Water Conservation With a Vengeance

Since I live in the country, my water comes from a well. Let me tell you about my well. It’s 140 feet deep and delivers a quart of water per minute. That’s right — one quart. The rule of thumb is that a well isn’t adequate for a home unless it can deliver five gallons a minute, or twenty times more than what we have.

Here in Oregon’s Coast Range, we have the irony that it rains like crazy half the year (60-90 inches in my neighborhood), but the aquifers are very poor. The dry summers and the lack of water mean that agriculture is difficult — we only get one cutting of hay a year, for example. It’s not uncommon to have no rain at all in July and August.

Not only that, the water quality is poor. Iron and sulfur, plus the inevitable iron and sulfur bacteria. These bacteria are harmless, but they clog filters and make it impossible to filter out the yucky taste.

Oddly, our sharply limited water supply encourages us to ignore normal water-conservation methods. We have an antique high-flow toilet and an immense antique bathtub. Low water pressure has induced me to disable the low-flow features on our sinks. True, we have a front-load washer, but the fact is that the real savings come from not watering the lawn, and none of that other stuff matters at all. The only things that ever ran us out of water were leaks, watering, and running the big ice machine we use as part of the broiler-butchering business. If you have limited water, you learn what’s important and what isn’t. Nickel-and-dime stuff like faucet restrictors don’t mean anything.

Today’s project is to get the Chemilizer chemical injector going . This is a chemical metering solution that puts a measured amount of the chemical of your choice into the water as it flows by. The chemical of choice is chlorine. It worked great for one bucketful of bleach solution and has mysteriously stopped doing anything.

Like everything else that actually works, chlorine comes in for a lot of flak, but I expect it to do the job. It not only kills off the slimy bacteria and will thus make it possible to use filters again, but it gets rid of the iron and sulfur, perhaps making the filters unnecessary.

If I can get the thing to work at all…

[Later] Well, that didn’t work. I guess the unit is busted. I’ll get it replaced and try again.

[Even Later] Okay, it works now. Someone at Chemilizer saw the post and we exchanged emails. My problem was self-inflicted — when the instructions say, “Lubricate lightly with Silicone lubricant,” using Vaseline instead because you’ve lost your can of silicone lube doesn’t work. D’oh!

I Publish Books! Norton Creek Press

Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

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Robert Plamondon
Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

Author: Robert Plamondon

Robert Plamondon has written three books, received over 30 U.S. patents, founded several businesses, and is an expert on free-range chickens. His publishing company, Norton Creek Press, is a treasure trove of the best poultry books of the last 100 years.

4 thoughts on “Water Conservation With a Vengeance”

  1. IF YOU WANT A TROUBLE FREE SYSTEM TO INJECT CHEM INTO YOUR WATER SUPPLY CONTACT KEIT WHALEY AT WHALCO IN CULLMAN AL. HE HAS INVENTED A SYSTEM THAT IS TROUBLE FREE , IT IS BEING US IN THEPOULTRY INDUSTRY AND ALSO FOR INJECTING FERT IN GREENHOUSES, A VERY SIMPLE AND TROUBLE FREE SYSTEM, I HAVE USED CHEMLIZER AND DOSATRON TILL THEY HAVE ABOUT BROKE ME

  2. Why not install a rainwater collection system? You may be able to save enough water during the rainy months to carry you through the dry months. We are getting a 20,000 gallon tank to store the rain from our 2,000 square foot roof, with a switch so that we can get water either from the well or the tank.

  3. The problem with the Chemilizer was that I didn’t follow the instructions. It’s fine now. If you try this unit (and I’m very happy with it), you should slavishly follow the instructions, and all will be well.

    Re rainwater collection systems: this isn’t practical in my climate, which typically has no rain at all between the Fourth of July and Labor Day, with total drought often extending through September. Anyway, the issue isn’t that I don’t have enough water, it’s that I need an adequate supply of known-sanitary water for egg washing, broiler butchering, and household use. I have plenty of lesser-quality water in the two creeks on my properly.

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