FARMERS TALKING TO FARMERS.

THE CISTERN! I'm on my homesteaders list and read this exchange: "Anyone know how dirty rain water is? If you have your eaves arranged so that four water barrels catch all flow, what is best way to purify it? Which ROOF type poisons the water? Asphalt roof shingles canít be good for water! Maybe someone should design a non polluting of water roof surface. Imagine how much filth is in water due to city nearby polluting the air. So the first rain, lock the cistern at the top. SECOND rain you open the lock and start collecting. Of course there may be some kind of roof pollution other than dust. Itís not JUST a big dirty surface, it's a manufactured, chemical FILLED surface.. First rain, you get SLUDGE in your water  Then there's a chemical in the air called  MTB, some gasoline additive thatís getting into the water supply and which is lethal. So maybe we just water the garden from our cistern. That is a great idea

I asked an expert, TIV, the geriatric genius who had 40 different careers over 75 years. He ANSWERS: Not to worry unless Monsanto has a factory upwind or a gaggle of grackles has leased the trees whose branches overhang your roof. A standing seam metal roof works. (All others but grass roofs ought to be outlawed anyway) SSMR is the safest and best in all other respects too, but only the first flush of water in a rainstorm has any hazard potential. You avoid that by installing any one of a variety of gravity-powered diverter valves in the downspout to your cistern. Where air-pollution is serious, the grackles or turkey-vultures abound, it would be prudent to install below the diverter-valve a filter system---the size and sophistication depending upon the type and amount of pollution.

A grass roof will prefilter, and its soil organisms deactivate a fair amount of organic contaminants, leaving only the heavy metals as a matter of concern (youíve got to pick up and move your house downwind of Monsanto, or move Monsanto a couple hundred miles East!) Itís not hard to filter out.

We have a drinking water filter that removes metals... though it was the possible e-coli bacteria that prompted installation. And donít forget to toss a few chlorine tablets in your cistern on occasion to quell restive amoeba sharks. I donít worry about my sharks any more, the killer-whales ate them all. Gravity water drinkers go ho hum when the lights go out and go take a shower.

You want self-sufficiency or you want utility grid servitude? Okay, so letís say I get 150 inches of rain here in western Washington every year. I want to catch that rain so that Iím not robbed blind by a well driller.

QUESTION: Anyone have ideas on how to go about effectively catching rain water in large quantities? It literally rains year round here, so Iím not worried about having to get water during dry spells in the summer. The storage part I understand, so we can deal with that, but how do I catch all that wonderful fresh water in the first place?

TIV the FARMER: You got a hillside of some kind? Near the bottom, but above where you want a house or barn water-spigot to control water-flow, dig a swale across the slope of the hill (shallow, deep---your choice). Use the dug out dirt to make a mounded-lip (berm) on the downhill side and ends of the swale. You can seal the bottom of the swale with fine clay, bentonite, soil-cement , or a big piece of black builderís polyethylene sheet. You could run a pipe through the berm to the bottom of the catchment and attach polyethylene tube to carry the water to buildings, but it would be easier to syphon the water out---run the tubing up over the berm and down to pond-bottom---weight it down with a concrete block, and tie a piece of window-screen over the tube intake to keep out snakes, polliwogs and the like. If you have any kind of a self-priming pump, attach its intake to the lower end of the tubing and it will pull a vacuum and start the flow, after which the syphon will work by itself as long as the pond has water in it. If you donít have a pump, you will probably have to plug the lower end of the tube, pour water in the upper end through a funnel, immerse it in the pond (weighted down), unplug the lower-end, after which water will run out the lower end---again until the pond is empty or you turn off the flow with a valve at the lower end.

The storage part I understand, so we can deal with that, but how do I catch all that wonderful fresh water in the first place? Just gutter your house, run the downspout into a cistern, with a device in between to exclude the first, dirty water. Various ways to do that, a simple one is a large vessel, like a ten-gallon plastic bucket that has a small hole in the bottom, your cistern supply line near the top. The first, dirty water runs into the bucket, the bucket fills, then clean water flows through the pipe to your cistern. After the rain stops, the bucket empties through the little hole in the bottom, readying itself for the next rainfall. That system requires a way to lift the water, typically a hand pump for kitchen use, but a pressure pump system for taking showers. While that pump could be solar-powered twelve volt, I prefer an elevated roof/tank system that is high enough above the house to provide gravity pressure. A hill is ideal, otherwise you need to build a high roof and tank, still cheaper than a deep well and pump and tank and switch and electric bills. If elevation is too little for good pressure, oversize your pipes so you get abundant flow, which somewhat makes up for lack of pressure.

You turn on that cistern-on-the-hill shower November through February and nothing comes out but ice-cubes or a mini-snowstorm---br-r-r-r! The cistern is of course at least partially buried, preferably totally buried into the hill and stays pretty much the same temp year around. BTW, a cistern buried up there on the hilltop or hillside also allows a nifty from-the-bottom-up stone/gravel/pea gravel/filter agent built just downhill of the cistern. Plumb top and bottom valved pipes so you can back flush it. And have two overflow pipes in the cistern, a serious one at the top, a smaller pipe a foot down that will feed a waterfall/stream/pond near the house. The waterfall will be your visual indicator of water level in cistern. Put a valve on the line so you can regulate volume of flow to keep the waterfall flowing longer into the dry season. Iíd love to have a cistern - there was a cistern in the 150 year-old farmhouse I grew up in (in the basement) - but Iím afraid of how much it will cost to build one. All that cement . . . Why? Cast a few cement blocks, dig a hole and build up your walls. Paint or plaster same with a marine plastic coating or the product our ancestors used, silica gel, I think it is known as sodium silicate. If I remember right it used to be called water glass, possibly still available. It used to used for egg storage, I think, maybe still. This and a sand filter should make a cistern a viable part of your homestead. Anyway, a little elbow grease and a very few bucks you will have your cistern, and a hand pump should not cost much.

LUCRATIVE INVENTION FOR YOU TO MARKET! A bath tub syphon product does not exist. You'll be the first. You can take to HOME DEPOT or put it for sale online, via mail order. A TUB TO * ROSE-BED * SYPHON! For your bath water to go from bath TUB-2-GARDEN, soap bubbles and all. Imagine this: a family of 5 uses thousands of gallons of bath/ shower water a month, hugely costly. Why not get double use? Seems to me that brings down the cost of H20 by half, saves the clouds from having to manufacture more rain water and snow. My tub is near a window, I'll bet yours is too, if we PLUG TUB well, even during showers, and if we use a simple old throwaway GARDEN hose, we can create a SUCTION and get the water to go out the window into garden bed so we don't ever have to water that side of the house! We save money coming and going! SAVE h20 TOO!

We all need a little window just at the height of where tub and tile meet --with direct access to the outdoors for that hose to thread through. Place tip far from hose or near. Doesn't matter. The kit, the HOSE, the weight to keep one end under water, and the MOUTHPIECE which has to adjust to fit over various faucets, (as that is how the suction is built up,  you fill the hose with water before you dunk it into the tub and weigh it down and start draining.) This seems to me to be a four part piece of MERCHANDISE so that's why I think you could make money selling it. Call it "TUB TO ROSE BUSH?" Hose can be an old one they already have, so your fittings should meld with current hoses.

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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! & HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also HOW TO LIVE on A NICKLE, The FRUGAL PAGE.* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic!

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