AmPart: Simple Rainwater Catch System

American Partisan has posted a useful article for addressing your water needs – Plans and photos of a simple rainwater catch system. Rain catchment systems work most easily in areas that have rain fall throughout the year. If you live in an area with mostly seasonal rainfall, then you’ll need to empty your rain barrel into some kind of cistern in order to have water through the dry months.

When I think about preparedness and survival, I think about the primary priorities in order like this: Shelter, Water, Food and Security. The secondary priorities, once you’ve handled those first four, go like this: Medical, Intelligence, Communications and Transportation. I’m going to give you some plans for a simple way to start a rainwater collection system to allow you to check your water needs off the list. Try to remember as a starting rule that your survival group is going to need to plan for water usage to the tune of one gallon of water per person, per day. Sometimes this will obviously include some adjustments up and down for different cooking needs, sanitation, medical, etc., but generally speaking, that rule is a good starting point.

Before we start, also take into consideration your local water sources. I personally live in a very riverine area, though I’m not right on the water. So as long as I’ve done well for myself with transportation, that might be a good option for collecting water. However, I’ve also got a pretty reliable rainfall pattern (or so I say, as we are currently experiencing our first night of rain in eight weeks). Some of us can often count on decent rainfall, but it would behoove you to store water in the largest amount you can for those weeks (or months) when rain is scarce.

This type of simple system will allow you to funnel rainwater into your reservoir, and also collect from other sources and deposit it in the reservoir yourself. When it’s time to use it, or if you want to drain it into smaller ready-to-use jugs or bottles, it’ll need to be filtered/purified. My unpaid recommendation is to use a Berkey water filter for that, simply because the “black” filters that company uses are able to filter a very large amount of water before they need to be replaced. Simply take the water from your collection system, pour it through a Berkey or some similar filtration system, and it’ll be ready to drink. Without filtering, the water can be used for garden irrigation, pets, possibly even hygiene.

Below you’ll see the parts you’ll for this simple build laid out on our table. There we have a 1/2″ metal hose adaptor and a 1/2″ spigot. You’ll need two PVC bushings to go onto those and a pair of rubber washers, one for each bushing. Get some Teflon tape to wrap the metal threads of the hose adaptor and spigot. Get a length of garden hose to attach to the hose adaptor later as an overflow valve. I have some black plastic mesh screen and a couple of bungee cords to make a top screen. Use a power drill and a 13/16 spade bit for drilling holes in the barrel. My barrel I’m using is a food grade 55 gallon barrel that I’m told contained Mountain Dew before it came to me. Some sources will have the top cut off for you, but you can use a jig saw or a saws-all to remove if you need to. I advise using food grade plastic rather than something that could rust. Lastly, you need a short length of garden hose, at least three feet, and make sure it’s still got the attachment on one end.

 

Use your drill bit to drill out two holes in the barrel. One hole needs to near the bottom, which is where the spigot will eventually go. Three inches from the bottom should be ok, but don’t go too much higher. You don’t want to lose access to several inches of water in the bottom. The next hole needs to be near the top, offset at least 90 degrees from the bottom hole. This will be your overflow outlet, hopefully overflowing into another container via the hose you’ll attach later. It needs to be offset because we will assume that you will eventually pair this barrel with a second one catching your first barrel’s overflow, and you don’t want it blocking the spigot below.

 

With the only section of this project that I would call “work” behind you, you’re ready to attach your pieces. Get your Teflon tape and wrap the threads on the narrower end of the hose adaptor, the threads that are going inside the barrel. Take your hose adaptor and push that side through your top drilled hole. If the hole is tight, you might have to screw it in. Reapply Teflon tape if you have to. On the inside, place a rubber washer and then screw the PVC bushing onto the metal adaptor.

 

 

You’ll follow the same process for the spigot at the bottom. Wrap the metal threads with Teflon tape and push the spigot into the hole. You may need to screw the spigot in if the hole is a tight fit, and if so, make sure the Teflon tape is still in place afterward. Position a rubber washer on the inside and screw the bushing into place.

