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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Est in aqua dulci non invidiosa voluptas.

There is no small pleasure in sweet water. ~Ovid

If you didn't already guess, today's topic for Low Impact Week is water usage and waste. Today is the last day for this challenge, but I have one more topic for tomorrow, and then we can go back to laughing at my mistakes.

I attempted to find some environmental info on open air lagoons, as we have one, but the majority of information I found was on hog waste lagoons and spray fields. Don't think that applies to me, but I have been wrong in the past. We will skip the sins of the lagoon for now. It was in when we bought the place and a septic tank isn't feasible because of the soil/clay content. A public waste system is not in place because of the distance and the two rivers on either side of us.

We use well water here. Our water level is 9 ft to wet sand, 12 ft to standing water. Add that with the fact that I am sitting in a valley that is in a valley and you get flooding. Luckily the house is high enough that is doesn't get wet. The flood water seeps down through the sand and there we have more drinking water. The water cycle is rather fascinating {this coming from a girl that plays D&D, yes, dork and proud} During the spring, we tend to go through a monsoon season. We rarely have to water our garden and orchard at this time. Water conservation is not a problem.

Our ground water is good and clean for everyday use without filters. Our filters are primarily for catching sand.

We use soaker hoses in the garden, and when watering the orchard I cut off the water flow between trees. Our yard and fields are a mixture of the surrounding fields crops, clover and dandelions, and I don't have a need to keep them alive. With the Kansas weather cycle, they live out their days natural, live and thrive in the spring, dry up and die in high summer. Most of the surrounding towns have water restriction during the summer. We do not have these restriction, but we have never found it a bad idea to only water the necessities. The grass and weeds will make a comeback next year.

We do not place buckets in our showers to catch the warm up water. We do not leave things running if not in use {like brushing your teeth and such} . A habit I picked up from my 7th grade Social Studies teacher is placing a brick in the tanks of high flow toilets. I have never done research on this. She was a big environmentalist, though not farmer friendly, and some of her habits and lectures rubbed off.

We use a lot of water here. Most of the things that will keep us alive, need water to stay alive. We do not have recreation water, like a pool, yet the boys enjoy playing in the sprinkler on the hottest of days. A dual purpose, when the sprinkler is moved around to keep the wind breaks and shade trees from getting thirsty as my children stay cool.

I did recently purchase a new front load washer. A fancy little thing that gauges the weight of the clothing and adjust the water to clean, and not overly waste. And at the same time bought a new dish washer. I never had one before, but I thought I already know how to do these by hand, so if I have to survive that way, I have proved I can. excuses excuses, ha!

I have severe migraines, had them since birth. When one of the killer ones hit in the middle of the night, I tend to take very long hot showers to try and sooth myself. This is the biggest water waste that occurs here. And at the time of the migraine, do not try to reason with me, I could kill.

9 comments:

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Shower away... We are looking to buy a front loading wash ourselves, I am being patient to get one at a decent price...

The Fool said...

Ah, Ovid. Transformation and love. Smile, smile, smile, smile. I'd like to see Ovid and Poe at dinner together. heh heh.

Oh, you want to talk water...

e4 said...

This makes many people cringe (myself included, to some extent) but you might check out The Humanure Handbook. Fascinating stuff, especially considering the subject matter.

Phelan said...

Tim, I will. And the washer I found rather inexpensivlly doing a google search of my area for one.

Fool, I think it would be a great conversation, Ovid wrote about fears, and Poe did write about love.

e4, Not much I can do about the lagoon as of this moment. And there was no other option when they decided to use one here.

Thank you, the link is rather interesting, though not much {good nor bad} was said about lagoons under that section.

El said...

We've got the same situation as you do, but our septic system is one based on evaporation, and not a lagoon. We have a large hill that we call Mont Merde where there are perforated PVC pipes running its length inside it (it's mostly sand, not clay). The liquid and solid waste goes first to one holding tank, then another, then the waste water gets pumped to the hill to evaporate and not just sit there. The solids get sucked out every 3 years or so by a sewage disposal company. This system was fairly expensive to install (around $12K), but it's required by the township because of our clay soil.

I figure our system is a closed one in that our waste water, etc., eventually gets percolated into the drinking system, so we make sure we use the least chemicals as possible in our baths and our dish- and clothes washing.

Phelan said...

el, would that be considered a leech field?

Celeste said...

In my part of Georgia we are in an extreem drought. No outside watering of any kind or it is a $2500 fine and the water is disconnected until drought is over. They will base it on your normal water usuage I guess. I was told that I could not water my animals, that they could drink from a pond. We do not have one.If they come after me I will gladly take them to court.
I wash only full loads in washer and dishwasher.I get in shower and turn it on so no waste there.
I will water my garden once a week at night. That is my food for the winter. I dont think they want to feed me... LOL

abbagirl74 said...

Well, I had a killer migraine at work with no hot shower to be found. I know what you mean by that. Good for you on watching your water usage. My kid is the same way. I need to learn from both of you.

Phelan said...

Celeste, not good. They really say you are not to water you animals? How horrible, I couldn't imagine.

abba, you got a good kid there.

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