Project/Water management

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Project ID: 110

Project steward

Jan Steinman


Water is expensive. We need to be able to irrigate without undue concern over cost. The peace of mind of using clean, fresh well water only for human and animal drinking and cooking needs is aligned with the permaculture design we are in process of creating. This project outlines needs for testing drinking water, designing and constructing greywater systems throughout existing home and garden sites, and for collecting and storing rainwater for crop use.


This project can be broken down into phases:

  1. Collection
    • rooftop
    • gray water
    • ground water
  2. Storage
    • pond
    • tanks
    • swales
    • solar pump
  3. Treatment & Grading
    • separate potable from irrigation from flushing
    • sand filters
    • constructed wetland
  4. Distribution
    • tap into existing irrigation system
    • design and implement extensions
    • re-integrate into household system

Goal or deliverable

A graded water system that includes:

  • Seasonal storage for all our summer water needs.
  • Rooftop water collection.
  • Gray water segregation and collection.

Timeline, schedule, or end date

  • At EcoReality Lite, Start fall 2007, ready to collect at least some water in winter 2007/8.
  • Installed gutters on shop, but aborted due to sale of property.

  • At EcoReality Huge, swale running N-S near pumphouse - currently containing spaceship (dubbed the "Spaceship Leachbed") and swale from White House (laundry,bathroom sink/tub, kitchen sink) collection and filtration system to be dubbed the "White House Leachbed" in garden area adjacent to W side of house. Will directly serve to irrigate berries and apple tree (NE) in main garden, and potentially other plantings once installed.
  • Design phase May-June 2009: includes assessing under crawl space for sink/tub piping.
  • Approval by Co-Op of design by June Members Meeting.
  • Installation complete by August 1, 2009.
    • scavenge salvagable materials from dump, onsite
      • gravel - have done research on EcoReality and Night Owl farms - no gravel or enough shale. Have put out some feelers for recycled gravel or free, may need to purchase so will budget for load of gravel/shale to line leachbed(s).
      • sand/fill from berm
      • bathtubs (4 - have 1) and/or pond liner material pvc (have some)
      • fine mesh screen material for particulate trap (need to purchase
    • Jan Steinman to steward doing a rough sketch design for White house greyleachbed, runoff to garden area planted in berry beds, downhill and to West of White House
    • Shannon Cowan in supporting role, researching role
    • Shannon Cowan experiment with lengthened hose joined to single hose in crawlspace under house
      • experiment with filter large particulate and hair at immediate exit from house, a trap container here should allow for regular cleaning and composting of large particulates
  • Workparty: to dig swale in periwinkle bed running down and to NWest. Also to transplant sedges, reedgrasses and irises from front roadside pond and both house gardens to this constructed area adjacent to White House.
    • design catchment area at base of tubs/containers to direct nutrients that may leach into berries and other plantings, to avoid soil erosion and runoff of surface waters, especially during rainy season.
  • By Sept 1, 2009
    • Kinks worked out, and ensure that frost will not be problem
    • More plants planted lower than leachbed, such as water-loving herbs, hops, mintfamily, etc.



Related/Prerequisite Projects

Financial budget

"White House Leachbed and Spaceship Leachbed": $70 in hosing and attachments for white house grey sewage $200 gravel and liners Labour: class B shares and workparties all plants, fill should be locally available

Labour needs (both beds): Shannon - 10 hours planning and supporting Jan and sourcing materials, 30 hours installation Jan - 10 hours design, 30 hours installation Susie Anne - 10 hours workparty prep and leadership Other labourers - collectively 20 person hours labour for installation

Labor budget

see above


Oasis Design 
parts, plans, books on gray water systems and water storage
GIS Sales 
local water tank vendor, 653-4013
Isles West 
local water tank vendor, 653-4513

Cash Outlay

1110002Buried Irrigation$643.002011-06-15 00:00:002011-07-29 00:00:00
6800000Business Licenses and Permits$316.942016-09-03 00:00:002018-02-09 00:00:00
6900000Miscellaneous$373.512006-08-08 00:00:012007-04-11 00:00:00
6850001Water System Maintenance$1,170.002011-05-15 00:00:002012-03-21 00:00:00
6850001TOTAL:$2,503.452006-08-08 00:00:012018-02-09 00:00:00

Labour, by person

2Jan Steinman25.0100.0%

Labour, by activity


Vehicle Use

"Vehicles" with no odometer, such as tractors or stationary equipment, are in tenths of an hour, rather than kilometres.




Final accounting

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