Saturday, May 5, 2012

new project: harvesting rainwater

 late last month, just in time, i cleaned the gutters. i'm amazed by this house sometimes, by the people who've lived here. some parts of it are so well taken care of or improved--the hard parts, the things that cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. other, smaller, easier parts have been allowed to go to shit--letting the details slip. and details accumulate. the gutters were one of those gone to shit. so thick with muck that plants were growing out of them.

 i cleaned them, then set out numerous trash cans to collect rainwater, and two days later we received 1.09" of rainfall in one day. it rained a lot yesterday, too, over a quarter inch. so far i've collected over 100 gallons of rain, to use for plant-watering purposes ONLY. a new acquaintance came over the other night, looked at the brownish beflotsamed water and asked me how i was going to filter it. filter it, why? for drinking. *hurl*

 every large watertight container i could scrounge is involved in the project right now. later today i'll go get more large garbage cans so i can relieve the ragtag army of buckets, small trash cans, plastic storage boxes, laundry hampers, wheelbarrow...even the lid to my old record player. i only have one 33 gallon garbage can, and that filled up plenty fast.

my mom came back from another long vacation in australia last week, and she was telling me about my uncle's garden--he's big into organic gardening, he composts with worms, grows avocado trees, and also collects rainwater. i told her about the record rainfall, and she was not that impressed. she said it rained one day while she was there--six inches. !!!

 i love how passive this project is. you just set out containers and they're filled automatically, so fast, like a plant that grows and bears fruit in one day. maybe i won't save enough water to take care of all my watering needs (no, i definitely won't)...but it is a step towards making up for no longer living in a place where a creek runs through the backyard that i pump water from. using normal tap water in the garden makes me feel really weird somehow.


Bee Girl said...

I love, love, love this post! We have to be very careful with our water here and I am always grateful when the rains fill up our rain barrels! It's amazing what is taken for granted when you live where there are no water issues...but...really...isn't a water issue anywhere a water issue everywhere???

Emily said...

absolutely. plus it's fun to find creative ways to conserve. i think i might start keeping a bucket near my shower for when i'm pulling up the hot water--that's always seemed like such a huge waste.

Bee Girl said...

We do the bucket in the shower trick :-) It's quite eye opening to see how quickly that bucket fills up just while waiting for warm water to make it's way through the pipes!