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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grey Water & Rainwater Recycling System for Survival






Poor Man Survival

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ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources



Grey Water and Rainwater Recycling Systems For Survival


Many people say there will come a time when water will become “the new oil.” It means that one day, within the next twenty years, water will become so scarce that only a few places on earth will have clean water for drinking, bathing, and other things. The implications of this warning, like the loss of lives due to thirst and microbial infections, as well as the fact that over a billion people in the world do not have access to clean water even if it is a basic right, led many to find alternate ways of obtaining water they can use each day. Two well-known and highly-effective alternate ways of obtaining this liquid resource are grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting and recycling, and here are the definitions, benefits, and methods of implementation of both methods.


Grey Water Recycling

Grey water recycling, a method that is not exactly a way of getting fresh water, is defined as the reuse of domestic waste water, water that comes from the kitchen sink and bathtub. Sewage is not categorised as grey water, as it has a higher organic load and microbial content. Properly recycled grey water is often used to flush toilets or water plants, making them useful for everyday survival and living.


If you are interested in recycling domestic waste water or grey water, you can have a system built for your home. All you need are some pails and materials for making an improvised filter. You may already have the things you need in your garage, but if not, then you can buy these items for cheaper prices at yard sales or flea markets across your neighbourhood.


The first thing you need to do is to put buckets or basins under the sinks and showers to collect water used for washing hands and showering, respectively. When these need to be used, remove them from the showers and sinks and let them pass through a filter and into another bucket or basin. This allows for the removal of impurities.


In building your own filter, the things you need include a barrel, sand, stone, and a hose. The other materials you need are stated in the steps below.


  • Pour six inches of crushed stone into a drum that can accommodate 55 gallons of content. The drum you need should be one that has a spigot at the bottom.
  • On top of the stone layer, a sheet of weed mat should be placed.
  • On top of the weed mat should be placed ten inches of sand.
  • Lastly, a layer of gravel measuring one inch should be placed so the sand stays in place.


Once the water has passed through the filter, make sure to use it within the day. This way, bacteria and other micro-organisms do not have a chance of multiplying. It also prevents mosquitoes from using it as a breeding ground.


Rainwater Harvesting and Recycling

Rainwater harvesting is, of course, a collective term that refers to recycling water that falls directly from the sky when it rains. It is slightly acidic compared to lake and river water and for this reason, rainwater has to be filtered first before use. Unlike grey water, however, filtered and properly stored rainwater can be consumed and used for a wide range of purposes: laundry, vegetable gardening, drinking, and dish washing. People living and thriving on rainwater is not unheard of, hence making this a great water resource for anyone who is having difficulties paying water bills.


If you want to start your own rainwater collection and recycling system, then you can follow the steps stated below.


  • Compute the amount of water needed in your household monthly and yearly by reviewing previous water utility bills. This allows you to assess the amount of water that can be offset using this system.
  • Get a clean barrel. Remove its lid and drill twenty holes on it. These allow rainwater to get inside the barrel while keeping out wildlife.
  • Create a hole at the base of the barrel. This is where the tap will be placed. Use a sealant to secure the tap.
  • Using a permanent marker, trace the lid outline onto a wire mesh of considerable size.
  • Obtain a knife and cut along the drawn circle. Once you have done this, push the wire mesh an inch down the barrel. This filters large bits of debris to make water more usable.
  • Refit the lid on the barrel.
  • On your home, find a downspout. The ideal downspout should be one that originates from the roof and leads to the drainage on the ground.
  • Cut away a part of the downspout until it is at the estimated height of the barrel after the placement of cinder blocks under it.
  • Lay cinder blocks under the downspout and place the barrel on top of them. The cinder blocks will serve as a platform to support the barrel.


You can also use rainwater storage tanks and pumps for your rainwater harvesting system. For more information check out


Both rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling, alternative ways of acquiring this precious liquid resource, help in daily survival and living. Be sure to have these systems set up at home so you can save money and survive in the years to come.


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Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


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