As many of you know, Michele and I have a mission to be more green. We've changed the way we do a lot of things. Well, everyday I do something that is not very green at all - I pour copious amounts of water down the drain - about 4 gallons a day of pretty clean, filtered, distilled water. This water is the product of our basement dehumidifier. Now, I know I can't drink the water - don't want to, anyhow - but I have been very interested in what I CAN do with it. I did a little online research and discovered a whole host of smart people that do pretty much everything with this water. I decided to become one of those smart people. The only problem was how to collect the water and transport it from the basement to the rest of the house and out to the garden. So, in about 1/2 an hour and for about $14 ($11 for a 32 gallon trash can, and about $1 each for 3 spigots), I devised a water collection and recycling system and thought I would share with you how I did it.
Michele and I have two 5 gallon water bottles from when we used to get water for our water cooler - now we have a tap water filtering system for the cooler. All I needed was the bottles, two spigots, and a drill bit capable of drilling a hole the size of the spigot pipe connection - and some caulk to keep the water from leaking around the spigot hole. I drilled my hole, connected the spigot, and now have an easy water collection and transportation system. I can easily carry 5 gallons of water from the basement - though I doubt I'll fill it all the way - and can connect a hose to the spigot that will allow me to water the garden.
I also bought a 32 gallon trash can and attached a spigot in the same way. I threaded the dehumidifier hose through the hole I drilled in the top of the trash can and when I need to fill up one of my 5 gallon "watering cans" I can attach a hose to the 32 gallon collection barrel and I am all set! Having the larger collection container makes it so that I don't have to empty the containers everyday - its hard to find uses for 3-5 gallons of water daily!
One of my uses will be to water our lovely garden. I will also use the water in my iron - distilled water is supposed to be better than tap for steam irons. I'll also use it when I attempt to make my own cat litter - found another whole host of folks who do that and I want to try it at least once. It follows a similar process the paper making and uses quite a bit of water. One of the nice things is that after the water is used for the cat litter making, I can still use it in the garden - talk about recycling!
I am also proud to say that I supported the local economy by buying the supplies for this project from a local hardware store - Lyell Crest Hardware. I'm saving the earth and the economy all in one fell swoop! I deserve an ice cream for that!