Wednesday, November 07, 2007


That rain must be good for something

by Larry Geller

It's too bad that the University of Hawaii didn't fix their roof (see previous post) and library books were damaged. Changing the subject...

Everyone knows that Manoa gets a lot of rain.

Why is it that the rain is not used, but is allowed to cascade off roofs and onto the ground? Why don't we see little tanks under the eaves to hold rain water for flushing toilets, washing dishes, and doing the laundry?

Windterra The back of the valley (actually, it's a canyon) gets a lot of wind. How come it's not used for power? Click on the picture to learn more about the cute little home-sized wind turbine that could be yours.

I'm amazed that we continue to pay the highest rates for energy and use drinking water to flush toilets without planning alternatives. Think of the money that could be saved and put away for other purposes. Think of how much you'll be paying for water and energy in the future. Think of how you can get out from under those expenses and save the environment too.

This has been a public service message from Disappeared News. You're welcome.

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Excellent ideas. That mini windmill looks interesting. I remember Hawaii County Council woman, Virginia Isbell talking about catching rain water when the question was posed to her about how to deal with Kona's water shortage and guess what? She was blown off as being some kind of kook. Yet Virginia lived in both Puna and Kona from decades ago when water for drinking and otherwise was obtained via catchment. She knew what she was talking about. Its been raining alot this year here in Kailua-Kona. I'd sure love to know how to retrofit my plumbing pipes to make better use of this valuable resource.

I have heard that the issue is zoning. In other words, getting a permit to put in a catchment tank.

The tank I visualized would be long and maybe oval in crossection so as not to look ugly. It would fit under a roof. With a pump, an ordinary catchment tank could be used, on ground level.

Next is a sedimentation filter. Actually, I don't know the technical details, but people use catchment here on Tantalus, in Volcano Village and elsewhere on the Big Island, and other places, so the expertise is available.

I'm not even suggesting a level of filtration necessary for drinking water, just to offset all the other uses.

If the tank goes empty then it's back to city water.

If water charges go up or if shortages occur as unrestrained development takes its toll, we'd be stupid not to look at alternatives.

When I was involved in the flood control working group for the Kona Community Development Plan, there was discussion at that time with the water conservation expert about installing a small tank on each property in order to catch runoff from the roof so that the runoff would not cause flooding problems for the lot or lots below it. Small to me would be a few hundred gallons and not the 10000 gallon size for catchment systems. Why would we need a permit for something so small?

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