Friday, May 15, 2015

Water tanks

As I get ever closer to completing the first partition, my thoughts advance toward water tanks. Thus I had a look at some ideas and saw both problems and solutions.

Big problem - I have no idea how much water I use in a week. I know for cooking and drinking, my daily use has to be less than a gallon. For bathing and the toilet, I have no idea at all.

A smaller problem is that water tanks can be very expensive so I checked eBay and found cheap water tanks with postage that pretty much eliminated any potential saving. It didn't help with sizing that there seemed to be no minimum tank size.

Gambling that the tank size needed would be around 50 gallons, I found proper water tanks were ridiculously expensive. Checking around, I found 15, 30 and 55 gallon drums going for a song. Thereby hung two more problems - all the tanks bar the 15 gallon hung down below the skirt on the bottom of the bus, giving me visions of losing them as I passed over hump back bridges and the like.

The next thing I looked at was 12 inch water main pipe. That would have been great bar for the attachments such as end caps being $250 each. At that point it was time to head to work which I did. At work, as I pondered life, the universe and everything (Douglas Adams reference), the answer came to me in a flash as I flushed. 5 inch downpipe could well be my answer.

Returning home from slaving away at work, as I ate dinner I looked up my answers while my girlfriend's mother flashed me dirty looks for daring to use my phone at the dinner table. It turns out that a 4 foot length of 5 inch round tube will hold 4 gallons of water. Each gallon weighs around 8.35 pounds. Ten lengths laid parallel would take 50 inches of space. That's too much so laying the tubes 2 deep would take up 25 inches by 10 inches. That's much more doable. Add a 3rd layer and it would be 25 inches by 15 inches. Of course that is not optimizing the spaces between the tubes. 15 tubes would carry 60 gallons plus what would be held in the connecting sections. 60 gallons would weigh 501lbs or about the weight of 4 children.

Thinking further on plumbing, the grey tanks could be 20 gallon tube sets with the waste water being recycled to flush the toilet into a 15 gallon drum. Going on from the drum, two tubes could be inserted into the drum, one to act as a vent which goes to the roof to dissipate fumes. The other will also come from the roof but will have a small heater and fan. The warm air will evaporate the content of the black tank. When its time to physically empty the black tank, a removable, sealed end can be removed and the dessicated content shoveled out into a bag.

Running the system this way, the grey tank might need an occasional flushing and the white tank regular refilling but this should reduce the need to empty the grey frequently and the black. These are initial thoughts, of course.

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