Thursday, October 26, 2006

Butt out...

The enormous green bucket had been sitting in the yard for a month. The problem was it didn't have a hole in it and I didn't have the right drill bit to make one. And without a hole there was no way to connect it up.

"Why is the water butt empty?" asked one of the Carboncopies nearly filling it himself as he clambered up to inspect it. "Is it because we haven’t had any rain?"
"No, it's because your Dad is full of big ideas and no follow-through," quipped the Washingqueen, dutifully hanging Carbonbaby's eco nappies out to dry.
I let it go, not wanting to risk a retreat to disposables or the tumble dryer. Truth is it has taken four months to get the butt installed, but three of those were waiting for it to arrive due to a surge in demand as a result of drought in the South East. However, I am responsible for the fourth month; two weeks to negotiate over placement and agree how to prevent toddlers drowning in it, a week to buy a drill bit and a further week to get the pipes and joints needed to plumb it into the guttering. Well the details do take time.

But now it's done. And just in time for the rain. And now it's overflowing and the Carbonbaby is soggy as a soggy thing crawling happily around in the puddle between the water butt and the compost bin.
"Why is the water butt overflowing?" asked the Washingqueen, interrupting Carbonbaby's wet play.
"Because the installation is just so efficient," I replied.
And it really has astounded me. OK so I didn't get the details quite right and the overflow doesn't flow back into the gutter but we did gather over 200 litres of rainwater in a couple of hours and that's just the run off from our back roof. It's one thing to read about rainwater harvesting but when you see how much you can collect and watch your kids splashing and crawling around in it, it really makes you wonder why systems like this aren't designed into houses.

So now we have to figure out what to do with it. With just a small yard there's not much garden to water, so I figure there must be ways to use it for flushing toilets, baths, washing clothes or something useful around the house. But I'll have to resolve the overflow issue before I discuss further developments with the Washingqueen. I don't think she'll mind waiting.

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