Conserving Water.

Most people in the developed world take a plentiful supply of clean drinking water for granted. In recent years, droughts, and a less than efficient capture and distribution infrastucture have led top water restrictions in some areas. Combined with rising water rates, this has med us aware that drinking water should be used more sparingly.
Here are some ideas for conserving this precious resource.

Conserving Water.
Treating water, so it’s safe to drink when it comes out of the tap, takes time and energy. Its heavy too and hard to move around. So before you can think about harnessing your own water supply or using rainwater, try to reduce wastage.

Using less water.
*Take showers not baths, use low flow shower heads, and keep your showers to 4 minutes or less.
*Install dual flush toilets, which use significantly less water than older style toilet.
*Aerated taps and shower heads add air to the water to give the effect of using more water for less.
*Dishwashers and washing machine should be run on full load, and economy settings. An efficient machine may cost you more initially, but it will save though out its lifetime, especially when water and electricity rates will inevitably increase.

Reusing grey water.
Wastewater from all sources, other than toilet, is known as grey water. Sewage is sometimes referred to as Blackwater. Many grey water recycling systems collect and treat wastewater from showers baths, rather than more contaminated water from Washing Machines, kitchen sinks, and dishwashers. It can be reused, where you do not need drinking water quality, for flushing toilets and watering the gardens.

Collecting grey water which we bucket onto fruit trees.

Before you go installing a grey water treatment system, you should compare how much you are likely to generate, which depends on the number of baths and showers you take, with your demand for reclaimed water, which depends on the number of toilet flushes or volume required for the garden, only then can you calculate potential savings treated grey water can give you.

Treatment of grey water.
You can’t simply collect grey water in a collection tank for a use. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture what happens if waste water containing dead skin and soap scum, is left to stand for period of time. Treatment of the water is essential. It can be based on physical or biological filters, or a combination of both. You also need somewhere for a storage tank of an appropriate size. Systems can be expensive and may need energy to power them.

Your own water source.
If there is a spring, streams, rivers, dams, or even and odd well on your property, you can be far less reliant on mains water. Before you look at water treatment systems, decide what you will use the water for. If you plan to only use it for flush toilets, you won’t need too much at all. Simple, straight filtration, removes debris. If your plan to drink the water, you need a purification system.

There are number ways to filter water, each with varying degrees of effectiveness and different cost, but all same general purpose, improving the hygenic at aesthetic qualities of the water.

*Activated carbon filters have been around for a long time and work by absorbing and removing unwanted compounds. They have a very large surface area of a highly porous material that attracts and holds chemical pollutants. They are used primarily to improve taste and odour.

*Water distillation involves heating the water to boiling point and condensing it. The system requires a large amount of energy, and generally the distilled water is very high quality but tastes flat, as there is less oxygen dissolved it. You can make a solar still to distil water using the sun as an energy source.

*Sand based filters have been around for more than 100 years. To treat wastewater, they can be employed in large-scale or they can be scaled down to suit individual household. Most require constant flow of water to work correctly.

*Reverse osmosis filters force water under pressure through a semipermeable membrane, they allow water through and filter particles such as bacterial toxins and salt.

*Ultraviolet UV filters kill the majority of bacteria and viruses in the water that passed through them however, they won’t remove chemical pollut o ants. For a UV filter to work effectively, the water must be filtered, first to remove any solid particles so there is nothing for bacteria and viruses to hide behind, and avoid being zapped. In a typical system, UV radiation from a lamp passes through a special quartz glass sleeve and into the untreated water which flows in a thin film over the lamp, the glass sleeve keeps the lamp and I’ll be working temperature of 40 of 104 degrees Fahrenheit UV treatment does not remove organisms from the water, it merely inactivates them. The intensity of the lamp decreases over time and it needs to be replaced regularly. UV treatment is an effective technique that only occurs inside the filter unit, which means that any bacteria introduced to afterwards can be an issue.

Harvesting rainwater.
Rainwater is an precious and sometime scarce resouce, and it makes sense to use rainwater wisely. Rainwater would be the purest water you could use for drinking and washing water. It would be my choice of water sourced for house water. So even if you don’t want to invest in a whole system at least install a couple of water tanks. Unfortunately rain doesn’t fall regularly throughout the year. If you want to use rainwater, you will have to store it. A bigger underground tank is expensive, but fitting a system that isn’t big enough to meet your needs, is a false economy, and means you will end up using mains water as a backup more often. Or water from other sources, you have access too.

Rainwater collection tank is then pumped up to a header tank on higher ground, which gives us mains pressure as it runs down to house.

These are just some ideas for conserving the precious resource, we all rely on, water.
Most people take a plentiful supply of clean water for granted in the developed world, but in recent years droughts and problems in capture and distribution infrastucture have led to water restrictions in some areas.
Combined with rising water rates, this has made us aware that drinking water should be used more sparingly.

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