Water...treasure

moxies_chickennuggets

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zippitydooda said:
Newbie question: so when rain harvesting or using gray water, HOW do you keep it from turning green with algae? Do you treat it somehow? :hu
Rainwater..it is best to filter and use it within a weeks time. Greywater..needs to be used within 24 hours. I didn't get to use my washer/rinse water till 48 hrs later, last time..so I just sprinkled a very little bit of baking soda in it. 32 gals..maybe a tsp of baking soda. It freshened it right up. That water, I just used it to hose off the chicken tractor of chicken poo though. I had used Soapnuts for the laundry detergent, so it was all non-toxic.
 

moxies_chickennuggets

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Whew...hot and dry outside!! I just went outside to use up the rest of my rain water on the veggies. It's so hot out there, my rock garden dried up and blew away....and the local water dept is charging us to sweat now. :rant Somebody...anybody..if ya have some extra rain...please nudge it this way!!!! :hit
 

RobinsValleyVT

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Denim Deb said:
If I could, I would have been more than happy to send Irene your way. :/
I know, that's all I could think about when we got hit. We've already had so much rain this year, we can't take anymore.
 

moxies_chickennuggets

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Okay, I did another rainwater laundry wash this past Saturday. I had the 60 gallons I needed for it. Used the portable pump to fill bucket-bucket-washer.
Used the Soap Nuts. This time, I used one bag of the nuts....versus the 2 from the first time. Added the splash of vinegar to the wash. Nothing else. I was not too impressed this time with this wash. Last time, using the 2 bags of nuts..12 soapnuts....and a squirt of Dawn dishsoap, things worked really well. This time, just the 1 bag of 6 nuts..nothing else...I don't feel it did enough for breaking down work and body soils in the fabric fibres. DH is a machinist, so he gets pretty dirty. My stuff, is just dirt and grunge from around here.

I already know I won't be using the soaputs for washing towels/washcloths. Those need the bleach, detergents and hot water..to sanitize them. I cannot stand a nasty smelling washcloth. I don't care if they are stained a bit..I have about 100 white washcloths..and wash when I run out. I just use the fresh ones, let them dry, toss them in the hamper I keep for them, then wash when I get down to 10. If they get too worn out, they go to the rag bag. I have about 50 white rags I wash. Learned both of these when I was working at super8 as a maid/deep cleaning person.

Anyhoo...soapnuts and rainwater are working good enough for regular sheets, daily wear clothing. I think I will just be adding the squirt of Dawn to the really dirty stuff. Soapnuts work well otherwise. I am also keeping track of how many uses I get from them total.
 

snapshot

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Thanks for the update! Not sure if I'll try them soon or not. My priorities and my money are not in sync right now!
 

Ed Nigma

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I have been harvesting rain water for two years how. I haven't found a non-additive way to keep the algae out yet. I tried aeration and agitation, the algae loved it. I tried covering the storage tank with a heavy tarp to keep light out and got a different color algae. So I built a large sand filter on the output line of the storage tank to keep algae (and other curious things) out
 

moxies_chickennuggets

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Update for laundry;
I am now trained to use the water pump set up DH was so sweet to make for me.


All I have to do is take the pump around to the rain barrels, put the hose in the bottom of the barrel, put the outflow hose wherever it needs to be, and plug in the pump. I did 2 loads of my towels/rags this morning. I did choose to use the hot water for the wash, and added the bleach, detergent, and 20 mule team borax. Then, I emptied that into the 32 gallon trash can to re-use for the rags. I used the rinse water from the rain water barrels. Added the vinegar to the rinse. I then emptied the rinse water back in the other trash can to re-use for the rags rinsing. I didn't use the bleach water for greywater usage on the plants. Bleach/borax/detergent is too harsh. I let it drain in the back ditch.
I was at least able to use a 2nd rainwater rinse on the rags...not using well water for any rinsing. So, total, I only used the original 30 gallons of hot water/well water...from the hot water heater. The rest was rain water. They are all line drying nicely at the moment. 50% humidity. I shouldn't have to do another towel/rag laundry wash for 6 more weeks.

Wish I could figure the picture load thingy out.
 

Ed Nigma

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Only a member for a few days and already I've learns something practical and frugal that I can use right away. I would not had thought to reuse the wash water to wash our rags, we have reused rinse water.
Question: did you need to add additional soap when doing the rags?
You might consider using the harsher gray water in areas you need to control weeds. We have used it on our gravel drive.
 

moxies_chickennuggets

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Ed Nigma said:
Only a member for a few days and already I've learns something practical and frugal that I can use right away. I would not had thought to reuse the wash water to wash our rags, we have reused rinse water.
Question: did you need to add additional soap when doing the rags?
You might consider using the harsher gray water in areas you need to control weeds. We have used it on our gravel drive.
Hello ed nigma! I re-used the wash water on the rags...because..well.they are just the cleaning rags. The water still had all the bleach, detergents, borax and hot water. I just see no need to waste fresh hot water on rags. I also filtered the wash water with a net and a piece of panty hose attached to the end of the drain hose. As towels have too much lint in them. I didn't want to gunk up the pump by running the lint back through it. I attach the filter with tie straps.

Anyhoo....this is a grand experiment for myself and DH. We didn't know we would need to go to such extremes on SS until we moved into here. We are both frugal as it is anyway, so these extra efforts are not out of line for us.

I wash my towels/wash cloths with a strong mix anyway. I learned to use it when I was washing my babies diapers so many years ago. However, that recipe calls for using dishwasher powder also. I see no need for that right now. My washcloths are clean and fresh smelling.

Weeds: We live on 1 acre..rural. It is all weeds. I mow down the weeds....so it can sometimes resemble a lawn. It was total chaos when we got here last summer..2010. It took us 3 solid weeks of cutting, hacking, mowing, hauling, to get the foundation overgrowths off the foundation. That was adding to the moisture problems inside the house. So's....we are just happy to have fresh air and sunshine all around the property! This 1 acre has been quit the adventure in the 15 months since we took possession. :D
 

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moxies_chickennuggets said:
This 1 acre has been quit the adventure in the 15 months since we took possession. :D
Even though it has been a lot of work and I'm sure there is a lot more ahead of you - don't you find it exciting and exhilarating? We have done things like that throughout our lives and it has been great. Frustrating at times, but great.
 

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