Water conservation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ihedrick, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I've been reading over old posts on how to conserve water and get by with less than 10 gallons per day...my 100 year (plus) old well is on its last leg and I can't afford a new one right yet. So I need to make this one last as long as possible.
    Anyone have suggestions on saving on water? How to use water for more than one thing? Like using the dish water to flush the toilet? Or does anyone have ideas on how to get wells dug for cheaper than the local going rate?

    :help:
     
  2. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    My grandmother had a 3 step process to wash dishes. Hot soapy water in one bucket, hot water in another and the kettle filled and on the stove to heat.

    She'd wash the dishes after pre-wipping with a rag, in the hot soapy water, then dip them in the hot water and stack them inthe drainer.

    After all the dishes were washed, she'd take the kettle and pour that water over everything, which would then run back into one of the other buckets. When that water was cooled, it was either flushed or used to water the plants.

    Showers were 5 minutes TOPS!!

    In the past, when we have had septic trouble, the bathwater was recycled. I'd bathe quickly, then the girls would go in either together or one after the other, then the tub was bailed and the plants watered.

    Water that is used to boil anything can be reused by adding it to soups, stews, or anything else that requires water.

    Maybe use paper plates to cut down on dish washing...wear your clothes just a few more times instead of washing so much.

    Hope that helps!

    I'd also suggest picking up some cheap bottled water to make what you have last longer???
     

  3. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    I've read mixed responses on whether I can use the dish water and laundry water on my garden. Some things I 've read says its okay as long as I don't use fabric softner, bleach, or stuff other than plain laundry soap. Any thoughts? If it can't be used on the garden; can it be used on anything or does it litterally go down the drain?
     
  4. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I put my used laundry water on my garden and it seems to be ok. The plants are just fine and everything tastes great.

    Everything I have read over the years from all the homesteading magazines and books was that it was ok to do so. They always give directions for your graywater system going to your garden.

    I don't use bleach at all as the smell of it makes me really sick. And not having a dryer, I don't use the fabric softener either.
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We use Sun and Earth dish detergent (a blend of citrus and tropical oils). It may be hard to find. Safeway may still carry it.
    We use Ecover laundry soap- it is environmentally friendly.
    I'll ask our Health Food store owner where she orders them, if you need me to.

    We water (wash and rinse water) directly onto plants. Water containing harsher soaps can be used for cleaning sawdust toilet buckets and putting out camp fires as well as keeping compost piles moist.

    QUOTE=ihedrick]I've read mixed responses on whether I can use the dish water and laundry water on my garden. Some things I 've read says its okay as long as I don't use fabric softner, bleach, or stuff other than plain laundry soap. Any thoughts? If it can't be used on the garden; can it be used on anything or does it litterally go down the drain?[/QUOTE]
     
  6. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    Thanks for the input...I'll feel better about watering the shriveling garden with the laundry and dish water now. Got so wrapped up in this that I forgot about using some on the compost pile.
    BTW, call it silly, but I was actually able to siphon water from all the rain barrels around my house to water the animals today!!! No more buckets to haul around the house to the pens! :sing: :clap:
     
  7. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sedition your math is off - there are approx 7.5 gallons per cubic foot. You get about 620 gallons per 1000 SF of roof.

    Sedition says: "Catch your rain-water. Coke bottling plants are a great place to get cheap food-grade 55 gallon plastic drums. I’ve got one about 10 miles from my place, so my farm is chock-full of them. 1” of rain on a 1,000 sqft roof-top is 83 cubic feet, or approximately 175 gallons of water."
     
  8. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    The biggest water saver in most houses is to only flush the toilet when totally absolutely neccessary.

    Get a large plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid. Pee in the bucket only, only flush for dumps in the toilet. Pour the contents of the bucket into the toilet prior to the clean flush.

    Most people will pee about gallon per day with as many as 10 -12 events. Typically only taking one or maybe two dumps. Multiple that by more than one person and you have your biggest water saver without vast changes in lifestyle. Even with a low flow flush toilet the saving over a month time can be more than half your total usage by that one change.
     
  9. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to dig the well out?

    and take showers instead of Baths, and use the same Wash water in your washer for many loads, just when it drains drain it into a large plastic container, and dump it back into the washer on the next load, saves time, detergent, and water.
     
  10. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    You can use a Shurflow 12volt pump, or a bildge pump from a boat, also, 12v, to transfer water with battery power. Remember the higher the pump must pump, & the longer the hose added to it is, the harder it is to pump & the more drain on the battery.Mount a good trolling motor battery on a small cart, handtruck, etc, & get a solar battery charger [ about $20] to keep it charged.
     
  11. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    :shrug: how is that supose to conserve water?:shrug:
     
  12. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't It answers her question in an above post. " Quote "Does anyone have an idea on how to pump the water from the rain cans to a bigger tank? I found a 350 gallon water tank for $150. Thought that would hold alot of rain water." unquote.
     
  13. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One overlooked source of water is, if you have an AC unit, the drip from the condensation during humid weather. I have a neighbor who is watering several trees with it -- he moves the hose every day to a new tree. Granted, these are desert trees, but they're flourishing with the free water.

    Leva