 

 

Take your overflow hose and attach it to the hose adaptor you installed at the top. This hose will drain water into a second container when this container is full.

 

Secure the mesh screen around the top of the barrel using your bungee cords. You’ll need to purify this water coming out before drinking it anyway, but this mesh can prevent leaves, sticks and some bugs or animals from getting inside.

 

Here is your finished product!

 

Some notes:

Once you get the system built, fill the barrel all the way up to the overflow hose and let it run out for a few minutes. You’re checking for leaks, especially at the bottom around the spigot. That kind of water pressure is likely to cause a leak in that bottom area, so then drain the barrel and take some silicon, caulk or other sealant and seal the leak on the inside and outside. Your overflow hose attachment isn’t nearly as likely to leak, nor will it matter as much if it does. There is much less pressure at the top hole than at the bottom. Once your sealant has dried, fill the barrel again and look for leaks…

Click here to continue reading at American Partisan.

Related:

PennState Extension: Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction and Treatment

State of Texas: The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting (pdf) This is an eighty-eight page manual covering many aspects of rain harvesting. A little of the data is Texas-specific, such as rainfall maps.

Wilderness Doc: Hydration and Rehydration

While hydration may seem more like a summer topic, cold, dry weather can cause a decrease in thirst, making it easier to become dehydrated. Here’s an article from Wilderness Doc on Hydration and Rehydration, including using a nasogastric tube for severely dehydrated patients. While Doc doesn’t discuss it in this article, there is also the option of emergency rectal hydration for patients who are unconscious, suffering nausea, or in shock.

Hydration aka water…essential for life. We take for granted this vital substance which we cannot live without. In much of the world, however, clean drinking water is a luxury. In a previous post, I have discussed how to make this water safe to drink. In this post, I want to examine what you might be able to do for yourself or a companion should you become dehydrated.

Oral rehydration is the standard way to rehydrate. This can be accomplished with small sips of water, Gatorade or, in dire circumstances, whatever you have at hand. If you have more resources, making an oral rehydration solution is even better. There are several options to make this. The two most common start with a quart of clean water to which the following is added:

Option 1: One teaspoon of salt, 8 teaspoons of sugar. Mix, then add 0.5 cup orange juice or half a banana (mashed).

Option 2: One-fourth teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar or honey. Mix again. Add 0.5 cup orange juice or half a banana (mashed).

Ideally, the dehydrated patient will drink at least 3 quarts of this solution daily until the diarrhea or other source of dehydration ceases.

Unfortunately, the severely dehydrated patient may refuse or be physically unable to drink the solution. In those cases, consider a nasogastric tube feeding for these patients. Most people are able to easily place such a tube with some lubrication either through KY or other water soluble lubricants applied either to a standard NG tube or to IV tubing or any relatively clean piece of small caliber, flexible tubing. Be sure to test placement by listening over the stomach while blowing into the mouth end (proximal end) of the tube and hearing bubbles in the stomach. You should also start out with a very small (less than 5 ml) test infusion. If coughing occurs, check placement again as you do not want to introduce the solution into the lungs and potentially produce a pneumonitis. The amount of fluid to administer for adults is calculated by adding the patient’s weight in kg’s to 40. An 80 kg patient would need 80+40=120 ml/hr of the oral rehydration fluid. This would be continued until the patient is able to drink the solution on their own, without aid of the tubing.

While there are examples of WWII POW’s utilizing sharpened bamboo sticks and rubber tubing to fashion IV’s, the risk of infection from this would be very high. Further, the art of finding a vein in such a severely dehydrated patient is one most, even with modern and sterile equipment do not possess. If things are so bad as to even consider such a situation, it is likely natural processes will not be stopped. So, while an interesting thought experiment, I would recommend you think more about and ensure adequate knowledge of the above skills instead…

Doom and Bloom: Boiling Water – How Long to Disinfect?

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medicine have another fine article up, this time on boiling water and how long it takes to disinfect it.

