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dream studio: water situation

updated thu 6 jan 05

 

primalmommy on sat 1 jan 05


I have one of those deep plastic laundry-room style sinks that drains
(regular drain with an s-trap) into a buried 50 gallon metal drum full
of rocks under the studio foundation. I am told it's called a "french
drain".

As my studio has a long slope of a roof, I also have an eavestrough that
empties into two connected rain barrels -- $10 each at the local pepsi
bottling company, they used to be full of mountain dew syrup. I drilled
holes at the base and put in regular spigots -- the overflow barrel is
attached to a garden hose, so I can water my plants and tomatoes if I
need to. The barrels fill REALLY FAST, even with a quick cloudburst.

I have the main barrel by my studio door up on cement blocks, and a big
wash tub under the 'faucet" -- I just sling my plastibats in there when
I cut the pots off, and they soak, and are easy to rinse and put away
after I am done. My whole talisman can just be tossed in there to soak.
I empty the big tub onto the ground once in a while when the bottom
fills with glup.

I bring in pitchers of water for mixing glazes or buckets full for
mopping, and keep a pot on the woodstove for warm throwing water in
winter. Full barrels would freeze solid, though, and crack, if not
drained this time of year! I haul gallons from the house in winter. It's
amazing how stingy you can be with water when it's a long walk in the
snow!

If you set up a rain barrel, make sure you have some kind of screening
in the eavestrough to keep the big chunks out -- (though mine always has
a bit of leaf tannin in it) --- and especially make sure any opening in
the barrel is covered with screening so you don't make a mosquito
breeder. The opening in mine is quite small.

Good luck!

Yours
Kelly in Ohio




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wjskw@BELLSOUTH.NET on sun 2 jan 05


Kelly:
Here's a thought...
I moved my rain barrels into the inside of the studio back in '99.
The downspout pipe simply takes a 90 into the barrel at the
appropriate height through the outside wall, and connects to the
barrel.
Since I was also concerned about freezing (who wants cracked 55
gallon drums in their studio to thaw and flood?!) I put a 9 foot
piece of heat tape (the stuff you plug in and wrap around pipes)
around each of the barrels and insulated them with foam packing
blankets. I used an old moving quilt in the earlier years, but the
mice love it (too much) for nesting. The extra heat tape I wrapped
around the pipe where it enters the building. I also installed an
overflow pipe near the top of the second barrel, and ran it back
outside.
I found out the hard way that freezing isn't the only way to flood
the studio :>(

Since the heat tape is thermostatically controlled, I can leave it
plugged in all year, and it only goes on when needed (below 40F, I
think) It doesn't use as much electric as you would think. Sure
wish someone would "invent" a solar powered heat tape (12 vDC)

My neighbor up there has a french drain setup for her washing
machine. Always had problems with the drain freezing in the winter.
Her husband threaded a piece of heat tape into a 3/4 inch piece of
PVC pipe, capped the end, and stuck the pipe vertically in the
ground in the drain, near where the washer drain empties. She said
she hasn't had a problem with freezing since.=09

Those Vermont farmers, they're nothing if not inventive :>)


Best,

Wayne Seidl

-----Original Message-----
From: Clayart [mailto:CLAYART@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG] On Behalf Of
primalmommy
I have one of those deep plastic laundry-room style sinks that
drains
(regular drain with an s-trap) into a buried 50 gallon metal drum
full
of rocks under the studio foundation. I am told it's called a
"french
drain".

As my studio has a long slope of a roof, I also have an eavestrough
that
empties into two connected rain barrels -- $10 each at the local
pepsi
bottling company, they used to be full of mountain dew syrup. I
drilled
holes at the base and put in regular spigots -- the overflow barrel
is
attached to a garden hose, so I can water my plants and tomatoes if
I
need to. The barrels fill REALLY FAST, even with a quick cloudburst.

I have the main barrel by my studio door up on cement blocks, and a
big
wash tub under the 'faucet" -- I just sling my plastibats in there
when
I cut the pots off, and they soak, and are easy to rinse and put
away
after I am done. My whole talisman can just be tossed in there to
soak.
I empty the big tub onto the ground once in a while when the bottom
fills with glup.

I bring in pitchers of water for mixing glazes or buckets full for
mopping, and keep a pot on the woodstove for warm throwing water in
winter. Full barrels would freeze solid, though, and crack, if not
drained this time of year! I haul gallons from the house in winter.
It's
amazing how stingy you can be with water when it's a long walk in
the
snow!

If you set up a rain barrel, make sure you have some kind of
screening
in the eavestrough to keep the big chunks out -- (though mine always
has
a bit of leaf tannin in it) --- and especially make sure any opening
in
the barrel is covered with screening so you don't make a mosquito
breeder. The opening in mine is quite small.

Good luck!

Yours
Kelly in Ohio

Snail Scott on tue 4 jan 05


At 09:21 PM 1/1/2005 -0800, Kelly S. wrote:
>...As my studio has a long slope of a roof, I also have an eavestrough that
>empties into two connected rain barrels...


Thanks for the post about your rain barrels. Now
that I have a waterless studio again (this time in
an area where it actually rains), I am considering
a rain barrel.

I was wondering how fast the water goes 'funky'
in a barrel? Does your rate of use cycle it through
often enough or do you need to take added measures?
Do you ever drain it just to clear it out and start
fresh? Ever use bleach or some such? Do tell!

