My tagline is “City-fied Self-Sufficiency”, and one of the necessities of life is water. If you don’t have alternative access to water, and your service is interrupted for some reason, then things could get pretty desperate for you rather quickly.
Now, you can’t just gather a bunch of water from your roof and go drinking it. Well, I suppose you could, but it wouldn’t be very wise. That water has been on your roof… you know, along with the birds and squirrels. You drink the water straight, and you could end up with some really fun illness.
The main use for collected roof water would be the garden, and that’s how we plan to use it. However, in an emergency, the roof water could be distilled, or put through a ceramic water filter to make it suitable for drinking.
Our city had a community sale of rain barrels and compost bins, and we decided to take advantage of it. So we stood in line for a good while, in the hot sun, for the chance to buy four rain barrels and two compost bins.
You may recall that I posted about making your own compost bin. Yes, it works, and yes, I’m using it. It’s also full, and I need more compost space. Shay could build more, but we thought we’d try these bins as a quick, cheaper way to greatly increase our compost capacity.
Shay and my uncle finally got a weekend that was not scorching hot, and decided to install the rain barrels. Shay went out and bought some lengths of gutter, gutter clips, and some spray paint that matched the gutters we have. He and my uncle placed the barrels, and then Shay carefully rerouted the gutters to the barrels.
A few days ago, we had a severe weather system move through here. The two barrels outside cover more roof area, and are full to overflowing already. The two under shelter in the carport are almost full, as well. So now I will start using this water in the garden.
It’s amazing how dirty roof water is. All that dust and pollen gives you brown water. If we ever have to drink this water, it will need good filtering, to be sure!