Jump to content

rain water tank hygiene


Gabriël
 Share

Recommended Posts

many people think water in a rain water tank is just for garden usage, toilet flushing etc. and in order for the water in them to be 'useable' the tanks must be flushde or scrubbed every now and then.
wrong.
we have been using water [FOR DRINKING!] from a 5000l tank which is fed by a slate roof for more than 5 years WITHOUT the tank being cleaned - and still the water is clear, does not taste of anything and we [me and wife and employees] are still healthy and alive [as i type...]
note: no special filters, only a piece of rolled-up chicken wire at the inlet and NO first flush.
HOW?
two methods [preferably used together although we usually forget about the second one for months on end...];
ionization;
a 21v pv mounted on top of the tank supplies a current to a small copper [99% pure] anode and a small silver [99% pure] cathode [can be reversed also] inside the water which releases positive ions. these ions bind with negatively charged ions inside bacteria and algae [slime] eventually leading to cell death.
chloride;
get ordinary household bleach which contains about 3.5% sodium hypo-chloride and pour 250ml [cup full] per 5000l water once or twice a month - if there is a slight chloride taste or odour, don't worry, it will vanish in two or three days.
cheers!
in Christ
gabriel

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rainwater is acidic. It has tiny amounts of carbonic acid formed as it fell through the air on the way down. As a result, it is somewhat self-preserving too. I grew up drinking rain water from such a tank. One of those fibre/cement/asbestos things (I kid you not!) that was never cleaned (probably a good thing). It was the good water, because the alternative was the brackish borehole water. Some of that stuff had nitrates high enough that it was certified as only good enough for livestock (thankfully not the one feeding the main house).

Of course, that was countryside air, unpolluted. Things might be different in the city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

way back in the operasionele gebied we used to take the murky foul water from the oshannas used by animal and man, poured it through a can filled with the charcoal of our camp-fire [now activated i presume] and it came out crystal clear, smelling of nothing and potable - well, whatever jippoguts we got we we blamed on the stuff we ate :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, plonkster said:

I grew up drinking rain water from such a tank. One of those fibre/cement/asbestos things (I kid you not!) that was never cleaned (probably a good thing). It was the good water, because the alternative was the brackish borehole water.

My experiences mirror Plonky's and I am still alive. My Dad who is 92 drank water from the same tank most of his adult life. I would be more scared of the water in the taps in a town like Grahamstown than water out of a rainwater tank.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most brackish water you've ever encountered? For me that would be the water of Opuwo (formerly Opoho) in Nothern Namibia. You can drink it... it won't kill you, but boy does it have a horrible taste. In addition, normal household plumbing blocks up in 6 months, especially hot water lines. The particular house we were staying in had no running hot water for that very reason. Outside there was an old 200 liter drum "donkie" for hot water, with a big 1.5" outlet to ensure it will at least last for a while. Taking a bath involved carrying your own bath water into the house, a shower was out of the question unless you liked it cold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/16/2017 at 10:14 PM, gabriel said:

many people think water in a rain water tank is just for garden usage, toilet flushing etc. and in order for the water in them to be 'useable' the tanks must be flushde or scrubbed every now and then.
wrong.
we have been using water [FOR DRINKING!] from a 5000l tank which is fed by a slate roof for more than 5 years WITHOUT the tank being cleaned - and still the water is clear, does not taste of anything and we [me and wife and employees] are still healthy and alive [as i type...]
note: no special filters, only a piece of rolled-up chicken wire at the inlet and NO first flush.
HOW?
two methods [preferably used together although we usually forget about the second one for months on end...];
ionization;
a 21v pv mounted on top of the tank supplies a current to a small copper [99% pure] anode and a small silver [99% pure] cathode [can be reversed also] inside the water which releases positive ions. these ions bind with negatively charged ions inside bacteria and algae [slime] eventually leading to cell death.
chloride;
get ordinary household bleach which contains about 3.5% sodium hypo-chloride and pour 250ml [cup full] per 5000l water once or twice a month - if there is a slight chloride taste or odour, don't worry, it will vanish in two or three days.
cheers!
in Christ
gabriel

 

Would this "cure" bath tub water and other grey water to such a degree that one could store it for more than 24 hours?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the method, i.e. to put silver [coins] in water or milk in order to enhance longevity [BB for short...] and to for instance attach copper coins underneath boats to discourage algae and crustacean growth [for more speed] is a couple of thousand years old.

i have never heard of copper or silver actually being able to reverse the artificial and chemical soup we manage to create under the pretense of cleaning ourselves.

if the water referred to in my last sentence only had bacteria in them, copper and silver would surely be able to address the problem - but then again the stench is created by bacteria, isn't it?.

i would be interested to see the results if you were to test it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2017-6-16 at 10:14 PM, gabriel said:

many people think water in a rain water tank is just for garden usage, toilet flushing etc. and in order for the water in them to be 'useable' the tanks must be flushde or scrubbed every now and then.
wrong.
we have been using water [FOR DRINKING!] from a 5000l tank which is fed by a slate roof for more than 5 years WITHOUT the tank being cleaned - and still the water is clear, does not taste of anything and we [me and wife and employees] are still healthy and alive [as i type...]
note: no special filters, only a piece of rolled-up chicken wire at the inlet and NO first flush.
HOW?
two methods [preferably used together although we usually forget about the second one for months on end...];
ionization;
a 21v pv mounted on top of the tank supplies a current to a small copper [99% pure] anode and a small silver [99% pure] cathode [can be reversed also] inside the water which releases positive ions. these ions bind with negatively charged ions inside bacteria and algae [slime] eventually leading to cell death.
chloride;
get ordinary household bleach which contains about 3.5% sodium hypo-chloride and pour 250ml [cup full] per 5000l water once or twice a month - if there is a slight chloride taste or odour, don't worry, it will vanish in two or three days.
cheers!
in Christ
gabriel

 

Very smart! Thank you. I sent this on to all my rain water freinds. Thank you appreciate! 

