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3/24/11

Rainwater For The Zero Energy Prefab House : Rainwater Collection, Water, And Water Rights

The zero energy off grid prefab house is about to get rainwater collection systems!
We're all so excited!

Just in time for World Water Day, we placed our order for rainwater collection and filtration equipment for our off grid zero energy prefab home with Rainwater Management Solutions!

Here's what we did: (Of course, depending on YOUR needs this package would change accordingly) We sized it very minimally because we also have natural water sources on the land if, frankly, we were ever in need.
WF2011 WFF 100 Vortex Filter with extension (2,000sq.ft.) 1
PS564X4 4" x 4" ferncoat rubber coupling for WFF 100/150 vortex filter
16SE0511 Plus Goulds 1/2 hp, 115 volt, Cistern pump, with stainless steel base plate, 1 1/4" nozzle, 7' - 1 1/4" suction hose, 1 1/4" coarse floating filter, 1 1/4" brass check valve, and brass adapter male thread to barb, 1 1/4" insert for base plate for submersible pumps
1,700 gallon below ground tank 133" L x 55" W x 66" H 1
NOR-63514 Manhole extension (6" H X 20" D) for Norwesco tank2
NOR-61765 tank 4" gasket 2
AL44200-2 2" bulkhead fitting 2
PURKit 8gpm ... Purification Kit components only consists of 2 each
Big Blue Housing Canisters, brackets and 1 each wrench, 1 each 1 micron string wound filter, carbon filter and 8gpm UV Light

Watch how the filter diverts rainwater from debris:


Now we wait.  And oh, yeah, we have to find the excavator guy. And move dirt. Which, if you have followed this off grid prefab house construction blog for any length of time, you know that finding the excavator guy and getting him to dig is going to take weeks.

But oh my gosh. Remember when we had no solar power and only had candle light? My, how the year has actually gone by, quickly, in the prefab house kit!

I recall thinking on especially cold, dark days,
"Iiiiiii need electricity, Iiiiiii need electricity Iiiiiii need electricity tonight!"
Not that some '70s punk band would ever make a song saying something like that but OH WAIT!

(Thank you Sharon "Elvis Lives" A... xoxoxo!
Everybody else: Oh C'MON, hit "play" on this and bop around yer office!)

 

Ahem. Now let's talk more about rain water, and water in general.
Water quality has always been on my mind.  Growing up sailing, fishing, and swimming on the Chesapeake Bay, the James River, and the 35' deep pond on the ex-family farm, preserving and protecting access to clean water is something I have been aware of for a lifetime.  I have watched the Bay and the James River watershed firsthand be affected by our actions...

So why did we not just dig a well for the off grid house? The reason why I decided, years ago, to go with rainwater collection vs. digging a well is that every year over 2,000 wells run dry in Virginia... in this Washington Post article, over 2,000 in Virginia ran dry in just a two month period during 2002.
"'You can't flush the toilet, you can't wash your hair, you can't wash your clothes. You don't really know how important water is until you lose it,' said Eileen Listrani..."
With drought extending into years these days, I wanted to explore investing in the harvesting of rain water, and invest in a large cistern to catch it when it *does* fall.

The topic of water rights, and that states are now beginning to be quite territorial on a landowner's right to collect water, has caught my eye again. (The first time was years ago in regards to Texas corporations leasing water from underneath landowners. Heck, if in Texas there's whole lucrative lawyer practice groups dedicated to this topic maybe we'd better sit up and pay more attention!)

Read about the ban on rainwater collection:
Collecting Rainwater Now Illegal In Many States As Big Government Claims Ownership Over Our Water
The title takes a slanted political angle, yet the variety of responses it garnered when I posted this to my facebook page showed it resonated with liberals and conservatives alike.

From the original article in Natural News: http://www.naturalnews.com/029286_rainwater_collection_water.html 

"...Douglas County, Colorado, conducted a study on how rainwater collection affects aquifer and groundwater supplies. The study revealed that letting people collect rainwater on their properties actually reduces demand from water facilities and improves conservation."

My friend Linda Goin writes further: Rainwater Harvesting and the (Near) Future of Water Investments
Our friend George G. weighed in:
"What insanity! Is the oxygen we breath from the air also going to be regulated by the government. What about the man made ponds that are filled in part by rain? It also poses the question, that if the government has control of the rain that falls on your property, is it responsible for damage from lightning strikes, wind damage, and flooding? I mean doesn't ownership of the heavens carry responsibility as well? Will sunlight used to power solar homes be taxed and regulated? It seems we have less and less control over our own property. I thought property rights were an important issue in the founding of our Country. It seems that so many values that were important to the founders of our Nation and those who have fought to maintain them are slowly being eroded by the ever increasing size of the government. Well, Copeland, I'm not sure anything I've said here even makes sense at this point, but I do thank you for getting my circulation going without having to get too out of breath!"
...
"Can you imagine the reaction and shear puzzlement of Jefferson, Paine, Franklin, Madison, or anyone else to the idea that the State could tell you how many rain barrels you were allowed to have on your property? I think King George who evidently was as crazy as a bedbug would have thought that was nuts. By the way, I think it's also very evident by the average length of my comments, why I don't twitter."

Ha, good points, all, even the part about you and twitter, George! ; )

When I did my original research, I looked at the top, high performing rainwater collection and filtration systems and narrowed it down to an Australian and German system.  The German system won out because they distribute within the United States, which is how I came across Rain Management Solutions.

Apparently I'm not the only one recognizing them for quality lately - Rainwater Management Solutions was just recognized in an international drinking water competition.

As we continue final interior construction and finish the plumbing, solar heat tube installation, and now the excavation and implementation of the rainwater systems and cistern, things will certainly get even more messy... *sigh*

But it will certainly be worth it. Our adventures continue at the zero energy off grid prefab house kit!

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