Monday, October 13, 2008

i like it with the border =)

no border

photoshop rendering

Now, I am not a pro in photoshop, so feel free to be critical!

Water_Distribution-Individual Household_PAW

The colours are wrong- for some reason in the conversion to JPG it changed them- what is blue is actually red.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Site Photo (2a)-no diagram

Site 2a: (not a collage, but one single photo):
I think this one is the best for our program- I have already started to do the illustration.

Site Photo (2)-no diagram

Here is the next site possibility (2):

Site Photo-no diagram

Hi all-
This is Site_1 possibility for the project - (there is no diagram overlay just yet, I will try and get to that tonight, if not first thing tomorrow morning.

grey water recycling videos

Snow melting methods and collection

As far as winter irrigation in the greenhouse goes, melting snow in big barrels is the next best thing to a really long hose, a well and an electric pump. Fill ‘em up, cover with clear plastic, wait a day (even on a dull, cloudy day, it gets up to 60°F in the hoophouse). Repeat a couple of times, and you have 50 gallons of rainwater in a barrel! The alternative is dragging 200? of hose through deep snow from the barn to the greenhouse, then reeling it in and draining it, every couple of days. The weather has put the kibosh on the early-March, barely heated greenhouse plan, the happy prospect until March actually came around. (

I think this is one pretty easy, reasonable and affordable method. What can be possibly derived from this method, Kelly (since you are doing water collection), is maybe a combination of solar heated barrels and drainage/collection of melted snow that will flow into the main cistern.

Also, there is a number of existing systems that are used in the cities in order to melt snow on the roads. They are based on embedding heating cables into the pavement or concrete slabs that eventually get heated and thus melt the snow. Such systems can also be powered by solar power and then a water collection system can be applied.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Photo compilation

Solar composting toilets!

Passive solar composting toilet:

Commercial composting toilets:

Check this out, too:

A great website on wastewater treatment with images and good descriptions:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rendering samples

taken from


Check this out! Taken from:
Afterwards, check the "Earthship" further at
And mos def, their website:

"The other day I noticed that one of my tires had a slow leak. I took it to a place called M&M Tires, where it was expertly repaired within a few minutes by owner Bonifacio Martinez. While he worked, we chatted, and he remarked that, had he been unable to fix it, he might have donated the worn-out tire to the Earthship community, a few miles outside of Taos. I was fascinated by what he told me and decided to visit.

The Earthship community is a collection of unusual homes that look, at first glance, like something from a strange dream. They are organic in shape, studded with bottles, and partly buried in the ground. These are Earthships — passive solar structures that do not use any conventional power or water source, thanks to a combination of ingenious design, recycling, and solar and wind power. Water comes from snow melt or rain collection, and is used four times before it is finally discharged in a conventional septic system. The houses are amazingly pretty inside, airy and not at all dark.

The walls are made of recycled tires, aluminum cans, bottles (sometimes placed so as to let light in), and adobe, which is then oiled on the inside surfaces to make it darker, the better for absorbing sun and maintaining heat. Here’s a cutaway view of a wall:

Sloped windows on the southern side collect sun and also nourish the gardens that provide food, purify water, and beautify the space. When the sun is too intense, or to retain heat after dark, the windows can be covered:

The houses are wired with conventional electric outlets and the appliances are ordinary, albeit energy-saving models. They are priced competitively: a 1,200-square-foot home in this community might cost $200,000 (this includes all labor, the most expensive part of building an Earthship). Members of the Earthship Foundation have built them all over the world, and also are available to teach others. They have also published the building plans in several books."

Rainwater harvesting - Changing water realities - California (Australia)

Guys, I just came across this site, explaining severe water issues that both California and well, on a more extreme level, Australia are dealing with.

Courtesy of California Green Solutions (

Rainwater harvesting is a feasible, and highly efficient solution for residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Save stress on water infrastructures and save money!

Take a look at the posted images to read what the article says:

Rainwater harvesting made easy:

Take a look at this link, not exceptional or anything, but gives you an idea as to how it could be done.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I found a great mapping website. I really like the diagram Yana found, where the catch basin branches out and resembles almost exactly the root system of a plant. Anyway, I just quickly did a topographical map showing the contour of the land in our region. It's not as detailed as I'd like but something worth looking at. In the site you can also select/deselect various icons and information to show. I highly recommend exploring the site, you have access to tons of information and there is even a section specifically on "Freshwater." From what I can see there's maps ranging from % of people harvesting ground water to where/how it is consumed.

here is the link:


air gap: a vertical space between a water or drain line and the

flood level of a receptacle used to prevent backflow or

siphonage from the receptacle in the event of negative

pressure or vacuum.

aquifer: an underground waterway that is replenished by


backflow: flow of water in a pipe or water line in a direction

opposite to normal flow.

backflow preventer: a device or system installed in a water

line to stop backflow from a nonpotable source.

blackwater: the wastewater from toilets

and kitchen sinks.

buffer: to shift pH to a specific value.

building footprint: the area of a building on the ground.

cistern: an above or below ground tank used to store water,

generally made of galvanized metal, fiberglass, ferrocement

or concrete.

disinfection: a process in which pathogenic (disease producing)

bacteria are killed by use of chlorine or physical processes.

diverter: a mechanism designed to divert the first flush

rainwater from entering the cistern.

erosion: the loss of topsoil that occurs as a result of run-off.

filtration: the process of separating particles of 2 microns or

larger in diameter from water by means of a porous substance

such as a permeable fabric or layers of inert material housed in

a media filter or removable cartridge filter.

first flush: generally the first 10 gallons of rainwater per 1,000

square feet of roof surface that is diverted due to potential for


flow rate: the quantity of water which passes a given point in

a specified unit of time, expressed in gallons per minute.

forcebreaker: an extension of the fill pipe to a point 1” above

the bottom of the cistern, which dissipates the pressure of

incoming rainwater and thus minimizes the stirring of settled


greywater: the wastewater from residential

appliances or fixtures except toilets and kitchen sinks.

groundwater: water found below ground that has seeped

there through spaces in soil and geologic formations.

hardness: a characteristic of groundwater due to the presence

of dissolved calcium and magnesium which is responsible for

most scale formation in pipes and water heaters.

hydrologic cycle: the continual exchange of water from the

atmosphere to the land and oceans and back again.

leaf screen: a mesh installed over gutters and entry points to

downspouts to prevent leaves and other debris from clogging

the flow of rainwater.

micron: a linear measure equal to one millionth of a meter,

or .00003937 inch.

nonpotable water: water intended for non-human consumption

purposes, such as irrigation, toilet flushing, and


pH: a logarithmic scale of values of 0 to 14 that measure of

hydrogen ion concentration in water which determines

whether the water is neutral (pH 7), acidic(pH 0-7) or basic

(pH 7-14).

pathogen: an organism which may cause disease.

potable water: water which is suitable and safe for human


pressure tank: a component of a plumbing system that

provides the constant level of water pressure necessary for the

proper operation of plumbing fixtures and appliances.

rainwater harvesting: the principle of collecting and using

precipitation from a catchment surface.

roof washer: a device used to divert the first flush rainwater

from entering a cistern.

run-off farming: the agricultural application of harvested

rainwater involving a system of terraces that directs the

rainwater from higher to lower elevations.

sedimentation: the process in which solid suspended particles

settle out (sink to the bottom ) of water, frequently after

the particles have coagulated.

total dissolved solids: a measure of the mineral content of

water supplies.

xeriscape: a landscape practice which specifies regionallyadapted,

drought-resistant plants and other water-conserving


healthy house link

Here's just a link to the Healthy House project I showed you in class and the one Andrew (our guest) was referring to:

Toronto Water Figures/Facts etc. from the City of Toronto

Dean Kamen-Water Purification

I know this may not be exactly the type of thing we are looking for, but I think it is good to know what types of technologies exist out there- obviously some require power etc, but most if not all could be powered solar/wind energies stored in batteries.

You may or may not know Dean Kamen, but he is an inventor of the Segway and other things. As for this water purification invention, it supposedly works and he has created it in order to help create drinking from toxic, polluted waters in developing and third world countries. According to him, it is supposed to be a low-cost and low-energy water purifier. Take a look at the links I posted.