Jay

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks @Energy, the credit actually belongs to all those who through the ages and through observation and experiment have figured out the basics of keeping water potable. the pv 'spin' is just another way of ensuring a near constant electricity supply to the anode and cathode for the production of ions.

it goes without saying that if your water starts getting murky or smells off, due to a dead animal in the tank for instance, don't drink the stuff; but with proper sealing an animal should not be able to enter. also important is to make sure no light enters the tank - light facilitates slime growth.

in as far as folks complain about bird droppings being washed into the tank from the roof, a- the sun most probably has already killed all microbes in it and b- i believe they contain trace elements which actually enhance the water quality and are healthy for the consumer.

i guarantee you if you could have a peek inside the kitchen area of most restaurants you would never eat their food!

however it may be, if it is clear, smells of nothing and tastes good [in comparison to tap water] go ahead and drink it. we used a kettle for years on end with NO scale build-up!

enjoy the shortest day and longest night of the year!

in Christ

gabriel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/19/2017 at 8:47 PM, gabriel said:

the method, i.e. to put silver [coins] in water or milk in order to enhance longevity [BB for short...] and to for instance attach copper coins underneath boats to discourage algae and crustacean growth [for more speed] is a couple of thousand years old.

i have never heard of copper or silver actually being able to reverse the artificial and chemical soup we manage to create under the pretense of cleaning ourselves.

if the water referred to in my last sentence only had bacteria in them, copper and silver would surely be able to address the problem - but then again the stench is created by bacteria, isn't it?.

i would be interested to see the results if you were to test it!

I haven't, yet, built anything to catch the bath water as I cannot always use it the next day, hence asking the question ;) For now I catch rain water from the gutters but it's obviously not enough. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

hi @SilverNodashi, i used to collect my grey water in a 260l drum prior to having it flow [gravity fed] via hose pipe into a section of garden [all indigenous by now, no grass anymore] - this changed as from yesterday... most grey water now flows via 50mm>40mm>15mm pipes into the garden directly. the 15mm black [class 3 plastic] pipes are laid every 500mm off the 40mm pvc with small valves in order to control flow. the 15mm pipes are closed at the end and have small holes in order to let the water through to the plants.

gone is the schlepp of moving around a very low pressure hose pipe from bossie to bossie, all that needs to be done now is open and close some valves every other day.

the washing machine run-off goes into the wife's vegetable garden and the dish washing water runs to eight trees [well, they are just seedlings at this stage...]

the first couple of liters of cold water in the shower is caught in buckets for flushing the toilet...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, gabriel said:

hi @SilverNodashi, i used to collect my grey water in a 260l drum prior to having it flow [gravity fed] via hose pipe into a section of garden [all indigenous by now, no grass anymore] - this changed as from yesterday... most grey water now flows via 50mm>40mm>15mm pipes into the garden directly. the 15mm black [class 3 plastic] pipes are laid every 500mm off the 40mm pvc with small valves in order to control flow. the 15mm pipes are closed at the end and have small holes in order to let the water through to the plants.

gone is the schlepp of moving around a very low pressure hose pipe from bossie to bossie, all that needs to be done now is open and close some valves every other day.

the washing machine run-off goes into the wife's vegetable garden and the dish washing water runs to eight trees [well, they are just seedlings at this stage...]

the first couple of liters of cold water in the shower is caught in buckets for flushing the toilet...

part of my problem is that our property is slightly downhill so I need to pump  back up to where I need it. And the bathrooms are right at the end of the house. Hence I need to store the water til such a time that I can move the sprinkler and use it ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, SilverNodashi said:

part of my problem is that our property is slightly downhill so I need to pump  back up to where I need it. And the bathrooms are right at the end of the house. Hence I need to store the water til such a time that I can move the sprinkler and use it ;)

Had a similar problem. I installed a pump with a float switch, so it simply pumps the water out on the garden within a few hours. Small 120-liter drum, pump probably starts at around the 40-liter level.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in these and other cases pumping grey water to a holding tank at a higher elevation will in fact be the solution IF it doesn't damage the pump [dirt, hair etc] and doesn't start stinking to high heaven. regarding the latter the ionization process might be an option, something @SilverNodashi inquired about. from the holding tank the water can be gravity-fed even to the veggie garden as even the e coli will be neutralized by the positively charged ions; i mean some hospitals use it [ionization] to zap legionnaires disease in their water storage tanks. this report is very significant.

just had 13.5mm rain in vredenburg!

God bless

gabriel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, gabriel said:

doesn't damage the pump [dirt, hair etc]

Use the right kind of pump (I use a pump specifically rated for dirty water). I heard advice on the radio one day (Cape Talk, Pippa Hudson's program on Tuesdays) about a simple filter for hair: A bottle brush! It sits in the pipe and catches the hair. Cleaning it is as simple as cleaning the brush.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...