ljgeoff: (Default)
One of the first things that I plan to do after getting the property is drilling the well. I always imagined that the well would come up from the basement, but that's actually against code. The well has to be set back at least 25'/8m from the home and 50'/15m from the septic system.

(Also, drainage fields can't be more than eight feet deep or so, because the weight of the soil above compresses the field too much. So no drains in the basement, unless I want to pump sewage up to the drainage field or engineer some kind of roof over the drainage field. Which I could do, and it would work, but be pre' expensive. Something to think about: how important would it be to have water/drain in basement? If we have to house a family there, it might be important.)

There's an article detailing different ways to drill a well, with links to diy kit for drilling your own well here and for a system to hand pump water from a deep well (otherwise, you need an electric pump)

All in all, it looks to cost about $2000 if we put in a 100'/30m well ourselves compared to $7000-$10,000 if we hire a company to do it. An advantage to doing it ourselves is having bought the experience and know-how of putting in a well. Of course, we could cock it up and waste our money.

One other thing to mention here is that we will also be separating our sewage into gray water and septic field waste, with gray water going out to the garden/orchards. I'm not sure how I want to do gray water harvest in the winter months. Cistern? How much water do we use, if we discount toilets? Hmm.
ljgeoff: (Default)
A couple of days ago, I posted about designing an off grid system, and [personal profile] johnpalmer mentioned low-energy clothes washing.

Which, with two kids and three adults seems kinda crazy. But I thought I'd check it out. (goes to youtube)

I'd heard [personal profile] elissaann mention having something like this. Watching the video, I'm intrigued! I probably do one to two loads of laundry a day, mostly kids clothes. Even if it took an hour to do, I think that the savings would be well worth it!

I dunno, what do you think? Much less water, much less electricity, much less soap. More effort, but doable.

Simply Good Stuff review of Wonder Wash says "Does It Really Work? Yes it does. Our own testing has been quite impressive, but several other independent parties also agree. The loads come out exactly as clean as they do with a conventional washing machine, but it takes a whole lot less time. You won't be able to wash as many items at once, but your results will be great each and every time. It doesn't look like it would be able to wash clothing, but once you use it, the fresh and clean laundry will be proof enough."

And then there's drying the clothes. The Nina Soft Spin costs under $200 and spins the laundry almost dry. After spinning, you hang the clothes up to finish the process. Again, from Simply Good Stuff: "100 times more energy efficient that traditional dryers, this large capacity, portable version will pull water out of clothing in three minutes or less. It doesn't blow hot air at your laundry, or use a bunch of electricity. Instead, the drum spins at 1800 RPM's to pull moisture out via centripetal force. This gentle action is incredibly efficient, but way less harmful to your clothing."

This sounds amazing! I am intrigued.

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