Water From the Sky
Contains photos, diagrams, and data to give you a good understanding of the state of the art in contained sewage-treatment systems; 35 pages of highly detailed color photos and drawings.
The volume of water on this planet is finite while human population continues to swell. As groundwater aquifers are drained or contaminated by pollutants or salt water, we move steadily towards serious water shortages in the future. Many parts of our planet, including parts of the USA, are already experiencing water shortages. Water from the Sky takes its readers from problem to solution, showing how it is possible--even in the desert--for a home to collect it's water from the sky, use it wisely, and downcycle the wastewater to new uses and treatment through living filter systems. The result is a veritable Garden of Eden on a meager supply of water. Step-by-step, author Michael Reynolds outlines how to solve the problem of water shortages through catching, storing, using, reusing and treating water.
Water from the Sky is a significant expansion on water collection and treatment systems introduced in Reynold's Earthship books. The first part of the book delves into refinements of water catchment systems for Earthship homes, though the information could easily be applied to more conventional construction as well. Reynolds also expands on options for cisterns and proper filtering prior to use.
The book also covers "botanical cells," which are designed to both utilize and purify greywater for indoor and outdoor gardens and lawns. The cleansed water can be used for additional irrigating with a hose, or routed back for use in flushing a toilet. Although Reynold's largely favors composting toilets, he also shows how "blackwater" from a toilet can be cleansed and safely utilized through plant rock filters. These are cutting edge technologies in household greywater treatment, and Reynolds has presented the material in an accessible format for the do-it-yourself home builder. Solar Survival Press. 2005.
"Having lived through recent drought years in California and Texas, and now living in a sub-division that uses a communal well fed by a spring, I've become very sensitive to water quantity and quality. This book is the best I've found offering both a broad perspective on water issues as well as methods to conserve it. Since recently adding rainbarrels to our existing gutter system, we've found that even small rainstorms that leave a 1/4" reading in the gauge fill our 55 gallon barrels to overflowing."
"This book helped me in making the decision to start planning a house in the Dominican Republic based on the principles of an earthship. The harvesting and storage of sufficient rainwater and the use of botanical cells to clean the greywater ( from bathing, washing and the kitchen ) to make it suitable for flushing the toilets and the blackwater ( from the septic tank ) to make it suitable for irrigation purposes. The harvested water is used in such a way that you don't need another watersource. The only limitation is the annual precipitation combined with the watercatching roof surface. In these botanical cells you can grow, for starters, plants like bananas, lime and lemons, aloe vera, grapes and avocados. The book describes all of the principles and most of the technical details. But to really draw up construction plans and to execute the actual construction on site you will need sufficient engineering skills or hire an expert. The illustrations are clear enough but I expected more uniformity and a clear architectural signature. The recycled paper is not a problem since the whole idea behind earthships is to live in harmony with our earth. What is a problem is the odd shape of the book, it doesn't fit well on my bookshelf...."