I am seeking advice on a system I can set up in my backyard to filter fresh water from a perennial creek that flows through the back of my property.
I live in a suburban area that has some hills and a small lake about 2-3 miles uphill from where I am. The spillway from the lake, natural runoff
from the hills and, especially, municipal users (my neighbors uphill from me) add water to this creek. The city estimates that nearly all of the
water in the creek, particularly in the dry season, comes from landscape runoff, swimming pools, people hosing off their walks, etc. The city also
built an urban trail system along portions of the creek, with native landscaping, bike trails, etc. The portion of the creek that runs through the
back of my property looks like this:
Beyond my lot, the creek runs through a golf course and then through a few more communities downstream (where even more municipal runoff adds to the
volume). The water is clear and mostly already treated municipal-sourced, but after running over driveways, streets, and gutters, etc., it's not
nearly clean enough (IMHO) to use as is.
My plan is to hook up a small, solar-powered rural pond/creek-type pump or two and draw water from the stream, send it through a DIY sand or other
combo filter before then routing it to my vegetable garden, fruit trees, and other landscaping, and maybe even plumb some into the house for use in
flushing toilets, etc.
I do not need the water to be made pure enough for daily drinking/human consumption (at least not initially, although a SHTF prep-scenario may make a
back-up plan for subsequent purification/disinfection for human use may be prudent). My goal is mainly to cut back drastically on water use I throw
on my landscaping and flush down the toilet instead of paying for clean municipal water to do those things. Water rates are climbing dramatically
around here, and I think it's wasteful to flush drinking water down the toilet when suitable water is flowing through my yard already. I WOULD like
to have some confidence that the filtered creek water is safe enough for my fruits and vegetables, however.
So after some research, there seems to be a plethora of designs out there on bio-sand filters, slow sand filters, some with added chemicals, most
without, but that then require frequent maintenance, etc.
So what do you smart folks think?
My guess that demand will be on the order of a few hundred gallons per day or so. A system using rain barrels, maybe an old covered jacuzzi tub or
two, 55-gallon drums, or other cisterns is envisioned. Something where I can pump the water up into a gravity feed system located at a high point of
my sloping property, and then let gravity flow the water down into storage or directly into my gardens, etc. Something like this perhaps?:
I've already got a solar-power system with battery-backup for 24-hour/day pumping from the creek (or upon demand as needed). Not any high-pressure,
great flow, but enough to lift the creek water up about 40 feet to a concrete deck/shed I'm preparing for the filtering system.
Anyway, I've learned a lot from you guys already - on all sorts of matters regarding survival and prepping, etc., so I figured this is the best place
to go ask for advice on this new 'project'.
Ideas? Thanks in advance - and I'll be sure to post progress reports and pics as the system comes together.
edit on 4/29/2015 by Outrageo because: