The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “water”

Vegetated Swales to Control Stormwater

Michael Gladnick and Deborah Seif talk about using vegetative swales to control and direct stormwater and to filter out particles. They are looking at a commercial or academic property not being used for food production, but the principles would be the same for productive land.


Water on Your Land: Conserving, Directing, Collecting and Storing It

Loren Luyendyk from Santa Barbara Organics talks about water.


– How you can use swales to redirect water on your property and also to encourage water that might otherwise flow away, taking topsoil with it to sink into the soil.

– Mulching to help retain water in the soil.

– Collecting rain water and storing it in tanks, in plants on your land and in manmade ponds

– Greywater – Use water more than once. Really easy set-ups and more complicated ones.

– Blackwater (sewage) – Treating the sewage with vegetation. Gives a reed bed example,

– Flowforms to oxygenate water

Introduction to Permaculture Part 2: Water from sbpermaculture on Vimeo.

Setting Up A Residential Greywater System

Rethinking Water: Greywater Guerillas Workshop from RyanIsHungry on Vimeo.

Plastic Containers for Water Storage

Aaron Mackley walks us through the different options in plastic containers for long-term water storage, highlighting safer plastics. He notes that glass (I’d add stainless steel and ceramic to his list) is one of the healthiest choices for storing water but that since it is breakable it isn’t really a practical option.

He also prices out the options for you and tells you what kind of containers you can safely buy used, what absorbs odors, etc.

I do disagree with him on using soda bottles to store water, especially since now there are many more non-plastic choices for small water storage.

Nonetheless, his videos are really thorough and well presented.

Plastic Containers for Water P1 from Aaron Mackley on Vimeo.

Plastic Containers for Water P2 from Aaron Mackley on Vimeo.

Graywater Systems for Your Garden

This is a great talk by Laura Allen (here walking us through her home humanure system) and Gregory Bullock about setting up a home graywater system.

“Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.”

They are in California so some of the impacts, positive and negative, that they talk about here focus on that state, but the issues are similar everywhere.

The talk covers really important Dos and Don’ts. Some topics mulch and mulch basins as filters, choosing good soaps and cleaners to use in your home if you are going to set up a graywater system, how to set up plumbing for the system (they look at a system that uses the pump on the washing machine as its driver), costs, types of crops it is suitable to irrigate (apparently root crops are out but it’s fine for “fruit” and leaf crops.

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