For millennia, without really noticing it, all our ancestors were living in an off-grid environment. The last century radically changed that picture and these days for many of us it is hard to think about living in a house without any access to “tap water”, a shower, a water-flushed toilet, etc…. The observed CargoTecture trends force us to go back to off-grid living, however, this time with all benefits of continuous access to the essential ingredient of life – freshwater. Access to water in the most familiar and comfortable way – by opening a tap!
Here you will find how statistically the water is used in typical “western” households, how much of that is pure waste, and what are real needs. On the other side of the equation – you will find what sources of freshwater may be available at your location and eventually technically, legally and economically acceptable for harvesting. We will discuss rainwater harvesting, access to lakes, creeks, groundwater, springs, benefits of fog-catchers, and a last-resort solution: water-hauling services. Read More!
These days, rainwater harvesting is no anymore an example of extravagance, but rather a necessity induced by climate change and the growing eco-consciousness of society. As a matter of fact, in Australia, it is part of the dedicated government program. In this introduction to Rainwater Harvesting, we will discuss how water is used by an average household, identifying the largest water “drains” (by far it is toilet flushing followed by shower and irrigation). We will estimate realistic needs for water versus lavish typical water consumption. We will discuss the legality and possible restrictions of rainwater harvesting, and the most important aspect -the required quality of water for different end-use (gardening, toilet, laundry, bath & shower, and finally for drinking). Read More!
The container’s roof makes a natural, freely-available rainwater catchment area. Unfortunately, the original containers’ roofs are flat which does not make them ideal catchments. By the laws of physics, they will collect more sediment compared to sloped roofs. Collected sediments have a tendency to firmly adhere to the roof’s surface so it will also take more rain to wash them down. We start with an estimation of the required catchment surface for your household needs based on the average annual precipitation you’re your location. Will discuss the impact of roof materials on the quality of collected water, the pros, and cons of flat and sloped roofs, the possible toxicity of rains due to industrial pollution, and finally, the possibility of recycling used rainwater for “less-demanding” applications. Read More!
Understandably, the container’s roof makes a natural choice for the rainwater catchment area. While not optimal (due to the lack of slop) they are available at almost no additional cost! Every catchment area (especially the flat one) will have a tendency to collect leaves, “flying” debris, organic matter (birds’ droppings, dead insects, pollen…), sediments, and in presence of heavier industrial or agricultural pollution – some chemical contaminants. For practical reasons, all Rainwater Harvesting Systems should be equipped with pre-filters preventing leaves from clogging gutters and downspouts (as they may lead to overflows and the waste of precious water). They should also eliminate chemically-contaminated water to prevent corrosion of the whole system. You will find detailed information about popular Leaf-Guards and Leaf-Shedding Rain Heads as well as First-Flush Diverters, their performance, and their limitation. Read More!
The quality of the stored rainwater depends on many factors. Many of them – like local air pollution (industrial and agricultural), and the impact of Mother nature (tree leaves, birds’ droppings, insects, pollen, sand and organic sediments etc…) are clearly independent of us. Fortunately, we may still have an upper hand in the battle for high-quality (possibly drinking) water if our Rainwater Harvesting Systems is properly designed. Here you will find detailed info regarding pre-tank inlet mesh filters (basket-type, self-cleaning, Vortex, Horizontal….) as well as most critical fittings (quite inlets, pressure vents, overflow, de-sludging systems). Read More!
The quality of stored rainwater largely depends on the storage tank. While the tank’s structure maybe not be that important when it’s used for storing utility water (garden irrigation, flushing toilet, driveway, and car cleaning, etc, it will be of importance for bathing and washing water not even mention the drinking one. Here you will find the pros, cons, and characteristics of typical Poly tanks, Steel tanks (stainless, galvanized, and special), Fiberglass, and concrete tanks. Given the fact that only stainless-steel tanks are approved for potable water, we also discuss interior linings required for all other tanks if used for the storage of potable water. Read More!
We hope that we helped you learn about water for Off-Grid Container Houses.