4 February 2008

Rain, Rain, Glorious Rain!

Enjoying the rain.

It started late last night, or perhaps it was the early hours of the morning, I'm not sure, because I was curled up in bed, just listening to the sound of it drumming on the roof. There is nothing quite like the sound of rain on a tin (or in the case, colourbond) roof. All the insulation and layers in a normal roof mutes the sound, and leaves you feeling like the rain is distant, not affecting you. I grew up with tin roofs, and the sound of the rain on the roof always made you feel snug, and glad you had somewhere out of the rain. I didn't realise how much I had missed the sound until we moved here.

Of course, it has it's downsides too. Making a phone call is just about impossible in a heavy downpour, and talking to the person next to you means raising your voice. And of course, I have a 3yo, who thinks that right now, in the midst of all that noise, is the perfect time to read a story together! I'm going to miss it once our house is built though.

Our tank is almost full, and we've put a (clean) garbage bin under the overflow, because if it rains more tonight, we'll have water everywhere, and I don't want it to flood the pump. We've actually been using the water tonight. I ran DD a bath about 4 inches deep instead of her usual 2 or so, and we'll all probably have extra long showers in the morning. After living with this drought and water restrictions for over a year now, it feels gloriously rich to have a full tank of water.

I picked out our tank very carefully, after looking around at all the info I could find. I decided against a poly tank, as some studies have shown that over long periods of time, the poly tanks can leach into the water, especially if they're in the sun. Most of the corrugated iron tanks were lined with poly anyway (and this was listed as a selling point!), and concrete was far too much hassle, so I decided on a Stainless Steel. It's 23,000 litres (5400 gallons I think), and we're hoping that that will supply our household needs, without having to resort to the mains backup. As we seem to have a pretty good rainfall (this season anyway), hopefully we'll be right.

I was as picky about our pump as I was about the tank. Most of the systems supplied to hook up to the laundry/toilet work on a floating ball method, where the ball opens a valve to the mains system when it detects the water has fallen below a certain level, and tops up your tank from the mains supply. I didn't want this, as I have an aversion to chlorine, and wanted to avoid it ever going into our tank. So I opted for an Onga Watersaver, which is a little (or rather, a lot) more expensive, but with operates on a valve method, switching between tank or mains water, without the two ever mixing in your tank. It has the added advantage that if there is a blackout, it will automatically switch to mains, meaning we will still have water even if the pump isn't working.

With all that, I also needed a super filter system, both to be sure we didn't have any ickys in our tank water, we're close enough to the city that I am concerned about pollution particles, not to mention being under a tree, so lots of dirty leaves etc, and to filter the chlorine from the mains supply when we needed to use it. My dad organised it for me, and all our water passes through a 5 micron sediment filter, then a 0.5 micron carbon block filter. Our water pressure is great, and we can all be assured that it is of the highest standard possible.

All of our drinking water is stored in the fridge in glass bottles, mostly recycled fruit juice bottles. I have a few large ones for water at home, and a few smaller ones to grab on the run. A couple have been broken recently though, so I'll have to replace them.

Another benefit of the filtered rainwater is that my acne, that I've had since I first moved to the city over 10 years ago, has cleared up. I'm now convinced that it had nothing to do with hormones at all, but is a direct result of the chlorine (or something else) in the mains water. Scary stuff!

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