Filtering Rainwater in a Barrel


| 5/2/2013 3:48:00 PM


Tags: filtering rainwater, rain barrel, collecting rainwater, Linda Holliday,

raindropsDuring our boiling, broiling, blistering summer of 2012 here in the Missouri Ozarks, water was a topic of conversation wherever we went. Creeks and ponds dried up (some never recovered) and the water table dropped, forcing a few neighbors to have their well pumps lowered or to even have deeper wells drilled.

Many folks shared memories of rain barrels, cisterns, hand pumps and drawing water with a well bucket as a child, usually on grandpa and grandma’s farm. Some said they’d never want to rely again on those old-time methods of getting water. But, at least they knew how it was done.

It seems we have lost much practical knowledge in the last 50 or so years because we thought we’d never need it again. Now we are scrambling to relearn those simple know-hows.

A tattered, 4-inch thick, 1909 book I happily secured for $8 in a thrift store reveals, among umpteen-thousand other every-day skills, how to make homemade water filters. The instructions in “Household Discoveries and Mrs. Curtis’s Cookbook” are quite basic as everyone had a rain barrel back then and presumably knew how to clean the water. Now, 104 years later, I am thankful the authors had the foresight to preserve their knowledge for us, and pointed out that rainwater collected in barrels from a roof is a necessity in some locations, but also is best for laundry and “often more wholesome for drinking purposes than hard water.”

The “wholesome” observation applies to plants, too. I noticed during our six-week dry spell (not a drop of rain) that I was only able to keep my vegetables alive with the garden hose – until our well, too, began sucking air. The pitiful potato, tomato and bean plants actually seemed petrified, like faded plastic decorations. Then, after a two-hour rain shower, the plants miraculously leapt to life – vibrant, green and THRIVING. I did, too.

In early June last year, my husband surprised me with a 425-gallon water tank so I could water with nutritious rainwater, although it was August before any measure of water was in the tank. When the elusive rains finally paused briefly overhead, I was out in it with my two-gallon watering can, running and sloshing the water like a crazy woman onto our neglected trees far up the hill.


adamm
5/14/2013 4:07:42 PM

Knowing how to make a homemade water filter such as the one described above is becoming increasingly important. With all of the natural disasters that have occured in recent years, the dry spells, and the ever growing concern of not having enough fresh water, people should know how to make these types of <a href="http://www.aquasafecanada.com/store/water-filters">water filters</a>. Although they do not need to be made on a large scale, as the one depicted above, and can be made in a tin can  or bottle, people should be aware of them. 




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