Water is precious, treat it as such.
Earthships catch water from the sky (rain & snow melt) and uses it four times.
Water is heated from the sun, biodiesel and/or natural gas.
Earthships can have city water as backup. Earthships do not pollute underground water aquifers.
Water is caught from a roof with a potable surface. From the roof, the water is channeled through silt catches into cisterns. Cisterns are sized to the local climate and are best buried and completely protected from the sun. The water from the cistern is gravity-fed into a Water Organizing Module with a pump and filter. The pump pushes the water into a pressure tank to supply code required water pressure. The filters clean the water for consumption and cleaning.
Use & Re-use
Water is used in a conventional way such as bathing or washing dishes, except for the toilet. The water is used and cleaned a second time in interior botanical cells. The flush toilet is the third use of the water. After the toilet, the water is contained and treated, and used a fourth time in exterior botanical cells.
Water is heated with the sun and natural gas. The sun heats the water and the natural gas water-heater only turns on if the water is not hot enough. This is called "gas-on-demand" water heating.
Hot Water Recirculation panel
The hot water recirculation system is a water saving set-up designed so when you turn a timer switch at a fixture the water that has cooled in the hot water lines is returned to the cisterns while replacing it with hot water.
In order for the hot water system to work, the plumbing for it must be done during the rough-in as well as the electrical. This is shown on the construction drawings available from Earthship Biotecture. The kit includes the hot water recirculation panel and required number of timer switches for your home.
For more information on this hot water recirculation panel, please contact us here or call 575-751-0462.
The path of water in an Earthship:
The Water Organizing Module
Water from the city, cistern, your well, etc. can all be hooked up to the WOM. Automated systems can manage your water levels.
Filters clean the water for human consumption and use.
Bottom Line: Your home has normal plumbing, your plumber sees what they are used to seeing.
The WOM is part of our retrofit package for your existing home.
We live in a time when many parts of our planet are experiencing water shortages. The volume of water on this planet is finite while human population increases. As we gauge the depletion of our aquifers and the increase in population, we are able to predict serious water shortages in the near future.
We must begin now... learning to harvest water in each individual home. We must use this water many times before putting it back into the earth. When we do put it back, it must be in a form that works with existing nurturing forces and phenomena of the earth.
To further compound the water problem on this planet, we have polluted and contaminated most of our easily accessible surface waters and are beginning to contaminate the more difficult to access aquifers beneath the surface of the our planet. This contamination happens because of the way conventional sewage systems operate.
FACING THE FACTS
If there are energy shortages, individuals will have water problems.
If there is ecological damage, individuals will have water problems.
If there are economic crisis, individuals will have water problems.
If there are computer glitches, individuals will have water problems.
If there is political turmoil, individuals will have water problems.
If there is war, individuals will have water problems.
Almost anything that happens in the future can result in questionable availability of fresh water. This is not just an environmental problem. The continued pollution of the atmosphere, the surface and subsurface of the earth is not the only cause for alarm about availability of fresh water. Water availability to individuals is dependent on every other social system being in place, stable, health and at peace. It is inevitable that we will experience failure of one or more of these systems at some point in the future
We are simply adapting our needs to the already existing activities of the planet.
Why pipe water long distances from a centralized community water system, or from an expensive well that needs significant electrical power, depletes aquifers and lowers the water table, when water fall from the sky?
Why have a corporate or political "middle man" between us and our energy needs? our vessel (home) must be designed to sail with the forces that exist beyond human control and exploitation.
An understanding of mechanical systems for most humans is limited to what is within reach of their fingertips. It is understood that when you flip a switch on the wall, a light comes on. when you turn on the faucet, hot water comes out. When you pull the handle on the toilet, it flushes. Little though is given to where the electricity comes from or what kind of nuclear waste was produced to generate it. how many of us even know where the power plant is that supplies our power. Few people ever wonder which water table is depleted to bring them water and what chemicals have been added to it. Where does the sewage go after it is flushed and which rivers and lakes are polluted by it?
Humans need comfortable temperatures, light, electricity, hot water, food, sewage treatment, etc. These necessities are all available within the framework of a certain "rhythm" in the Earthship. The more we are able to align our priorities and needs with the prevailing rhythms of the planet, the easier and less expensive (both in terms of economics and ecology) they will be to obtain.
If our lifestyles can conform more to the patterns of the planet than to our socioeconomic system, we can reduce the stress on both ourselves and the planet. This is easier said than done due to the "reality" and the "gravity" of mortgage payments, utility bills and the generally high cost of eating and living. Most of us have no choice. We have to be places at certain times looking certain ways in order to make the money needed to make those payments. However, many people have built Earthships themselves and ended up with little to no mortgage payment. They also have little or no utility bills and their ability to grow food year-round inside the Earthship has greatly affected what they have to spend on packaged, processed foods.
The condition of our planet tells us we must now begin to take responsibility for what happens beyond the reach of our fingertips. We must begin to reconsider the source of these utilities, our access to them, and how we dispose of the waste produced. The mechanical systems of the Earthship confront these issues directly. We call this direct living. Source, access and destination are all contained within the Earthship, within the reach of our fingertips. There is no mystery involved in Earthship electricity. There is no unknown source of water. There is no magical black hole that sucks up all our sewage. Instead, we work in harmony with the earth to deal with these issues - taking what it has to give us directly and giving back what it wants to receive. With this harmony ringing in our minds we evolve the Earthship Systems.