Monday, February 13, 2017

'Twas the Night Before Valentine's Day...

I think I mentioned earlier in the school year that parents were asked to adopt a teacher and be his or her secret pal for the year. I started with one, then two, then five... and ended up with eight secret pals. Tomorrow being Valentine's Day, I made up little goodie bags for my teachers which I will drop off at school tomorrow morning when I take J in. I have drawing class tomorrow so I'll give her a ride to school, and then after class I am going in to get TSA approved flight status so I can always go through the TSA Pre-check line. The last three times I have had to go through security in Austin I have practically been cavity searched--even when I wasn't flying and was just walking J to her gate. I have been _thoroughly_ patted down several times while the entire line behind me was held up, and that's more excitement than I need at this point in my life.

Also tomorrow, the crew comes to start clearing the brush and weeds out of the the area where the beehives, raised beds, espaliered fruit trees, benches, pond, passionfruit pergola, and new water storage tank are going. It'll probably take till June to get it all done, but we'll have a good bit done by the end of March. The water storage tank is part of the revamped rainwater collection system with grey water addition. I'm very excited to add grey water processing to to the systems of the house. Right now we have two 30 year-old 1,000 gallon rainwater tanks that collect from all the rain gutters. However a rough calculation today tells me that we get about 2,400 gallons of water off the roof every time we get an inch of water. Austin gets an average of 35 inches of rain per year. It would sure be nice to be able to use all that collected rainwater to water the new gardens and top off the pond... Enter the new storage tank. I am looking at a 10,000 gallon tank that will go up by our well house. The location means we will need to pump the water uphill from the current collection tanks, but then it will be accessible for gravity feed to anywhere in the yard and the new garden. I need to figure out the costs associated with the pumping, filtering, and storage in the large tank, but I think it only makes sense to keep as much water as we can for irrigation and other non-potable needs.

The grey water system will only come off of the master bathroom as the rest of the plumbing is already in the concrete foundation and would be too much of a hassle to change. But we are already remodeling the master bath this year, and part of the project will be to jackhammer up parts of the floor to move some of the plumbing. It will be an excellent time to divert all the water from the sinks, tub and shower from the septic field to a grey water system. The first stage will be for the water coming out of the bathroom (through a pipe straight through the wall) to flow through a basket of mulch. Then it will flow through a series of contained wetlands where the water will be filtered--much like in the bog pond at our Atlanta house. When the water comes out after filtration, it will be stored in a tank before being used for more garden irrigation.

I can feel myself rambling tonight so I'm going to cut this post short and come back to the garden plan at a later date.

1 comment:

Bill said...

That sounds nearly Californian!