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MichaelEL

Jul 16, 2008, 6:51 AM

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Rainwater harvesting

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We are in starting to build our rainwater harvesting system in San Pancho. The task at hand is a 400 m3 catchment pond, which will pump up to a temporary 16' dia swimming pool. The pool is temporary until we can build the ferroconcrete tank on top of the hill.

Questions:
1. Source for Pond Liners and underlayment in Jalisco or Nayarit?
2. Experts in Pond design, landscaping, maintenance?
3. Source for gasoline powered pumps (what we call handy-billy in the US).?
4. Source for large water filter system.?
5. Others with rainwater harvesting systems willing to share info?

Thanks in advance,
Michael



Judy in Ags


Jul 17, 2008, 8:38 AM

Post #2 of 7 (9526 views)

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Re: [MichaelEL] Rainwater harvesting

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"We are in starting to build our rainwater harvesting system in San Pancho."

Can you clarify? Is this for your own property. If so, how much land do you have? Apparently you have a hill. Can you elaborate?



MichaelEL

Jul 17, 2008, 8:04 PM

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Rainwater harvesting

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Yes, it's for us. We have a hectare, a hill and ridge, and it all (plus another 10 hectares or so) drains though a small seasonal stream which passes through our property. We hope to be able to do our project without drilling a well.

The well will be Plan B.

The pond also becomes a year round visual center, and may need replenishment in the dry season from a well, but maybe not.

Loved reading the story of your transition to Mexico. Heartwarming!

Michael


Esteban

Aug 1, 2008, 8:38 PM

Post #4 of 7 (9420 views)

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Re: [MichaelEL] Rainwater harvesting

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You have a very interesting project. There are so many variables it will be a lengthy process to assess the possibilities. At 400 m3 that should be enough water for a whole year based on some facts about water usage that came from some data provided by the city of Bremerton, Washington. The average water usage per family, for the whole city, was 200 gallons per day. At 400 m3, you should have more than 200 gallons a day, roughly figuring 400 X 27 X 7.2 gal per cubic foot. If you have enough fall, you could do without a gasoline pump and use a hydraulic ram. I live in Nayarit too, just up the road in Santa Cruz and we are getting massive amounts of rainfall which could easily, if stored, be a year round source. As to filters, there are many "homemade" systems using sand that would suffice as a pre filter which in turn could be sent through a UV system. Good luck and I'd be interested in the outcome.


barbaroja

Mar 9, 2009, 9:27 PM

Post #5 of 7 (9257 views)

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Re: [MichaelEL] Rainwater harvesting

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We live in San Miguel de Allende and have been living exclusivly on harvested rainwater for almost four years now. We have a 150,000 liter cistern and collect off of the roof of our house and bodega and two patios. The water goes through a sand and gravel filter before it flows to the underground cistern. We test the water every six months and have never tested positive for anything bad. (bacteria, pesticides, etc.)

Average rainfall in SMA is 50 cm./yr. Last year at the end of the rainy season we had 130,000 L. in our cistern. Our average usage is 11,000 L./mo. There are two of us. We have water saving devices on every fixture in the house and standard flush toilets. About half of our water usage is in the house the rest is used for watering the gardens.

If you have any specific questions about our set-up let me know and I'll try to answer them.
_

Barba Roja
http://www.mapaverdesanmiguel.org/


MichaelEL

Mar 16, 2009, 6:34 AM

Post #6 of 7 (9142 views)

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Re: [barbaroja] Rainwater harvesting

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Rainwater harvesting makes so much sense. Much of North America - indeed, much of the world- is struggling with drought, yet there is more than enough rain falling to solve the "crises" for centuries.

We have about twice the rainfall here in Nayarit that you enjoy, 35 inches last summer season, over 50 inches long-time average. The jungle seems to need about half of that; it takes that long to fully saturate the soil. Of course, our roofs, hardscape and road will not wait for saturation to start collecting. We are developing 7 lots and hope to provide rainwater for all, with the pond, one large central cistern of 50,000 gallons, and additional smaller cisterns on each lot. We will have a well (Plan B) and eventually, community water availability (10 years or so).

You are doing extremely well on usage at about 100 gallons per day. That's a quarter to a half of usage of most norteamericanos in the US. The best way to save water is not to need so much. Well done.

I do have a few questions, if you don't mind sharing.

1. Any palapa roofs needing aggressive chemical spraying yearly (contaminating runoff)?
2. How/where do you get water tested? Lab? Tested for pathogens and pollutants?
3. Did you select roof materials for non-polluting surfaces?
4. What water saving devices have you found most effective and trouble-free?

Thanks for the inspiration and for a demonstration of how to live more lightly on the land.

Michael


barbaroja

Mar 16, 2009, 11:25 AM

Post #7 of 7 (9121 views)

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Re: [MichaelEL] Rainwater harvesting

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Yuor project sounds exciting. If we ever get over your way I hope I can see it. In the mean time here are answers to your questions:

1. Any palapa roofs needing aggressive chemical spraying yearly (contaminating runoff)?

We don't have any palapas. They don't build them much here since there are no palms that produce suitable palapa building materials. Campesinos used to build thatched grass roofs but this has never caught on as an option for gringos building 'naturally' and the art of build grass roofs has almost died off with the availability of cheap 'lamina'.

2. How/where do you get water tested? Lab? Tested for pathogens and pollutants?

I have do-it-yourself water test kits that I brought from the US. I could probably find them here if I look hard enough. They test for bacteria, nitrate and pesticides. There are local labs in SMA that perform similar tests. I'm told the nearest lab to get a 'complete' analysis is in San Luis Potosi. I don't have their contact info but if you want to pursue this you might try contacting Ilan Adler. Ilan told me about the lab. His contact info is here:

http://smamap.com/...eResources/water.php

3. Did you select roof materials for non-polluting surfaces?

I did not. The house was already built when we bought it and had been sealed with a latex sealer (Fester Acritone). I've continued to maintain the roof with this product as I would have to find a way to stirp it if I were to switch to something else and that would probably polute my water even more.

4. What water saving devices have you found most effective and trouble-free?

We use shower and faucet fixtures from Oxigenics. We have had them for about three years now and are very happy with them. We shipped them in from the US, but last time I was in the local Home Depot I saw some of their products there.

http://www.oxygenics.com/landing.html

When we remodeled our bathrooms we could not find dual-flush toilets locally so we don't have them. However, they are avalailable in SMA now. They would be worth checking into for new construction since flushing is one of our biggest water uses.

We have a whirlpool 'Duet' front-loading washing machine. Front loaders typically use about 1/4 the water compared to a top loader. Bosch also make a nice front loader that they sell in Mexico.

As mentioned earlier (I think), the house is plumbed for greywater recycling. All houshold water, except the toilets, exits via a separarte pipe. Currently it just flows out to some trees in the front yard, but this year's project is to capture and feed it into an irrigation system. This should reduce outside water requirements by about 25 gallons a day.

Barba Roja
http://www.mapaverdesanmiguel.org/


(This post was edited by barbaroja on Mar 16, 2009, 11:35 AM)
 
 
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