Water Collection

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For grey­wa­ter you can’t go wrong with Art Lud­wig’s “Cre­ate an Oasis Out of Grey­wa­ter”.  I used it for my sys­tem and it was more than enough info.

For rain­wa­ter check out  “Rain­wa­ter Har­vest­ing for Dry­lands and Beyond” by Brad Lan­cast­er, it’s a good overview.

If you’re going to build a cis­tern you could look at Vol­umes 2 and 3 of the Rain­wa­ter Har­vest­ing book, but I just bought Art Lud­wig’s “Water Stor­age” and that seems to be enough.

All told that’s about $50–60 on Ama­zon and it’s all the info you’ll ever need to build any sys­tem you want.

Shop around for tanks if you buy one, you can find stuff super cheap if you’re patient.

The sys­tems are sim­ple and bombproof, the main thing being to spend plen­ty of time on design.  Think about main­te­nance.  One thing I’ll do with my next grey­wa­ter hook up (from laun­dry to front yard) is to install a Jandy 3 way pool valve instead of a 3 way PVC valve.  The Jandy is sup­posed to be super sim­ple to turn instead of the 3 way PVC that I had to build a spe­cial wood­en jig to turn it because it’s so stiff.

The valves are installed so I can switch eas­i­ly between send­ing grey­wa­ter to my gar­den and send­ing grey­wa­ter to the city/septic.  If you’re a total hip­pie and nev­er use any bleach or oth­er nasty chem­i­cals you’ll be fine, oth­er­wise install it.

As far as soap, Art makes a big deal about bio-com­pat­i­ble suds; I’ve just used nor­mal soap (Dr. Bron­ner’s or some oth­er semi-nat­ur­al stuff) and my plants LOVE it.

I did­n’t pay atten­tion to any codes or try to get any per­mits.  Not sure what the sit­u­a­tion is out there but from my lim­it­ed expe­ri­ence the main thing that the gov­’t wants out of you is mon­ey, and they don’t trade you any­thing for it; no exper­tise, no knowl­edge, nada.

Bot­tom line:  This shit is sim­ple to do, just take your time and think it out.

If you have any ques­tions feel free to call or email.

Cheers,
NFH

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