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Old 04-07-2014, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,275,273 times
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We settled to an area that has not seen a drought in recorded human history.

We have 1/4 mile of river frontage. No body down river taps this river for their water source, then it flows into the ocean.

We have two creeks flowing across our land.

If I dig a hole 2 foot deep, given a few hours it will fill with water.

Our well's water level is 68 foot.

Rain gutters are rare here because they fill with ice, and the weight of that ice tends to rip them off houses.

I did have a couple steel 55 gallon drums outside for reserve water storage. But when they froze, the ice expanded and they both ripped seams.

I see very little need for us to conserve water here.



Another property that I was looking at, back when I was shopping for land to homestead, has a creek with enough head that you could put it directly into a pipe. To flow downhill into the house, and then the grey-water drainage could flow right back into the same creek again. Had we bought that property instead of this property, then there would absolutely be no reason for any water conservation efforts in that home.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,275,273 times
Reputation: 19009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zot View Post
I think water conserving toilets and plumbing fixtures have been mandated since 1992. As to reusing water, it's always been reused. Search water cycle. Water naturally recycles.
Obviously there are regions where water has always been in short supply. It would be foolish to settle in one of those regions and to expect otherwise.

There is roughly about the same quantity of water on Earth today, as there was a century ago. But today people have decided to populate cities that are often without much water.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,630 posts, read 49,275,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanguardisle View Post
In Bermuda they have developed a rain collection system on the roofs of the houses . I would love to have a house that can do that.
In my travels, I have seen homes like that.

So long as your region is one that never experiences any form of 'winter', such would work well for you.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: DC
6,505 posts, read 6,426,164 times
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The issue in many non-arid areas is the capacity of sewage systems. The waste has to be treated, even if the supply of fresh water is abundant.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,251 posts, read 15,278,680 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
This forum has been educational for me on how to live better, so I have a question regarding all the talk of ways to save/reuse water on this forum: Is it necessary in a part of the US or North America which sees plenty of rain and/or snow throughout the year?
We recently bought a house, a gut-to-stud remodel funded by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which includes many green features such as water-saving toilets and rain-barrels. The water-saving features may be a bit easier on the wallet, but are they necessarily "green" in areas such as the Great Lakes region or the Pacific Northwest which does not have the water issues of, say, the American West?
Large sections of the Pacific Northwest - even the "wet" sections - have water problems. Most precipitation happens in the winter months and the summers are very dry. We depend on melting snow pack for water, and if we don't get enough snow pack, we don't have enough water to last the year.

This year, the snow pack in the northern sections actually got better in the first couple months of the year - in the southern section, however, we are at 25% of normal yearly snow pack and will have big problems this summer.

Why waste water even if you live where you aren't presently in a drought? Are you on a water meter, where you pay for your water usage?
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,193 posts, read 10,364,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
Large sections of the Pacific Northwest - even the "wet" sections - have water problems. Most precipitation happens in the winter months and the summers are very dry. We depend on melting snow pack for water, and if we don't get enough snow pack, we don't have enough water to last the year.

This year, the snow pack in the northern sections actually got better in the first couple months of the year - in the southern section, however, we are at 25% of normal yearly snow pack and will have big problems this summer.

Why waste water even if you live where you aren't presently in a drought? Are you on a water meter, where you pay for your water usage?
Not really wasting it per se, but water conservation is one of the major tenants of "being green", and I was wondering how necessary that really was in places which receive a lot of rain/snow fall. Here in the Great Lakes region we seem to have more pressing issues, like toxic waste, preserving lakes and rivers, and raising awareness over need for recycling & limiting plastic.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,536,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
Not really wasting it per se, but water conservation is one of the major tenants of "being green", and I was wondering how necessary that really was in places which receive a lot of rain/snow fall. Here in the Great Lakes region we seem to have more pressing issues, like toxic waste, preserving lakes and rivers, and raising awareness over need for recycling & limiting plastic.
Yes, of course different regions have different priorities, and yes, priorities change. Obviously if water conservation is not an issue in one place, then more resources can be devoted to other issues which are more pressing locally.

But often there is an interconnectedness of issues that somewhat counters the abundance of one... reducing water use may also reduce energy cost, for example, and reduce carbon footprint. You really have to look at the whole portfolio. And for a community as a whole it's also necessary to consider future growth.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,831 posts, read 41,883,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
The use of rain barrels for irrigation, etc is a good idea. Cities use sewer rates as a general fund tax, not realistically based on actual cost. The sewer rates are based on water usage. So low-flow toilets, recycled water for irrigation, etc will save you money that would go to feed a government.
That would be generally and specifically incorrect.

Water and sewer rates do reflect actual costs, both of operation and construction (capital) cost.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:27 AM
 
Location: DC
6,505 posts, read 6,426,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
That would be generally and specifically incorrect.

Water and sewer rates do reflect actual costs, both of operation and construction (capital) cost.
Since most water and sewer are municipally supplied services they are not regulated by a separate utility commission in most states. I think you will find many cases where the municipal water and sewer operation contribute to the general funds of the town.

Last edited by DCforever; 04-11-2014 at 06:49 AM..
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
5,893 posts, read 6,982,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
We recently bought a house, a gut-to-stud remodel funded by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which includes many green features such as water-saving toilets and rain-barrels.
Water that comes in through your pipes is treated and this costs resources and energy. Water that goes out sewer gets treated and that takes more resources and energy.

At least around here, rain barrels are used as a conservation measure because the existing sewer system can't handle the volume of rain. The system is old and the storm sewers often run into the sanitary sewer system. A heavy rain means untreated sewage flow into the river. Any thing that delays run-off rain water from getting into the storm drain until after the treatment system has had a chance to catch up, directly works to keep pollution out of the river.
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