Fiendish rain thieves

June 27, 2008

What’s next, the air we breathe?

As a gardener, I’m interested in controlling water usage so that I get the most out of my usage. I live in one of those old pre-gutter houses with concrete skirting the house. Water pours off several corners of the house when it rains, and it all runs wherever it wants to, rather than where I would like it to go. A rain barrel would be a great way to capture, and redirect, the water that the rains send along. I could also save on my water bill.

But I can’t use a rain barrel in Colorado because it’s against the law to capture rain water that falls on your house. Every drop of water that falls in Colorado already belongs to the state. Capturing rain is considered theft. Theft from agriculture, theft from water utilities and theft from municipalities. If you catch rain in a glass and drink it, you’re committing a crime.

Apropos of nothing (except that this article reminded me of it), several of my relatives in Kentucky had wells intead of running water. I’ve never tasted anything sweeter.

Advertisements

9 Responses to “Fiendish rain thieves”

  1. Bob G. Says:

    Then there are those cold mountain streams and brooks…and even fissures in rocks where the greatest water I’ve tasted in the world (imho) come from…and not ONE instance of amoebic dysentery!

    Leave it to Colorado to louse something as “back to earth” as that up, eh?

    😉

    B.G.

  2. Sue Says:

    My grandmother used to catch rain water in a bucket from the downspout and use it to wash her hair; she said it really made hair soft. But she was reared in the early 1900’s before we relied on all the chemical compounds we use now. Ever notice how good your hair feels after swimming in the lake?

  3. Larry Morris Says:

    Remind me not to move to Colorado – we routinely live on rain water here in the Central Texas area – catching on more and more. And, Leo, the well water in KY when we were growing up tasted so good because it was ground water that had not yet been polluted – not sure that would be the same today, …

  4. Nance Says:

    Glad to see you coming out against resource-management laws based on 19th-century conditions, Lenny. Next: Stopping timber companies from scalping public lands for a few dollars an acre, stopping the exercise of dubious mineral rights that threaten environmental disaster, and so on.

  5. Harl Delos Says:

    There’s a difference between drinking water from a well and drinking water from rain barrel. Rain barrels quickly develop scum and algae growth. Even when air was clean, there was a lot of yeast in it, and runoff from the roof includes bird manure. Stagnant water, such as in a rain barrel, quickly becomes a breeding place for mosquitos.

    What this fellow needs to do is to capture the graywater from the house.

    I know a fellow in Cincinnati area who has done this. Water from the washing machine and from the showers goes by gravity into a cistern. That water is used for slushing his toilets. (It involves a filter and a pressure tank, just as rural folk use for their water systems.) Water from the toilets goes, as you might expect, into the city sewer system for treatment. He also has spigots from his pressure system to use for watering the lawn and garden. In the winter, he’s not using water outdoors, so an overflow sends surplus graywater to the city sewer system.

    He’s very happy with the setup. The detergent and shampoo reduces the amount of toilet cleaner he needs, and his water bill is half what his neighbors pay. He says that it you’re handy, and can do the plumbing yourself, it takes about a year to break even.

  6. Larry Morris Says:

    Harl – “Rain barrels quickly develop scum and algae growth. Even when air was clean, there was a lot of yeast in it, and runoff from the roof includes bird manure. Stagnant water, such as in a rain barrel, quickly becomes a breeding place for mosquitos.” Yes, using rainwater from a rain barrel is stupid, I’m surprised you neglected your usual 12 paragraph, well-researched rant – do the research, well filtered and maintained rainwater systems provide the best water you’ll ever taste, as long as it’s collected in the country, far from any city pollution. And, Nance, who the heck is Lenny

  7. tim zank Says:

    Larry, Do I detect a note of frustration? Or is that exasperation?

    And Harls 12 paragraphs begin in 5,4,3,2,1……..

  8. Harl Delos Says:

    do the research, well filtered and maintained rainwater systems provide the best water you’ll ever taste, as long as it’s collected in the country, far from any city pollution

    Taste is a matter of, uh, taste, but most people think rain water tastes flat because it has no minerals in it; it’s essentially distilled water.

    Most people prefer the taste of well water. Pepsi and Coke add minerals to purified tap water (in most places, tap water comes from rivers, which means it’s basically rain water) to make Aquafina and Dasani taste decent. Unfortunately, they goof once in a while; Coke has done a couple of recalls of Dasani because the added minerals made it unsafe to drink.

    A decade ago, Arps Dairy of Defiance was marketing water from an artesian well near Bryan; I assume it still does. The only processing they did was ozonation. It tasted better than any of the big name brands.

  9. gadfly Says:

    I agree with Harl. Water tastes good because of mineral content. I owned a “country estate” in Central Wisconsin with a well drilled into a granite formation under my house. The water was so “hard” that producing detergent soap sud was a virtual impossibility …but boy did it taste great. We fixed the problem by putting a water softener only on the hot water line.

    Gramma used to catch rain water in a wash tub for washing hair. Aunt Virginia had a cistern at her farm house which was used to catch run-off water for baths and for the only flush toilet on the ridge.

    Don’t be too critical of those Colorado kooks. After California benefited from diverting half of all the water from the Colorado River, they changed their laws.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: