Before we actually design a self-sufficient system to produce clean, potable water for our homes, or perhaps our neighborhoods, we first need to look at the various water processes that we will have to undertake.
- Source – We first have to decide where our water source is. Municipalities typically use rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. So, will our water come from these same sources, and will rainwater and storm water be a part of our raw water?
- Collection and Storage – Once we have our water source(s) figured out we will have to design a way to collect it and then store it for eventual treatment.
- Pressurizing the water – After we collect and store our water we will be faced with the challenge of how to transport it, or in other words pressurize it for feed to our after treatment system.
- Water Analysis – No system can be effectively designed until we know specifically every chemical, biological, and physical characteristic of the water.
- Drinking Water Specifications – The EPA gives us guidelines for what drinking water should be, so do we use those standards, invent our own, or choose another, already-existing water standard from?
- Solids Removal – The first step in our treatment system will be how to remove all the dirt and debris from our source water.
- Organics Removal – If our source water is contaminated with oils and greases, algae, fungi, slime, yeast, pesticides and fertilizers, we have to remove them.
These steps are what we would call the Pre-Treatment section of our total drinking-water design. In subsequent, soon to be released articles we will discuss the other steps:
- Waste Water generation and discharge
- Collection and storage of our newly cleaned water
- Sanitization of this newly connected water
- Pressurizing the water to feed our home
In addition to these steps we will need to determine how to do adequate daily chemical testing; how to service and maintain the system; insurance to cover damages in the event that our water makes a guest sick; legalities in producing our own water, and of course, designing a system that makes water that tastes good.
Stay tuned – Especially if you are one of those “prepare for the apocalypse” types.