Water Solutions I

Group if young African kids walking with buckets and jerrycans on their head as they prepare to bring clean water back to their village.

This is the first in our series on Water Solutions.

by: James Quaid

One of the main reasons we are a “First World” country is due to our sanitation and water infrastructure. Any degradation of these systems will be a major problem. See Detroit, MI for details. There have been lesser malfunctions with other US water systems over the years to include brain eating amoeba, flood contamination, rationing, etc. So, having a water cache is prudent.

Please note, you should check your local municipality’s regulations on water storage and cistern systems. Some counties require a permit for tanks above a certain capacity and some jurisdictions forbid the use of rain water collection.

Do’s:

  1. Everyone should have the capablity to store water. One of the main causes of death after Katrina was due to the lack of clean drinking water.
  2. If you can put in a well within your budget and your property has a persistent water table depth, you should do so.
  3. Keep it simple. If you are comfortable installing a full house system, by all means do so. However, you should have a methodology to retrieve water from your system if the power goes out. Again, be aware of local building codes
  4. Please note, a garbage can with a hand pump with a good gravity fed filter system is much better than nothing. If you’re local jurisdiction forbids rain water collection, wells, etc. Then find a method of water storage that works for you!
  5. Invest in an excellent water filtration system and have replacement cartridges / filters on hand.
  6. Nothing exceeds like excess, seal your system against bugs and critters, especially mosquitoes.
  7. Pre filter water in dustier climes. Micro dust can easily get through screens. This will extend the life of your filtration system.
  8. Have a portable filter/s. In case you have to hit the road.
  9. Do perform regular maintenance on your system/s. Check your collection tanks for smells and other signs of contamination.

Dont’s:

  1. Don’t use opaque tanks w/o painting same. Algae will take over that tank, especially in warmer, sunnier climes. Algae will remove heavy metals at a 80:1 ratio. But, it’s almost impossible to remove after a serious colony gets established.
  2. Don’t exceed the life span on your filtration system. (If your forced to push the limits of your filtration system due to extreme circumstances, change your filters sooner rather than later).
  3. Don’t collect rain water if you’re in the fall out path of a Fukushima or other highly toxic pollutant source.
  4. Don’t make it known that you do have a large water cache.

Favorite Filters:

Purchasing Tips and Tricks

  • Search Craig’s List, etc for affordable tanks and other cistern components.
  • Garage Sales are your friend.
  • Note: the costs of 55 gal food grade drums and 250 gal tote tanks have soared in the past few years, not to mention the associated plumbing hardware in the Covid era.

Videos:

Whole house system (AZ).

The 7 Top Mistakes in Harvesting Rain Water (FL) .

5400 ltr / 1400 gal Two Tank System (South Africa).

First Flush System Install (SW US?).