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Two years ago our family began struggling to pay our bills and decided to go off grid with what little money we had saved. We ended up purchasing a vacant block around the corner from our home,installing our solar panels and set up shop in our rv on our new land. Now, we have become a non-profit and are building a geodesic bio dome home on our land so we can grow all year round and be entirely self sufficient. Initially we were just giving our neighbors what was left over from our garden harvest every year and realized this qualified us as a non-profit so being able to purchase our land came hand in hand. We joined this forum in order to seek guidance because it seems as though we've been encountering almost every set back known to man. Now our local building department is telling us we have 3 month's to move our RV off of the land or we'll be fined and penalized. The water department told us all the lines were killed and it would cost us $3k to get water hooked up. We've recently purchased a well kit and have dug about 15 feet finally hitting water but we have no idea how far we should be digging in our area seeing as though there aren't any wells that we know of in detroit. Also for some reason we're not able to use our solar battery bank in the fifth wheel we're in and have been forced to use our generator @ night which I think my husband's going to tell me is broken as I type this. I'm thinking the inability to utilize our battery bank is due to the converter in the fifth wheel obstructing our AC to DC function. I know I've touched on a lot of subjects with vague description so I don't mind elaborating...Please excuse my tangent I'm hot,tired and I think our generator just broke...any advice is great advice right about now
 

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Let me congratulate you on being part of the probable wave of the future in Detroit. Of course, they don't want you to live in an rv. The .gov can't tax you enough. You might want to get the well water tested. You can kill germs by boiling but that does nothing for heavy metal contamination. Small Farm Journal serialized a book on Paris urban truck farming. I can't remember the name right now but you might find it through the library system. There are several urban farming groups in Detroit. Check the Farmers Market.
Were I a young man, I'd be right next to you. Detroit is one of the few cities in the nation that has the ability to feed it's residents within it's own borders. Best of luck.
 

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Let me congratulate you on being part of the probable wave of the future in Detroit. Of course, they don't want you to live in an rv. The .gov can't tax you enough. You might want to get the well water tested. You can kill germs by boiling but that does nothing for heavy metal contamination. Small Farm Journal serialized a book on Paris urban truck farming. I can't remember the name right now but you might find it through the library system. There are several urban farming groups in Detroit. Check the Farmers Market.
Were I a young man, I'd be right next to you. Detroit is one of the few cities in the nation that has the ability to feed it's residents within it's own borders. Best of luck.
Thank you for the motivation...yeah I was just planning on ordering a well water testing kit off of Amazon do you think it'll be sufficient enough.
 

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I would suggest that your County Agricultural Extension Service and the Zoning department could be your best friends. I think I'd do a little more investigating about the water dept "killing" (?) the lines would also be in order. Sometimes it just takes speaking nicely to a supervisor gets things done.
 

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Lots of urban farmers selling at Eastern Market. I'm fairly sure it is illegal to drill your own well in a metropolitan area. Lots of legitimate reasons.
In areas where just one or two homes in a couple city blocks are habituated, it costs Detroit just as much to maintain water and sewer as it would if every home was habituated. Detroit is tearing down 400 buildings every day and back filling the hole. When entire neighborhoods are torn down, electrical, water, sewer and natural gas lines are capped.
Vast areas of agricultural areas are opening up and neighborhood gardens abound.
But being allowed to live in an RV or 5th wheel are slim. Getting water lines run to your garden is going to be costly, no way around that. Being allowed to operate a private well is highly unlikely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Even if it's a shallow well only 25 to 30'? Either way water is the least of our worries seeing as though our water catchment system has held us through so far. @ this point even the fifth wheel in retrospect isn't that big of a deal seeing as though it's intended to be very temporary until our dome is built. Ultimately my concern boils down to us being able to inhabit the dome we're building which is technically permitted as a greenhouse. The only aspect that will change that dynamic is we will be living in it once it's built. Without having the funds to hire an architect and permit the dome as a living structure we are stuck with either trying to pull the permit ourselves with blueprints we've drawn up on our own(with no experience) and risk getting our build shut down. Or just build our 'dome greenhouse' and live in it hopefully under the radar. I'm ranting now...
 

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Perhaps you could blog / video log your endeavor and put on YouTube. You will get ad money and patrons that give a buck or 2 a week. If you make a good video you should make decent money in no time. Anywhere close by to legally park RV? Set up dome as greenhouse / office and stay there now and then. While a shallow well might be good for watering plants I would not drink it.
 

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Yeah the tap water in detroit is extremely dirty so we purchase our water anyways. But we had planned on using the well water for bathing and dishwashing. Good news is it looks as though one of the last few parcels we're waiting on from the city hasn't been capped from the street. So now we're playing the waiting game. So, on to my favorite subject, our dome home. So when you see a geodome greenhouse you'd typically see a one with a small riser wall no more then 3' or so. Our geodesic dome will have a 7' riser wall. This basic stud wall will be insulated with extremely compacted strawbales then coated with Adobe(earthen clay) on the inside and regular concrete on the outside. The dome portion will be our roof and will be covered with polycarbonate greenhouse glass. The dome will be sitting on a 40×40 deck we've built. Because of the Adobe walls on the inside we'll be receiving passive solar heat all winter long from the south this heating up the north wall where pour aquaphonics system will also be. The north Adobe wall will slowly release its heat durning the cold winter nights. Aside from the passive solar we have a woodstove that got us through last winter in a 1500 sqft old house and should do well in our naturally circulated dome home.
 

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Atone time I was going to build a geodesic dome house. One 20 (?) footer, if I remember correctly, with two smaller ones attached. Had a friend in AZ that built one. Very unique and creative with the curved walls. Hard to get a mortgage on at that time. Easy to heat and cool.

Good luck with your endeavor.
 
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Excellent water! Lol...yeah we've actually tested it so I don't know about that. But if they ship it to the subburbs it must be good
 
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