BOILING WATER FOR DISINFECTION

a pan and water boiing on the top of a stove

You and I know that we need water to live, but the quality of that water is important. So important, as a matter of fact, that it could mean the difference between good health and life-threatening disease. Sickness caused by contaminated water has stopped armies in their tracks and changed the course of history.

How long do you have to boil water for it be safely drinkable?

The old saying goes “ask a bunch of doctors the same question, get a bunch of answers”. You ask a bunch of survivalists about boiling water, well, you might get a bunch of answers. If you consider that the fuel and time required to boil water might be limited in certain survival scenarios, however, it’s a serious question.

There are all sorts of disease-causing microbes, also called pathogens, that are harmful to humans and can be found in water. These include protozoa, bacteria and viruses. The protozoal microbes that could get you sick include cryptosporidium and giardia. Harmful bacteria include salmonella, shigella, and e. coli. Viruses that contaminate water include things like hepatitis, enterovirus, and norovirus.

There are various ways to disinfect water. Bleach is popular, iodine will work, and UV sterilization using direct sunlight on clear bottles of water for a good 8 hours is another way. Of all ways you can disinfect water, however, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (the CDC) recommends boiling as the best method. They have an excellent PDF you can download, by the way, called Drinking Water Treatment Methods for Backcountry and Travel Use”.

The CDC believe that none of the methods other than boiling are 100% effective in killing all disease-causing bugs. Even bleach takes several days to kill some organisms like cryptosporidium, something we talked about on the Survival Medicine podcast a few months ago. Of course, The CDC (and I) suggest that cloudy water should be filtered as well as disinfected. You can improvise a filter but some popular commercial lightweight filters include the Mini-Sawyer and theLifestraw

Click here to continue reading at Doom and Bloom Medical.

Futurewise Appeals Benton County Comprehensive Plan

From the Tri-City Herald’s article Benton County’s out of water. Growth should be frozen, group says.

Improperly planned growth in Benton County could overtax the Yakima River and other water sources, harming fish, wildlife, waterways and senior water rights holders, an environmental watchdog group says.

Futurewise, formerly 1000 Friends of Washington, is asking the Growth Management Hearings Board for Eastern Washington to review the comprehensive plan Benton County commissioners approved in February, saying it fails to comply with the state’s Growth Management Act on several fronts.

In a petition filed last week, Futurewise claims Benton County didn’t properly analyze the effect 6,800 new people in unincorporated areas over 20 years would have on the county’s limited water resources.

It also says Benton County also failed to analyze the effect of growth on state roadways and work with the state to mitigate them…

The petition triggers a three-person review board, with at least two Eastern Washington residents. A hearing will likely be held in late fall, and the board has 180 days from the April 19 filing date to issue a binding decision…

Continue reading at the Tri-City Herald by clicking here.

From Futurewise’s web site:

….Water resource planning efforts in the lower Yakima River have made clear that water in Benton County is already allocated and flows in the river are too low for salmon and steelhead outmigration and rearing.

This appeal will be the first to address the applicability of the State Legislature’s so-called Hirst fix bill (SB 6091) to planning for growth in the Yakima River basin.  According to the bill, counties in the Yakima basin are mandated to plan for the use of land consistent with available water resources under the Growth Management Act (GMA)…

Cape Town Running Out of Water and SA Land Appropriation

Cape Town, South Africa is expected to run out of water by April 22nd, 2018 due to drought.

One of South Africa’s largest cities, Cape Town, could be the world’s first major municipality to run out of water due to an unprecedented drought.

The city, which is also an iconic tourist destination, has less than a 90-day supply of water left in its reservoirs, meaning residents are forced to ration by taking short showers, flushing the toilet only when necessary and recycling bathing water.

“Day Zero” (or April 22) is when authorities predict the taps will run dry, leaving city officials scrambling to build desalination plants and drill underground water wells.

The drought has been caused by very low rainfall over the past few years and increased water consumption by the city’s growing population.

Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille said its four million residents have to start drastically cutting down on their water. The capped household water usage at 87 litres per person, per day and residents will be fined if they break the rules.

 

Also weighing heavily in South African news, concerns over uncompensated land expropriation continue to heat up.

South Africa could turn into the ultimate paradise if the implementation of the policy of expropriation of land without compensation leads to higher food production, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said in Nongoma, Kwazulu-Natal on Sunday.

“In fact, it is possible for us to begin a process of working the land and improving agriculture – making it a very successful factor in our country,” Ramaphosa said, addressing King Goodwill Zwelithini at Osuthu Palace – explaining the ANC’s decision to implement a policy of land expropriation.

Ramaphosa emphasised that the implementation of the ANC’s policy must not harm the economy, the agriculture sector or food security.

“We can make this country the garden of Eden,” the new ruling party head said at a meeting to introduce the ANC’s new top six leaders to the Zulu king. Ramaphosa said redistributed land must be used productively. He estimated that increased food production could grow the economy by two million jobs…

Above sourced from news24.com

The fight for the land ownership is reaching heated levels apparently – it’s “war against the Boer Afrikaner people”, the Boer Afrikaner Volksraad had warned the ANC.

The Afrikaner activist group says it will not recognise any law that makes nationalisation of land without compensation legal, even if it comes from parliament.

“Deprivation, dispossession and occupation of our country in terms of any law shall be considered formal acts of war against the Boer Afrikaner people, which we have to defend against and retaliate with internationally accepted means and methods in order to ensure our ownership and recovery,” wrote the organisation in Afrikaans.

This after the EFF on Tuesday called for the expropriation of land without compensation in parliament. The motion was tabled by EFF leader Julius Malema, who called for black people to unite in ensuring that section 25 of the constitution is amended so to make it constitutionally possible to nationalise the South African land without compensation.

Above sourced from citizen.co.za

National Preparedness Month, Week 1, 2017

Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make a family emergency plan today. September is National Preparedness Month. Learn more at www.ready.gov/September.

Related:

Long Term Water Storage

Myths and Facts of Water Storage

Pool Shock & Bleach for Water Purification

Granular Calcium Hypochlorite

Only use HTH Pool Shock that does not have any algicides or fungicides.  Ingredients should reads CALCIUM hypochlorite and inert ingredients.  Use a brand with at least 73% Hypochlorite.

For this video I used Poolife Turboshock, but feel free to use any brand you wish as long as it fits the perimeters above.

Before you begin mixing any chemicals in any way, please follow basic safety precautions.  Make sure you do this in a ventilated area.  Have plenty of water to dilute any mistakes.  Wear eye protection for splashes.  Lastly always mix the powder into the water NOT the other way around.

Add and dissolve one heaping teaspoon of high-test granular calcium hypochlorite (HTH) (approximately 1/4 ounce) for each two gallons of water.

The mixture will produce a chlorine solution of approximately 500 mg/L (0.0667632356 oz per US gallon), since the calcium hypochlorite has an available chlorine equal to 70 percent of its weight.

To disinfect water, add the chlorine solution in the ratio of one part of chlorine solution to each 100 parts of water to be treated. This is roughly equal to adding 1 pint (16 oz.) of stock chlorine to each 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected.

To remove any objectionable chlorine odor, aerate the water by pouring it back and forth into containers to add air.

Chlorine Bleach

Common household bleach (unscented) contains a chlorine compound that will disinfect water. The procedure to be followed is usually written on the label. When the necessary procedure is not given, find the percentage of available chlorine on the label and use the information in the following tabulation as a guide.

Available Chlorine Drops per Quart of Clear Water

  • 1% needs 10 Drops
  • 4-6% needs  2 Drops
  • 7-10% needs 1 Drops

(If strength is unknown, add ten drops per quart of water. Double amount of chlorine for cloudy or colored water)

The treated water should be mixed thoroughly and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. The water should have a slight chlorine odor; if not, repeat the dosage and allow the water to stand for an additional 15 minutes.