a glass of rainwater

glass of rainwater

I’m drinking rainwater again after 6 months of tap water. After my tank ran down over summer, I didn’t set up the filter again until now. Why did I take so long when my favourite drink is rainwater??

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The Sad Tale of the Weeping Hose

the tap which connects to the weeping hose This is not a sad tale because the hose wept. The hose’s function is to weep, due to the holes punctured in intervals along its length. It’s connected to the drainage hole at the bottom of my rainwater tank and on days when there’s no rain in sight, I turn it on for 20 minutes to water one of my vegie garden beds. The sad part of this tale happened this morning. I went out to turn it on, finding to my horror that it already was and had been weeping for twenty four hours! If only its sobs were louder, I would have ended those wasted tears.

thesis brain by Zoë SadokierskiI like to blame Sheeba the dog for any problem in the garden. She’s the culprit when freshly dug holes are concerned, but I don’t think she’s quite mastered turning a tap. The culprit in this instance is my brain on thesis. Zoë S. drew an anatomically correct diagram of this phenomenon. As you can see the (red) area of brain left for accomplishing tasks like turning on and off taps at the correct time is very small, thus it’s amazing such a water crisis hasn’t happened before.

A day ago there was about 1200L in the tank, now there’s 300L. The bean seeds that I bemoaned were taking so long to pop up; all have now thanks to the generous soaking. I wondered if 900L would be enough for their whole life, but I have a feeling it doesn’t work like that. The tomato seedlings I just planted in the very sunny other vegie bed got none of this soaking, which they needed – stupid weeping hose. Why do you do everything wrong!?

glass of rainwater Last year my rainwater tank was installed at about this time. I didn’t think I’d have a tank of water til winter this year, but the unusual spring downpours filled it before summer. It would be nice if the same huge amount of rain fell this November, but I’m not counting on it. No more rainwater to drink this summer :(

And cause it hasn’t rained the pond really needs a bucket or two of non-chlorinated water right now – stupid rain, stupid hose, stupid thesis!

=^.^=

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Tasty Rainwater

rainwater to drink Last year I blogged about getting a rainwater tank and said I’d be drinking rainwater soon. I got it at the end of winter, but it filled with rain from the unusual downpours in November. I didn’t start drinking it then because my dad suggested I don’t drink the initial water, to ensure any contaminants from manufacture were washed away. Over summer I used the water on the garden and the tank filled again this winter. Now, nine months later, I’m drinking rainwater from my tank.

glass of rainwater The first time I drank water from the tank it tasted so different to mains water from the kitchen tap. I thought it tasted purer, but that might be the only way I can think of to describe the difference. I have an old house, with ancient plumbing and I’m sure this does something to the water. In summer I don’t like drinking it straight from the tap, I refrigerate it first. In winter the cold air refrigerates it, so I don’t taste whatever it is I don’t like* (and it is the plumbing that affects the taste, not chlorine or fluoride or whatever, I’m happy to drink water straight from the tap at other houses). After drinking rainwater for a few weeks I’ve got used to whatever the difference is and it just tastes like water now, but I still love drinking it. Water is my favourite drink.

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A wet November

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the unusual rainfall this spring.

The start of November had 29.4mm over four days, already above the monthly average of 19.7mm. So far the less than average rainfall in September has not been cancelled out by November’s deluge. The average from 1 September to 30 November is 152mm and we’ve had 143.6mm. If the forecast rain falls we’ll be going even more above November’s average, but may only meet the three month average. Seeing as predicting the weather isn’t my forte, I’ll get back to reporting on what’s been and gone.

The forecast rain fell and November’s rainfall was 57.8mm, the most November rain since 1984, when 73mm fell [1]. On 23 November there was 17.4mm – almost November’s average in one day. All this rain increased November’s long term average to 22.1mm. A wet November was the case across Australia.

Above to very much above average November 2008 rainfall over much of Australia largely cleared short-term rainfall deficiencies, especially over the NT, SA and WA.

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All that rain

Well into spring rain is still falling in Perth. I was so sure this year’s rain had ended, but there’s more forecast for the end of the week. There was 38.4mm in October, slightly below the average of 43.1mm. But the start of November had 29.4mm over four days, already above the monthly average of 19.7mm. So far the less than average rainfall in September has not been cancelled out by November’s deluge. The average from 1 September to 30 November is 152mm and we’ve had 143.6mm. If the forecast rain falls we’ll be going even more above November’s average, but may only meet the three month average. Seeing as predicting the weather isn’t my forte, I’ll get back to reporting on what’s been and gone.

glass of water by Bergius on Flickr There were some pretty hot 30°C days in October, but at the start of November the nights got chilly again. One night it was 6.5°C! After packing away my doona, I had to get it out for a week or so. Now the summery temperatures are back. Although it hasn’t yet reached 30°C I can feel stinking hot days and sultry nights on the way.

November’s rain means my new rainwater tank is half full! 1300ish litres of water. I thought it wouldn’t collect any rain until next winter. I was so excited I drank a glass of water directly from the tank. I hadn’t yet got a ceramic and charcoal filter, but I looked at the glass and it looked nice and clear. I started drinking and half way through had another look at it. That’s when I decided there were some “bits” in it and maybe I would water a plant with the rest.

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Drinking Rain (next year)

my new rainwater tank with overflow pipe I’ve been planning to get a rainwater tank (also known as a rainwater barrel or butt depending on where you live) since the start of the year, in time for last winter’s rain, but things got in the way. I first thought I would use the collected water for my garden in summer, but then I realised it would last about a week in Perth’s dry summers. Then I decided I would drink the rain water. My friends at Nuts about Natives do this and it works well. They have a ceramic and charcoal filter, and scrub the roof and guttering before the first winter rains.

my new rainwater tank with downpipe Now, after much um-ing and ah-ing I have a rainwater tank. It was delivered during the very wet week in September. It’s a 1500L above ground tank in heritage green, to match the posts of my carport. To get my drinking water, I will fill a ceramic and carbon filter from the tank tap and it will sit in the kitchen, to provide all my drinking needs. Now the hot weather has arrived I’m drinking a lot more water. I’ve decided not to plumb the tank into my house, mainly because it would run out very quickly. The WA Department of Water provides rebates for part of the cost of rainwater tanks. It’s only $50 if the tank is not plumbed into the house, but it’s still worth it.

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