Monday, September 13, 2010

rain and rainwater harvest

We have not had a sunny day yet this September. It has been just a little ridiculous actually. It will stop raining just long enough to get at least a little dry and then it showers again for a few hours. Day after day of gloomy, wet, damp misery. At least that is the way I am looking at things right now while the harvest waits to be started. I ended up buying another swather last week. It is an old Versatile 400 that is in nice shape. So, while we wait for things to dry up, the work on the house continues.

Late last week we installed our cistern behind the house. We purchased a large tank (4100 gallons) and we will use it for our domestic water needs. We will also use this tank as a catchment for rainwater from the steel roofs of the house, the garage and the shop. The rainwater will go through a filter and first-flush system before it enters the tank. From there the water will enter the house and go through our distiller for drinking and cooking. It will go through an ordinary filter element for the other household uses like laundry and bathing. From time to time we will likely need to fill the cistern with city water from the nearby filling station.

As you can see, the hole for the tank was huge! That is an 8' ladder leaning up against the wall of the trench. It was interesting to see the different layers of soil that extends that deep underground. That black patch to the left of the ladder is actually a very small deposit of coal. We also unearthed some big pieces of granite that are quite beautiful. We will use those for some landscaping accents here and there.


  1. It's interesting that the coal deposit is so small, and it appears right on top of that gray hardpan layer. What laid down the soil in that area? All of the rocks that I see have rounded edges... so some sort of water action. They're round, so maybe not a glacier. Sea bottom? lake bottom? Some sort of sedimentary process.

  2. Great observation Bruce. You are correct that this was once the bottom of a vast sea. There are numerous large deposits of coal and oil nearby. In fact, one local town is called Coaldale. If you look at a map of the ancient glacial activity you can see that right in our area was an ice-free gap that extended up to Alaska. It is thought that this is where North America's first human inhabitants traveled from Asia. At least that was the contention prior to the discovery of Kennewick Man.

    I am sure that at some point in time there was some glacier activity in our area but to what extent I have no clue.

  3. John - your episode's up. Thanks again for your time that day. I'm happy for you that the weather is clearing and warming up - I'm guessing you need it badly!!