When doing the winter fence project, we discovered a well in the hedgerow. With no end in sight to the never ending summer, I decided that today would be a good day to pump out the well and check the recovery rate. My neighbours Grant and Gerry helped out and Manuel made a quick appearance in a supervisory capacity. We discovered the well is about a metre in diameter by nearly six metres deep. Cleaning it wasn’t an experience for the squeamish or those with claustrophobia. Anyway, we’ll check the recovery rate tomorrow but hopefully we’ll be on to a new source of water for my winter planting project!
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Enjoy the monsoon!
Holidays. A time to relax, unwind…work on another project! Well, with a heat-wave pending, I decided that I better get the garden ‘soaker’ system set up. First step was to dig out some trenches for the water pipe, black 75 PSI. Here’s a tip; don’t buy irrigation materials (hose, connectors, faucets etc) in the irrigation section of your hardware store – they’re twice as expensive as the components in the plumbing section. I checked into wholesale prices but didn’t have the volume to get deals. Anyway, I looked at a brass faucet manifold (one hose connection, expanding to 4 faucets) and it was $99. Crazy. Anyway, if you can’t buy it you can make it. The manifold I made, with two tap faucets and two ball joint faucets cost me about $25 and some time and I think it actually works quite well.
So after the trenches were dug and manifold complete, I laid out the water pipe, added some connectors then Josée helped me to lay out the soaker hose. We can now water the entire veggie garden (about 25×40 in the main garden, 15×40 in the corn and bean garden) with the flick of one ball joint tap lever. In addition, I calculated that if we use the soaker hose at night, we’ll reduce our water consumption for the veggie garden by about 70 percent versus conventional sprinkler watering. This fact along with the ease of watering made this project very satisfying from a few perspectives.
Next project – retaining walls!
Another flushing success
As noted in past posts, in the next two to three years Josée and I hope to build a house on our property. Our main aim is to build a self-sufficient, off-grid house, renewable house with a cost at par with or lower than conventional construction costs. This might encourage builders and their clients to look at the options rather than settle for conventional construction methods. Anyway, I’m always looking for new and interesting ideas to add into the house and I was reading this morning about the sink toilet. Now before you have visions of kneeling before the porcelain god, washing away the stress of the day by dipping deep into the bowl of horrors, NO – the sink is used after the toilet and is a separate and distinct entity!!
The Mona Lisa of Toilets
Basically, the pictures show all you need to know. Water used to wash your hands drains directly into the toilet cistern, with an overflow valve in case of OC handwashing. Gray water from the sink is then used to flush the toilet, reducing clean water usage. The toilets themselves have the dual flush system which further reduces water consumption.
In Japan, there are over 100 million of these toilets in use but they haven’t yet become mainstream in our “over-consuming, McMansion” North American society. The dual flush system in our house works quite well but I think in our new place we might look at adding in these sink toilets.