Hi, All. This is technically not my first time actually posting, but it is my first time posting a new topic. I wanted to share with you all about an idea that I had yesterday that I tried out today with much success. Probably nothing new to many folks, however, I wanted to post it for those who may not have thought of it before. (And maybe to toot my own horn. ) I am not sure this is actually the right forum to post it to, but I am sure a moderator will move it if it is not.
Anyway, my Aunt has a large piece of country living that I have been helping her tend to. I just finished building her two compost piles, her first ever. Anyway, she does not get water out there and if she was thinking of planting a garden and such, she has to haul water over two hundred feet to where she needs it. She is in her sixities so not exactly running out to fill a wheelbarrow full of buckets full of water and haul it across the fields. So I had an idea about using a sump pump to help pump water to where she needs it when she needs it. I wrote it up at my blog so take a look if it interests you all. I am thinking of expanding it so she can use the water during the drier months.
If you guys/gals have any suggestions, please comment on them. By no means, is this a done deal.
This may be a good situation for a Hydraulic Ram Pump.
I wish I had a creek out here.
The sump pictured in your blog will surely do the job with no further improvement. Nonetheless, a more developed system can offer more performance. How far do you want to go with it?
The bucket full of holes serves to filter out debris. This will keep your pipes/hoses/valves/tanks/nozzles clear. It looks like the flow rate of the creek is low, and if you dropped the water level by 4 inches, increasing the available water might be considered. Digging out and dredging a pit would offer more available water at the source. It need not be deeper than the bucket, but a basin area 2 feet wide by, say, 10 feet long, and 15" deep would hold 25 cubic feet of water x 7.43 g/cuft=185 gallons of water. This would allow the pump to run for at least a little while before it slurps the creek dry. Digging a deeper hole upstream of the pump location would allow sediment, muck and debris to fall in, further helping to keep the sump clean. Adding some concrete blocks would give you a stable platform for the bucket/sump, and keep it up out of the mud.
A tank of whatever size could be elevated to offer the pressure desired, as well as the volume needed for a job. The rainbarrels you mention can work-all you would need to do is fill the tanks from time to time. The hose could operate without the sump, as long as there is water in the tank. If raised on a sturdy platform, water pressure is increased. A good quality tank of a couple of hundred gallons can be had for a couple of hundred bucks. Trash barrels can do the job if you get creative with plumbing, and you can always add another tank if you set up the plumbing right at the start. 200 gallons of storage capacity would serve most of your needs if all you are doing is treating compost. For irrigating a garden, storage would be determined by garden size and moisture demand. Too much storage can be a problem-algae in the creek will grow inside the tank. Covered tanks help keep the mosquitoes in check.
A GFCI is a must have. Plug it into the wall, plug the cord into it. Figure $20-30 at your local hardware store.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
With the compost kept moist, you have a fine means of supporting a worm population. Red wigglers are spoken of highly around here. They'll process the compost and poop out topsoil. This will enhance the garden, and if you want to go fishing in that creek, you got bait at the ready. Got chickens? They love em.
If you have a reliable water source and a storage tank, as well as a good supply of worms, wouldn't it be cool to stock the tank with fish? A couple hundred gallons will hold scores of fish. Catfish do well in tanks and thrive on worms. You would have to change at least 1/3 of the water daily, but the water that comes out would be treated by the catfish. Liquid high nitrogen fertilizer will surely boost your crops.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
Oh ya. Never even thought of a ram pump. I will be looking into that. I mean, why not experiment, right?
The compost piles are cooking pretty good since we get lawn clippings from the neighbors and horse manure pretty regularly. By next year, there will be enough compost all around the property for just about anything to grow.
*update* Well our warm weather sure dried out the creek before I could get some barrels to store some water in. I wanted to share with you all that I found out that the compost piles I had there -- my Aunt's property, was cooking hotter & faster than what I had at my place in town. Pretty much the same stuff with proper C:N ratio. Do you guys think the algae and microbes added to the speed? I was thinking that possibly the chlorinated crap that comes out of the facet in town doesn't exactly go along with microbes. I was letting the water sit in a bucket in direct sunlight to off-gas the chlorine gasses.
I am thinking of, if I get permission from my Aunt, to build a pond that the creek feeds into and possibly holds a bit more water longer. Any ideas or suggestions? Most likely, I would like to use it to place the ram-pump that I will eventually be making to help water that back piece of property.