-Snail

Arnold Howard on tue 4 jan 05


Snail, the house that I built in Hawaii had a rain catchment system. It
included a screen stretched over the water container to keep out insects.
Also, a pump ran the water through a micron filter. The water received no
other treatment.

Sincerely,

Arnold Howard
Paragon Industries, L.P., Mesquite, Texas USA
arnoldhoward@att.net / www.paragonweb.com

From: "Snail Scott"
> Thanks for the post about your rain barrels. Now
> that I have a waterless studio again (this time in
> an area where it actually rains), I am considering
> a rain barrel.
>
> I was wondering how fast the water goes 'funky'
> in a barrel? Does your rate of use cycle it through
> often enough or do you need to take added measures?
> Do you ever drain it just to clear it out and start
> fresh? Ever use bleach or some such? Do tell!
>
> -Snail

Mike Gordon on tue 4 jan 05


Snail,
Before I finally put rain gutters up around the house, I kept one
gutter that drained into a rain barrel or barrels during the rainy
season. I managed to fill 5-- 30 gallon plastic barrels I kept lids on
them to keep out mosquitos. If leaves fell in I left them but did
notice algea forming. I only used this water for watering deck plants (
gardinias ) not drinking. It was used up and they were dried out during
the summer. The water seemed very clean, clean enough to wash up in.
Mike Gordon
On Jan 4, 2005, at 8:02 AM, Snail Scott wrote:

> At 09:21 PM 1/1/2005 -0800, Kelly S. wrote:
>> ...As my studio has a long slope of a roof, I also have an
>> eavestrough that
>> empties into two connected rain barrels...
>
>
> Thanks for the post about your rain barrels. Now
> that I have a waterless studio again (this time in
> an area where it actually rains), I am considering
> a rain barrel.
>
> I was wondering how fast the water goes 'funky'
> in a barrel? Does your rate of use cycle it through
> often enough or do you need to take added measures?
> Do you ever drain it just to clear it out and start
> fresh? Ever use bleach or some such? Do tell!
>
> -Snail
>
> _______________________________________________________________________
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>

Maurice Weitman on tue 4 jan 05


At 10:02 AM -0600 on 1/4/05, Snail Scott wrote:
>I was wondering how fast the water goes 'funky'
>in a barrel? Does your rate of use cycle it through
>often enough or do you need to take added measures?
>Do you ever drain it just to clear it out and start
>fresh? Ever use bleach or some such? Do tell!

Hi, Snail,

I hope you are doing well in your new home.

I've not much experience with storing water in large quantity for
long time periods, but I recently discovered (on clayart -- Lou
Roess's message) how to keep the water in our humidifier from getting
funky.

In November I bought some bacteriostatic solution and put a
half-capful in a couple of gallons of water and it's been clear for
months. I used to have to wash out the humidifier every week or two
and even then had to replace the wicks every month. I tried adding
tiny amounts (a couple of drops) of bleach daily, but it didn't help
much and trashed the wick fairly quickly.

Lou suggested buying it at Walmart, but we don't have one here, so I
found a source on the web. I just checked and the place from where I
bought it doesn't list it anymore, but I called the manufacturer (RPS
847/683-3400) and they said that Home Depot and Lowe's carries it as
well.

The (32 oz.) bottle says to add 1/5 ounce to every gallon. I paid $5 a bottle.

As you can see from the above, it's quite concentrated and the label
carries warnings of it being corrosive and therefore hazardous to
eyes and skin. A lot like bleach, I suppose. Unlike bleach, though,
it doesn't seem to eat away the wicks in our humidifiers.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
Maurice, still recovering from carpal tunnel surgeries (and learning
all about plantar fasciitis) in very moist Fairfax, California a
couple of hours south of Mendocino where I regrettably won't be next
week to revel with my claybuds (mandatory family gathering in the
Caribbean -- not complaining TOOO much, but I'd really, really love
to be in Mendo next week).

bonnie staffel on wed 5 jan 05


When I was a youngster I lived in a very large two story house. We had our
eaves troughs hooked up to drain into cisterns that were then covered by a
removable cement slab. We had an electric pump in the basement with a
large wheel connected to a big motor on top with a 4" wide belt. Guess we
never had to be told not to go near this thing when it was working. It
would scare the begeebers out of me if I had children in that situation.
The pump pulled the water up into two open tubs in the attic (large as
cattle troughs) and we kids played up there as well. Never had to tell us
not to play in the water. We used this water for bathing and washing but had
city water for drinking. Boy, it is a wonder we are still alive or all in
one piece from those early days. My folks probably never thought of putting
a wire guard around the belt situation, same for the tanks in the attic.

Taking this information into account, if you really wanted some convenience
and you had a lot of rain water, say in Oregon, a clever person could hook
up a small pump to carry the water from the rain barrels into a vat just
under your roof and with piping you would have running water from a tap!!!!

In a second cistern, we had an iron hand pump in the back yard. My first
studio was in the garage (known as the carriage house) where we lived on the
second floor. It was easy to just go out there to pump up some nice soft
rain water to use in the studio. When we sold the old house, we saved that
pump and it is now an ornamental in the garden in my daughter's place.

Regards,

Bonnie Staffel