emergency radios and flashlights, a Sun Oven, heirloom survival seeds, and other emergency preparedness supplies.  This link will take  you to the Family Preparedness part of the website, and the link includes Chris's Affiliate code:

http://www.stpaulmercantile.com/index.php?action=store&page=FamilyPreparedness&ref=ChrisM

Feel free to email me through this thread, or privately, with any questions you might have about food, water, cooking, etc.  I've been doing this since 1998.  It's good to be active again on this site, as there are lots of people contributing information every day.  Every time I log on, I learn something new.

John

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Water from humidity in the air

I posted this in the wrong place a few minutes ago, but this forum seems more applicable to my question:

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this water device.  I have never heard of this before, and it probably works much better in my high humidity climate, but I am hesitant to buy something that might end up being more trouble (who will service this in my area?)  Sounds like a great idea, but who knows?  It even has a solar option.    http://www.ecoloblue.com/

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Katadyn Hiker Series Filters

I rarely stump for products but if anyone is looking to add to their Bug out Kits or just add another layer of resiliency I ran across a pretty good deal.

Just got my Emergency Essentials July catalog - the Katadyn Hiker portable filter system is on sale 25% off.  It includes a BPA free Nalgene.  Both together are under $50 which is a really good price.  They also have replacement filters and colloidal silver solution (10 ppm) at competitive prices.

Filter:  http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=WP%20F150&

Other water purification items:  http://beprepared.com/category.asp_Q_c_E_140_A_name_E_Water%20Filters%20and%20Purifiers

Poke around the site if so inclined, there's a lot of good stuff to be found.

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Water emergency

You know how they suggest you have fresh water availabe for an emergency? Today we had an emergency. Because we were ready, it was actually kinda fun.

Late this afternoon the entire neighborhood had their water shut off while a burst pipe was dealt with. I was about to cook dinner, and rather than be annoyed I just took one of the several plastic gallon jugs of water from our attic. (These are cleaned and disinfected milk containters filled with tap water and a couple of drops of bleach.)

We had homemade soup and a salad of late greens from our garden, rinsed with the same clean water. By the time the city water was back on (with a "boil it" advisory until 3 PM tomorrow) I had already decided to get a five gallon pail of water from our well to do the dishes and flush toilets, if necessary. Had that not worked I could have used water from one of our rain barrels.

An emergency like this makes you think about how much you need water to live, and for sanitation. It was nice to be ready.

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water, quakes, heat, and plastic

safewrite wrote:

You know how they suggest you have fresh water availabe for an emergency? Today we had an emergency. Because we were ready, it was actually kinda fun.

Late this afternoon the entire neighborhood had their water shut off while a burst pipe was dealt with. I was about to cook dinner, and rather than be annoyed I just took one of the several plastic gallon jugs of water from our attic. (These are cleaned and disinfected milk containters filled with tap water and a couple of drops of bleach.)

We had homemade soup and a salad of late greens from our garden, rinsed with the same clean water. By the time the city water was back on (with a "boil it" advisory until 3 PM tomorrow) I had already decided to get a five gallon pail of water from our well to do the dishes and flush toilets, if necessary. Had that not worked I could have used water from one of our rain barrels.

An emergency like this makes you think about how much you need water to live, and for sanitation. It was nice to be ready.

safewrite,

I've been consistently impressed by the the diligence of your preparations and your willingness to share all that you've learned,  Thank you.  We appreciate it.

On a personal level, we're located close to many surface fresh water sources of high quality, have significant snow pack in the winter, and also have water stockpiled but we recently acquired a generator with 220 volt capability as well to make sure we can use our well pump in the event of a power outage.

Just an aside ... noting that you're in SC and having read Davos's blog around earthquake insurance, are you covered for such a contingency?   I was surprised to see SC was a high risk earthquake zone and thought of you when I read that, FWIW.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/22/us-fault-lines-graphic-ea_n_432948.html

It's something for all of us to consider with regards to a water supply since an earthquake could very easily render well shafts and other water sources inoperable. 

Also, you may want to be cautious with those plastic jugs in the attic during the summertime when high temperatures can affect the chemical stability of the plastic and the subsequent stored water quality. 

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Here's what i'm going to get:

"clean water for 100 people per day."  I'm opting for this over the two bucket ceramic setup.  Simple, fast, veratile and relatively cheap ($50):

Check out the video:    http://www.wavesforwater.org/community-filters/

 

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berkey vs. Doulton

hi, I purchased a berkey light years ago (http://www.shop.berkeywaterusa.com/product.sc?productId=1&categoryId=2 at $208 then) and I have been extremly pleased. It makes local tap water taste better than many of the bottled waters available. 

I'm looking to get spare filters.

It looks like Doulton filters may be interchangable with the  Black Berkey® purification elements . does anyone have any experience with what's better, or with this at all?  

update: this may be biased, but it's what I got so far: 

http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/berkey/the-difference-bet...

http://www.911water.com/Comparison-of-Black-Berkey-and-Super-Sterasyl-Fi...

I heard of the black berkey from survivalist.com and as I said, have been extremly pleased.

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berkey vs. Doulton

double post somehow. ignore. (edit)

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is that filter really as

neutrino wrote:

"clean water for 100 people per day."  I'm opting for this over the two bucket ceramic setup.  Simple, fast, veratile and relatively cheap ($50):

Check out the video:    http://www.wavesforwater.org/community-filters/

 

is that filter really as good as the cermaic setups? the lifespan of the filter isn't discussed either.

