Thursday, 16 April 2015

08:15 – We’re supposed to have another cool wet day, pretty much like yesterday, with the high never making it above the mid-50’s (13C). And the rest of the week is to be similar, if a bit warmer.

The rain patterns around here are why I don’t worry too much about emergency water supplies. If necessary, we can harvest rainwater just by putting containers under each downspout. It’s a very rare month around here when we don’t get at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) of rain, and 4 or 5 inches is common. A typical 30×60 foot ranch house has 1800 square feet of roof, so three inches of rain is 450 cubic feet of water, or better than 3,000 gallons. Call it 100 gallons per day on average. That’s about what we normally use for all purposes, including drinking, cooking, showering, laundry, washing cars, watering the lawn, etc.

Storing it wouldn’t be a problem. We have three 96-gallon rolling bins–one each for recycling, garbage, and yard waste–that could easily be washed out and sterilized with bleach. We also have 30+ plastic storage bins that average about 12 gallons each, and a bunch of 5-gallon pails that could be used to transfer water in manageable quantities among larger containers. And I have what we need to build a pre-filter that can handle thousands of gallons a month as well as a high-volume 0.02 micron filter (which stops even viruses) and chlorine bleach and other chemicals needed to treat the water to better than municipal standards. And, should we need to do so, I can do commercial grade coliform testing. It’d be a lot of work, but we certainly wouldn’t have a problem keeping ourselves in safe water.