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Bobby Keeland

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since Sep 07, 2016
Born and raised in NW Arkansas. BS from Missouri Stage University, MS from University of Arkansas, nine years in US Army (3 years infantry then 6+ years as combat engineer), grad school at the University of Georgia, research forest ecologist at the USGS National Wetlands Research Centers. Retired 2008.
Southern Louisiana
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Recent posts by Bobby Keeland

Because of very poor water quality from the local water utility we switched to rainwater. We capture a lot of water in stainless steel tanks. Plastic tanks are not used because they leach chemicals into the water. Water flows from the tanks through a coarse particle filter and then to the Grundfos pump. After the pump the water goes through two fine filters and then a UV light (Viqua) before going to the faucets. Anyway, after switching to rainwater the water pressure is a bit low initially when a faucet is opened. When the pump engages the pressure increases. That is not really a problem except for in our refrigerator ice maker. After installing the rainwater tanks, the pump and the filter system the ice maker leaks water into the ice bin resulting in lumps of ice rather than cubes. The makers of the pump suggested that it is the resistance to water flow through the filters that causes low pressure. Due to several things we cannot put all of the filters before the pump.
What do you think about putting an RV water pump immediately before the refrigerator. Would the RV pump provide enough initial pressure to prevent water from 'dribbling' out into the ice bin? Perhaps this is an odd question, but could it work???
1 year ago
About a year and a half ago we started collecting rainwater to use for everything in the house. Even with two 2,400 gallon stainless steel water tanks we would nearly run out of collected rainwater before the next good rainfall. For that and because the local water system was of poor quality we switched to using a composting toilet. It is amazing how long our rainwater tanks stay close to full now. I never realized how much water you can use just flushing the toilet.
OK, that brought us to what do we do with the composting manure. Urine thinned with water is a good fertilizer, but human manure is not safe. After remembering that my brother had recommended the book "The Humanure Handbook" I looked on and found an e-copy of that book for free. Joseph Jenkins, the author of the book has been composting Humanure successfully for over 30 years. He seems to know what he is talking about. Basically I will start at least two new compost piles that will compost the Humanure and any horse, cow, chicken or whatever manure that I end up with. Make a compost bin using non-treated wood or what I did was to buy some lumber made from plastic. Several lumber companies carry a small amount of plastic lumber. Create a depression in the middle of the compost bin and as you add Humanure in the middle of the bin place some grass/weed clippings around the sides. It helps to have a lawn mower that can capture the waste cuttings like my small battery powered mower does. A small amount of grass clippings should go on top of the Humanure. When that Humanure compost bin is full keep something like chicken wire or hog wire across the top to keep any large wildlife (raccoons, nutria, etc.) from digging into the Humanure. Now use the next Humanure compost bin while the previous one composts for a YEAR.
Read The Humanure Handbook for details on how this method kills toxic compounds like pesticides and herbicides, infection bacteria, bad infectious worms like whip worms, etc. Like discussed on other posts here on Permies, a lot of the cleansing of the compost material is accomplished by the natural high heat within the compost.
I was able to read the free copy of The Humanure Handbook on my cell phone or tablet. It is a very good book with lots of information. I welcome any discussion or advise on this "project."
1 year ago
We have had our rainwater collection in place for about a year. The system includes four gutter drains and we have first flush systems like the ones in the photo at two of the gutter drains. Not like the French drain diversion. The other gutter drains are not currently being used.
The gutters have coarse screen to catch leaves, but not small stuff. Each first flush has a finer screen to catch most of the smaller stuff. I have to clean the first flush screens A LOT. The rainwater then goes through another screen at the top of each 2,600 gallon rainwater tank. That screen also has to be cleaned very often and then I scrub it with a small stiff bristle brush to keep the pores between the wires that make up the screen free of debris and stuff that seems to stick to the wires. From the tanks the water goes through two finer filters before it gets to the water pump. These filter units have to be cleaned every month or two. After the pump the water goes through two additional ultrafine filters and a UV light system. This all works pretty good, but it is a lot of work. We have a lot of dust and dirt in the air around here.
2 years ago
I used to wear LaCrosse when working in the cypress-tupelo swamps of South Carolina. They lasted several years. Then I moved to Louisiana where I again worked in cypress-tupelo swamps, but the newer LaCrosse boots rarely lasted more than a year. I believe that the makers of most knee boots or hip waders use a lot of plastic in addition to a little bit of rubber in their boots. Plastic does not bend a nicely as rubber and even without use it ages and starts to crack. I now use Muck Boot Company ankle shoes for work in water or mud. I also need some knee boots but all that I've found are pretty much worthless. I have not yet tried a Muck knee boot. I expect that they will work well and I don't work on wet concrete.
2 years ago
I would not worry nearly as much about the amount of light getting in through the first flush as I would about that black tank being out in the sun. Hot water evaporates. We have two tanks that are 2,600 gallons each. They are under a roof to keep them from overheating in the summer sun. After each rainfall I have to get up on a ladder to clean the leaves and other debris off of the screen at the top of the first flush. In addition I have to clean the screen at the top of each tank. If I don't clean the tank-top screens a lot of rainfall spills down the side of the tanks. I also have two filters between the tanks and the water pump that need to be cleaned about monthly. Two more fine filters and a UV light treatment are located after the water pump. This setup has worked very well for the past 6 months.
2 years ago
We have a Grundfos pump to supply our house, up to a second floor. It is on demand and works great. It is rather expensive but has only been in use for 6 months.

I'm also thinking about finding a less expensive pump for a separate tank to be used for greywater for irrigation purposes only.
3 years ago