Friday, October 22, 2010

About Water


We made it home.

Actually, we made it home with no trouble, and a pleasant few flights (minus just a bit of turbulence over the Andes.)

Thank you so much for meeting us, Amy and I both had a fantastic time, and learned quite a bit.

I forgot to ask you something. On the highway out to Ezeiza, many of the homes and apartment buildings seem to have tanks or cisterns on the roofs. Can you explain what these are, how they work, and what they are used for? Here in the US, storing rainwater is becoming much more popular both from an environmentally friendly standpoint, as well as money savings as resources become more expensive. Many folks are purchasing "rain barrels" (approx. 50-70 USD for a standard 55 gallon/210 liter drum) examples at but here we allow gravity to take the rain down the roof through the gutters and then into the barrel on the ground - as such, no pumps or power necessary. I understand in BA, the barrel would be stolen - so do folks use a pump of some sort? Does the water get used for the garden as it is here? Or, do you filter and drink/bathe in the water? Do you pay for water from the city and is it expensive? I know  you told me you dont trust the water, but I don't recall if you said you just buy bottles or do you have a filter of some sort (I purchased one from Jeff the Berkey Guy - he is AWESOME!) Just wondering about these (and feel free to use this on the blog if you like, but please don't use my name - if you think other readers would be interested in something that jumped out at us when we visited.)



Hi A! Any time man, it was a pleasure meeting you both. Those tanks you saw are mandatory 1000 liter tanks, our building code requires that you have at least one of those per house. Apartment buildings have bigger ones of course but a 1000 liter tank is minimum for most houses. Usually houses have two of these, so as to use one when the other one gets cleaned. The tap water level sometimes goes down, specially in summer, and you are left without water, at night when people use less water the level goes up a bit and these tanks get filled. Other folks have wells too. The basic idea is having water stored already, so if the water network goes down for a day or two you can get by if you are careful about not wasting it. This is pretty common here during summer. 

I’ve said it many times, water is one of the priorities along with food and means of self defense. I have both bottled water and a water filter to filter the tap water. As I told you when we met, even the water company admits there’s harmful chemicals in it and not recommended for pregnant women and children under the age of three.
 Take care and hope to see you again soon!

Also in regard to this same topic, Jeff from Directive 21, better known as the Berkey Guy, sent me this link. It’s good to see more people realizing how important it is to be able to have potable water.

Big Berkey gravity-fed water filters are a top pick for clean water and long-term preparedness
(NaturalNews) The water filtration market is saturated with products that claim to provide clean drinking water. While all of them work to one degree or another, some can be complicated to install and maintain. And some are downright expensive on a per-gallon basis, too. The more popular faucet filters, for example, only filter a hundred gallons of water (or so) before requiring replacement. Personally, I like to have water filters that can handle several thousand gallons of water at a very low effective cost per gallon.

I also like gravity-fed
water filters for several important reasons: They require no electricity to use -- meaning they'll work even when the lights go out -- and there are no complicated motors or pumps to wear out or replace. They're also light and fairly portable, making them a natural choice for anyone interested in short-term storm preparedness or even long-term "end of the world" preparedness scenarios.

I've used several gravity-fed
water filters, and I've come to really like the Big Berkey system the best. As far as simple, reliable water purification on your countertop, it doesn't get any better than Berkey water systems.

How the Big Berkey works
With a Berkey water filter, you simply put the water into the top chamber and gravity pulls it through the media filters that capture bacteria, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, solvents, nitrates, nitrites, lead, mercury, chlorine, VOCs, and even fluoride. You can run practically any type of water through the unit and get fresh, pure drinking water as a result. (Of course, really dirty water will clog the filters more quickly, requiring more frequent cleaning of the filters, but that's true with any filtration system.)

I personally use the "Big Berkey System" which is made out of stainless steel, and I love it! I used it for many months in Ecuador without a single problem, and it is still a personal favorite that I highly recommend. The water always comes out clean, no matter how dirty it is when you initially pour it into the holding container at the top.

My favorite feature on the Big Berkey System is the stainless steel water container. Many other brands of water filters are made out of polycarbonate and plastic components that may leach harmful chemicals into the water (Berkey does sell a co-polyester variety, but guarantees that it's BPA free). Another cool feature of the system is that it requires no pumps or effort to function. Gravity literally does all the work for you. Yes, it takes some time for the gravity filter to produce water, but by filling the top container, the effective water pressure provided by gravity is more than enough to produce sufficient drinking water each day for a typical

The stainless steel aspect of the Berkey water filters is also a huge plus. I've used other hand-held filters that ran the water through a hose, and it seems like the water always comes out tasting a bit like the hose. But with the Big Berkey, there's no "hose"
taste because there's no hose! The water tastes clean and clear, with no "surgical" aftertaste.

If you don't already have a gravity-powered water filter, I recommend one for every household that's interested in preparedness. As long as you have access to some source of water, this water filter can get you through a storm, a blackout or even a period of social unrest. When the municipal plumbing fails, Big Berkey keeps you hydrated with clean, bacteria-free water.

That's worth its weight in gold, in my opinion.
Where to get Big Berkey water filters
Here's the source for Big Berkey water filters that I'm familiar with and recommend. You'll get excellent customer service with these folks along with very competitive pricing, too:

(They also carry some other large-scale water storage devices such as the Aquatank.)

Got a family member who doesn't believe in preparedness? Give them a Big Berkey and call it a Christmas present. One day when they need it, they'll realize you actually gave them the gift of clean water during an emergency, and that's perhaps one of the best gifts you can ever give anyone.

1 comment:

Bill in NC said...

In Mexico houses have two water tanks.

A cistern for storage below ground - the water from the cistern is pumped to the tank on the roof to provide adequate water pressure.

If you want to do this in the U.S. makes sure the tank on the roof won't freeze in winter! (not a concern in most of Mexico)

And locals down there don't use filters - they buy 20 liter bottles from the guy coming down the street yelling 'agua' for drinking/cooking

U.S. expats I saw usually install whole-house ultraviolet-based water treatment systems instead, but those require electricity and are expensive to maintain.