Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rainwater Harvesting

We have the hardest area to get rain it seems. If rain comes from the east, it stops at Austin. If it comes from the south, a strong west wind comes along and pushes it towards Austin or east to the Houston area. If it comes from the west, a north wind comes along to push it around us. lol But, last night six-tenths of an inch got through to our rain gauge! Praise God!

We have a rainwater collection system. As a city girl from Houston, I was completely surprised to find that rainwater was sweet. For every inch of rain, you harvest approximately 550 gallons from a thousand square foot surface. Water comes off the roof into oversize gutters, drain spouts are connected to underground pipes which empties into the Booley eliminator (pic to right), the first step in a filtering system. The eliminator holds 200 gallons which when it fills flows into the fiberglass storage tanks. The State of Texas publishes a Rainwater Harvesting Manual which arms you with all the necessary information to get started, as well as the nitty-gritty usage/collection formulas.

Richard Heinichen of Tank Town in Dripping Springs has a lot of information too. Tank Town installed our system in 1998 and is to this day very customer friendly. Besides, how can you not buy from a guy that appoints himself mayor of his very own Tank Town, population of one? As an aside, I was quoted in the New York Times in an article done on Mayor Richard. I just happened to stop by for something when the NYT journalist was interviewing him. :D

We have a well that can be used in emergencies, but I've never gotten use to the taste. Clothes come out of the washer stiff as a board, colors fade quickly, and no way can dried lentils be cooked in this water: lentils stay hard, never get soft. When on the well, I buy water to drink, to make coffee or tea, and if some type of lentil is on the menu, I make sure I have plenty of bottled water on hand.

I just had to do some washing that was put off due to the extended drought. I decided that if I run out of rainwater, well at least I'd have some nice, sweet smelling, and soft clothes, towels, etc. These past few months I only washed what was absolutely necessary. Yesterday I was considering washing some things by hand today since less water would be used than in the washer! But, as fate would have it, rain came during the night!

Hopefully, the drought in this area is broken. Life is good and we have a good supply of rainwater for at least a month!

Until next time, God bless.


Mary-Austin said...

I hope the drought ends soon for you. My parents live not too far away in Boerne and they just haven't had any rain and the restrictions are threatening to get worse!! We get so much here in Houston--- wish I could send some that way!!

Rainwater filters said...

I want to know is it possible the rain water collected in the water tanks can be used for drinking? because there are so many ways in which rain water can get contaminated
Rainwater tanks