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 Superstes: "is that filter

Superstes: "is that filter really as good as the cermaic setups? the lifespan of the filter isn't discussed either."

Lifespan is actually one of the reasons i went with this one. You should peruse the website a little as it has great info.  This is a non profit group who use this model (Community Filter) and a 2-bucket ceramic model (Family Filter) for purifying water in disaster areas or in remote villages.  They state that the "Community Filter" (posted above) can be used for 5 years with proper care due to it's ability to be backwashed.  The ceramic filter can be used for 6-8 months since they are essentially a once through design.  I'm sure they would respond to an email if you had a question that isn't already on the website.  While both types of filters should be adequet, I opted to spend the additional $15 for their Community Filter. While I can't say from first hand experience with this particular filter, the features that convinced me are:

1) Lifespan: ~5 years instead of 6-8 months for the ceramic model.  There are various types and sizes of ceramic filters so I'm sure the lifespan will vary, but they are a once through disposable filter so I don't expect any of them to approach the lifespan of a cleanable filter.

2) Cleanable: It has the ability to be backwashed. (the ceramic one does not).  The surface of the ceramic filter can be scrubbed but this is not the same as backwashing. From what I know of ceramic filters, they eventually become staurated thus limiting thier lifespan and flowrate.  

3)  Filtering: The "Community Filter" has a 0.1 micron filtering ability, whereas the ceramic "Family Filter" is 0.5 micron. 

4) Flow:   It has a greater flow rate than the ceramic filter.  The "Community Filter" produces 200 gallons/day whereas the ceramic "Family Filter"  produces only 14 gallons/day.  You get high quality, drinkable water in minutes instead of hours.  In a true disaster you could provide water for all your neighbors - a highly attractive option.

 5) Simplicity: It's a simpler, less bulky setup - one bucket instead of two. 

So for me, these features make it the more attractive choice in my opinion.

FYI the filters are actually made by Sawyer products (https://www.sawyersafetravel2.com/products.asp) and you can purchase directly from them (~$58).  The website I linked to previously just had a great write-up and video on their use in the field.

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wood stove driven baseboard hot water heat

I have been thinking about this for years and sadly, done little research.  Conceptually, though, it should require a 1. woodstove situated close to baseboard copper piping and 2. an inline pump to keep the water circulating.  Seems like a relatively free source of whole-house heat.  Has anyone done this?

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wood stove driven baseboard hot water heat

Has anyone tinkered with running their copper baseboard pipes through a wood stove, with an inline pump for circulation?  We have both and it seems like a possibility.  

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medvirg
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wood stove driven baseboard hot water heat

Has anyone tinkered with running their copper baseboard pipes through a wood stove, with an inline pump for circulation?  We have both and it seems like a possibility.  

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Well Pump Runs on Electricity- What are energy alternatives?

My summer home is on an island with its own acquifer. That's the good news. The bad news is, the well pump that provides water to the house is run on electricity. I've asked the well driller if they could provide me with an alternative energy source, like solar power (we get a fair amount of sun near the beach) to run the pump in the event of power outtage. He looked at me like I was crazy and said to get a generator instead. I don't want to be in the position of having to hunt down or store propane. The solar panel dealer said the pump required more energy than several panels could deliver.  My parents are elderly and I want to prepare for anything. Also, our power company is undependable under the best of circumstances.

Does anyone have any suggestions? This is keeping me up at night. Thank you!

 

 
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Steam risks

Medvirg:

I have experimented with several variations on what describe. There is a real risk of explosion and extreme injury or death if pressure is allowed to grow inside the pipes due to steam generation. If you want to try something like this, go in small steps. For quite a while I just kept the pipes above, but a few feet away from the stop top to see what heat I could collect. Eventually I learned what the safe limits to the system were. Also, you should always have an easy way for excess pressure to escape the system so dangerous levels are not reached.

Good luck - it can work well!

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Water storage

mpulos:

I have an article that I wrote that addresses your concern to some degree. If you were to develop a system similar to mine you could also be better prepared to utilize solar PV pumping.

If you research solar pumping for way off-grid cattle watering, they always use a "pump when the sun shines" approach. Essentially your water tanks become your "battery". You lose about 15% what energy you put into batteries. Once water is in above ground tanks you can easily pressurize your home plumbing with an inexpensive 12V RV pump.

I've misplaced my original calculations, but the amount of batterery I would need to pump the 400 gallons of storage I have would cost several at least a couple thousand dollars. The tanks cost less than $500.

http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/water-storage-example-resiliency-building/75647

I am working on plans to expand my system to solar direct pumping and I am now "just waiting" for the in ground pump to die so I have to do the project. :)

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skyfall
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what filter to get?

Guys, it looks like St Pual Mercantile is no longer in business... is there another place to get the Doulton ceramic filter (that ships to Canada)... or alternatively is there another filter that you guys would recommend?

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The Big Berkey

Skyfall -

I knew St Paul Mercantile was recovering from a warehouse fire that happened recently. It's my sincere hope they're able to re-open their business soon.

The Doulton was an American label for the Berkey ceramic water filter. I'd recommend the Big Berkey, it's a classic and extremely durable.

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skyfall
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Thanks Adam, I appreciate

Thanks Adam, I appreciate your input.  I'll pick myself up a Big Berkey :)

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