Some years back I made a decision to buy some land in the hills of Texas. It absolutely was rough land, all rock with extreme cliffs and bottomless valleys. The elevation of the property placed us many feet above the water table so making it rather costly to bore a well. But the property had one factor going for it. Somewhere in that hill was a large empty space that will capture the rain water, while it rained.
Now this water wasn't gushing out of the hill, it truly only came out at around half a gallon per minute. There was no method to tap into the supply thus we were stuck with the slow flow. We finally gave the system a name; we named it the hamster bowl.
The hamster bowl ends up as a tiny pool of water about 300 feet from our abode. There is plants, dirt, fish, snakes and bugs swimming all in that water. The deer, hogs, turkey and other animals come to drink there too. Currently it absolutely was our turn to drink from the hamster bowel as well.
The objective was to turn dangerous water into good water without using high pressure or expensive filters and such. Therefore we were restricted to the strategies we could utilize. The other drawback was that the flow rate was such that we were restricted on how much water we may possibly harvest from the bowl while not hurting the natural system. During normal conditions we were getting roughly half a gallon per minute of flow rate, this translated to just over 700 gallons per day of total water. We set to take about a third of that.
The system is quite simple. We setup a solar panel to power a pump that's located in the hamster bowl. Throughout the day the pump comes on, if needed, and pumps water from the pool up to a holding tank of roughly 500 gallons. If the tank is full the pump will not come on. This can be triggered by a float switch inside the first holding tank that will tell the pump controller if the tank is full or not. Currently keep in mind this 1st tank is just dirty water with bugs and all.
From this first holding tank the water is gravity fed to a smaller tank stuffed with gravel and sand. This smaller tank encompasses a float valve that only opens when the water is dwindling in that tank. The dirty water flows into the filter tank, conjointly referred to as a slow sand filter, and slowly moves through the layers of sand and gravel. This movement polishes the water and removes 99.99% of all impurities. The slow filter will handle nearly 15 gallons per hour or 360 gallons ow water per day. We have a tendency to never use that much so it never goes dry.
Once the water is cleaned via the slow sand filter it's gravity fed into the last holding tank. The top of this holding tank is just on top of the outlet of the sand filter. Once the final holding tank is full, the water from the sand filter is unable to exit the filter tank therefore causing the filter tank valve to close. Once the filter tank valve is closed the unclean water holding tank fills up and triggers the float switch that turns off the solar pump. It is all terribly straightforward and terribly cost effective.
So this is how we turned our unclean ground water into clear usable drinking water for our house. You'll be able to find slow sand filter designs on the net and watch videos on how they work on varied video sites. There are various manufactures for these types of filters but you'll be able to make them just as well.
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Richard Harington spends most of his time working to find solutions to soil permeability and other conservation and ecological projects not only for work but for satisfaction as well.
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