What's the best way to harvest home drinking water?

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Offline thedoc

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Bishop Renison Mbogo asked the Naked Scientists:
I have a community kids achool which lack drinking water and we want to seek your help by providing us with ways to harvest the water for the kids home.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 16/01/2014 14:30:01 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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Re: What's the best way to harvest home drinking water?
« Reply #1 on: 16/01/2014 15:19:23 »
A lot would depend on where you are, and what is available, rain, diseases, population density, and etc.

In some parts of the USA, it rains at least once a week.  In Oregon, we have very wet winters, and quite dry summers.  Other parts of the USA get rain less frequently even in the winter.

With adequate rain, a lot of people are experimenting with capturing rain water runoff from the roofs, at least for use around the house.  It is best if you don't have asphalt roofing, but even with the asphalt roofing it can be used.  In many cases the rain catchment design is configured to allow the first water to flow out, and it only starts collecting water in a heavy rain.  Filtering your rain water may not be a bad idea.

I have a small spring on my property which is adequate for personal use.  It runs year-around, but the flow drops significantly by the time of the first fall rain in mid-September.  I've been collecting water from the surface, but many people recommend digging out the head waters and filling it in with gravel and covering.  A filter might be good.  For personal use, I've been drinking the spring water, but wouldn't do it for a community resource. 

Around here, wells will hit water about 20 feet deep in the valleys, and a bit deeper on the hillsides.  Wells are generally drilled about 6" in diameter, and it is required to put in a casing for the first 20 feet to 40 feet to help prevent contamination of the well with surface water. 

I also have a well that is 200 feet deep (because of the hillside).  In my case, the well water has more minerals in it.  The spring water is softer, and tastes better, as well as leaving less residue on appliances.  Roof water also usually has a low mineral content.

I suppose electric power can also be an issue.  I'm converting my spring water system to solar power, and it is also possible to run deep well pumps on either low voltage solar/battery power, or to run them with an inverter, also with solar.

River, Creek, or Stream water probably should be filtered.  Other sources may or may not need filtered depending on the contamination risk.  A community water source would require periodic testing, and a personal water source probably should at least be tested for contamination and toxins when first developed.  Low doses of sodium hypochlorite bleach can kill many biological contaminants if necessary.


Offline MrVat7

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Re: What's the best way to harvest home drinking water?
« Reply #2 on: 21/01/2014 22:50:25 »
We could also harvest water from Air, effective coolng method can be developed , like that in an AC, a better AC , so that we can enjoy cooling and also pure drinking water from it's outlet. Plus better filters should be put orelse outlet water can get contaminated with dust.