The July issue of Texas Monthly was devoted to a series of articles discussing the recent record-breaking drought we experienced in Texas and the ever present water problems we face. Reportedly, the population of Texas is expected to double by the year 2060. That’s a lot of people who will need water to drink, bathe, launder their clothes and feed their front yards. Having enough water to go around is only one side of the coin. Having enough good quality water is the other.
Now if you aren’t familiar with the smell of well water in central Texas coming straight out of the ground, think of a stink bomb thrown into a high school bathroom. A fellow landowner shared at the annual HOA meeting that the quality of the water coming out of his well “sucks”, a not entirely surprising revelation.
Most people would agree that rainwater, essentially a distillate, has little to no smell and is superior to well water in terms of quality. Rainwater is naturally soft water. For many rural land-owners in Texas, collecting rainwater as a primary source of water is becoming a no-brainer. The 10,000 gallon tank pictured below will store rainwater. The well already drilled on the property will serve as a back-up if the tank goes dry during periods of drought.
The smaller 3,000 gallon tank will store the well water. Storing well-water improves its quality by allowing sediment to settle. Increasing the life of the well pump and providing water for fire control are other useful side effects.
The tanks were put in the least conspicuous place possible, so they wouldn’t be a large visual element in the landscape. Hidden by the hill on their west side, you can see the top of the 10K gallon tank just peeking up behind the house in the picture below. A stand of trees provides at least a partial visual break from the east.
Now, we will be able to shower or bathe with clean-smelling rainwater when it is plentiful, yet never be forced to take an Aggie bath should we ever have another drought of epic proportions. The grey water recycling system will send most of the water we use back out to the trees, a win-win situation.
We have bath tubs now.
And a utility shower base.
The wall behind the shower pan will be tiled, and a U-shaped rod and shower curtain will serve as an enclosure. With the electric, low voltage, and HVAC rough-in complete, next up is installation of the foam insulation.