We will draw water from the lake and collect rain water to use for all purposes including drinking. In order to produce clean and safe water, we will follow the following processes:
Collect water in a large ferrocement tank via lake pump and roof drains to collect rain water*. (In the future we may dig a well to pump ground water which will be already cleaner than water directly from the lake). A first filtration will occur with a simple filter to remove large particles. Water from this tank can be used for landscape irrigation.
- Pump water from the first tank to a second ferrocement tank through a sand filter and dual carbon filters. The water at this point will be clean enough to pump to showers and toilets. Though, capacity allowing, we will use water for bathing after the next step and final step.
- Lastly, water will be pumped from the second tank through dual ultraviolet filters to the kitchen, bar, sinks, and solar hot water systems.
We will contract with an independent testing lab in Managua to perform regular tests for a range of contaminants and we expect our water quality to at least meet EPA** drinking water standards.
*For approximately a quarter of the year, we can use rain water collection exclusively.
** EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency: Drinking Water Regulations
Here’s a helpful link that helps describe these processes in detail: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/yago71.html
On the waste water side, grey water from sinks and showers will be collected in a simple filtration channel which will be dense with water plants (lilies, water hyacinth) which will clean the water as it percolates down. Black water from toilets will be collected in the biogas system explained in another article.