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the Solar Still was developed by two physicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Results of extensive testing in the Arizona deserts by the U.S. Air Force proved that when properly assembled, the still can save your life
There are only 2 essential components to constructing the Solar Still -- a container to catch the water and a 6 x 6-footsheet of clear plastic. A shovel or trowel, a length of plastic tube and tape are all optional
The best part of this life-saving device is that for something that collects water from seemingly nothing, the solar still is amazingly simple to build. Here's how:
1. Dig a pit approximately 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Use a shovel, hand trowel, a digging stick or even your hands in soft soil or sand. Look for a sandy wash or a depression where rainwater might collect.
2. . In the center of the pit, dig another small hole deep enough for the water container.
3. Place the container inside, then run the tubing from the container to the outside of the pit. If there is tape available, tape the tubing to the inside of the container.
4. Blanket the pit with the plastic sheet, evenly on all sides, but not touching the bottom of the pit. Anchor the corners with rocks.
5. Find a small rounded rock to place in the center of the sheet, over the water container. This will keep the plastic centered and control any flapping from the wind. Gently push down on the center weight until the sides slope to a 45º angle. If the pit is dug deep enough, this should leave the center weight just a few inches above the water container.
6. Next, secure the edges of the plastic sheet with rocks and dirt. Make sure there are no places where moisture can escape.
7. Close the tubing end with a knot, or double it and tie it closed
Solar Still was developed by two physicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture