Intro and Problem: Living where the water smells and feels like pool water, I have been contemplating how to get clean, healthy water on-site. Rainwater droplets form around what ever is in the air. We are miles from, yet still down-wind from manufacturing. In summer the humidity is good enough for our dehumidifier in the basement to pull a gallon per day. Not enough for a family. Our yard, however, at 2-3 ft down, especially near the house, is puddled water even in the dry time of summer, it's still there, even though supposedly none of our roof run-off goes to it. In fact, right now the yard is pooled up above the soil surface. My thoughts are either a spring, an artificial spring, our roof runoff, we are the low spot for the street, or all of the above. Luckily- no house flooding has resulted from this! It slowly leaks to a drain in the driveway and off to join the rest of the droplets in the great poisoned lakes.
Potential Solution: I am thinking of digging a test hole, making sure the water is clean. If it is, I am thinking of digging a 5-6 ft deep hole, and setting it up as a spring. I then want to direct 1/2 the downspout water from my roofs to raised beds that do dry out, and that will then also filter to the "spring". The location of the spring is in the middle of lawn that will remain tall-ish lawn to filter the rain water. I do not use pesticides, only fertilizers, as necessary, and 90% organic or "naturally derived". The dog does do her business in the grass, but I don't think that will be too big of a deal. I plan on sealing the top of the spring with clay and having the pipe protruding at an angle, to avoid direct contamination. By siphon the water should be able to be piped to our basement, and there can be filtered, if necessary, and used as drinking water. I'm not sure there would be enough for bathing too, but if there is, that would be a nice treat. For winter, to avoid pipe freezes, I'm thinking of making a valve that can remove the siphon. I will have to then just live off of what I collected from the summer during the winter and re-create the siphon in spring.
This project was one of the last on my huge list, but with the water in the yard over-flowing and the water in the city being disappointing, I'm thinking it should be moved up the list.
Has anyone done this sort of thing before? Any advice on this project?
Something to keep in mind......ground surface water is at very great risk of being contaminated and unsafe for drinking water without the use of reverse osmosis. Personally, I would not use it for human consumption even if boiled, filtered, and UV treated. I'm even more leery because you don't know the source of that water, which could be runoff from adjacent properties. I once lived where there was an impermeable clay layer less than 2 foot below the surface. Rain caused the water to travel under the surface and into my backyard, flooding my place. I discovered that my flooding was subterranean runoff when the county brought in an engineer to analyze the situation and propose a solution. Marker dyes showed exactly where the water originated from. Thus the runoff water had all sorts of contaminants in it from fertilizer, lawn chemicals, animal feces, and waste oil (yes, someone was dumping their old oil). Because of those contaminants, the county fixed the flooding problem.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
I have to disagree with both of you because water is a cycling resource, so all the water we drink ever has been pee, blood, and probably a thousand other things before being sipped into our mouths. The tap water here is collected from Lake Erie. The lake is where ALL runoff goes, even directly, without soil or plant filtration. This includes streets, manufacturing, possible fracking drainage, agricultural runoff, roof tar, litter, animal feces, etc. etc. The city then analyzes it, cleans it up as necessary to meet drinking water standards, and then sends it back to us in our tap. I might be doing the same thing, but surrounding my inlet would be a 10ft radius of grass. That is followed by a 5ft radius of trees and shrubs. The water around here would not include the list above. It would include rainwater that hit some things, but it would have had at least 15 ft of biofiltration before extraction. I will also be testing it and possibly adding another filter in addition to the bio filter.
If I lived in the mountains, where I could pee on one side of the hill and drink on the other, I could agree with you, but I am point-blank with the water cycle here.
Work smarter, not harder.
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