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Old 07-03-2015, 04:12 PM   #15
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To Thalwag

Some municipalities in more populated, and or wetland areas are requiring that new homes have cisterns to capture gutter water. They want to slow the flow of water that has been unnaturally sped up by roads, roofs, and driveways.

I was thinking that mountain regions would be concerned with the " feast or famine " flow of water, after it rains. Down stream people would still get water, just not all at once. I guess snow melt automatically works like that.

At my place in hills of Pennsylvania, they made diversion plateaus to slow the flow, because of erosion, and the rivers were getting muddy.

The Outback Pennsylvanians, scoff the rainwater collection laws. " What's next, pay the power company for sunlight, Tax oxygen ?"

But comparing the East Coast to Colorado is like the old apples and oranges thing.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:27 PM   #16
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Sorry for the hijack Ray…Another great read

I made a very crude dishwasher supplied by awning water, Two 5 gallon buckets, and biodegradable soap. Canine prewash feature is key. I got funny looks until I explained. Then I got the " You're not as dumb as you look " ( I think that I look kind of smart )

Disclaimer: This was not anywhere near houses, wells, natural water, or tributaries.
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Old 07-03-2015, 04:34 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Some municipalities in more populated, and or wetland areas are requiring that new homes have cisterns to capture gutter water. They want to slow the flow of water that has been unnaturally sped up by roads, roofs, and driveways.

I was thinking that mountain regions would be concerned with the " feast or famine " flow of water, after it rains. Down stream people would still get water, just not all at once. I guess snow melt automatically works like that.

At my place in hills of Pennsylvania, they made diversion plateaus to slow the flow, because of erosion, and the rivers were getting muddy.

The Outback Pennsylvanians, scoff the rainwater collection laws. " What's next, pay the power company for sunlight, Tax oxygen ?"

But comparing the easy coast to Colorado is like the old apples and oranges thing.
This is pretty much a separate issue related to EPA regulations. The EPA, in it's infinite wisdom, has set turbidity standards for surface water runoff. Turbidity is the result of sediment being suspended in moving water. The States, and ultimately municipalities, must devise ways meet the turbidity standards, which oftentimes is pretty much unattainable. The best way to do this is to keep the sediment from moving in the first place, which usually means slowing the flow and protecting exposed soil surfaces. Next, is the use of detention basins where runoff is held so that suspended sediment can fall out of suspension. I have no experience with eastern water law, but I suspect that taxes are meant to be an incentive to people to prevent runoff from their property, which would contribute to turbidity issues. Kind of like cigarette taxes were supposedly intended to stop people from smoking.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:12 PM   #18
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This is pretty much a separate issue related to EPA regulations. The EPA, in it's infinite wisdom, has set turbidity standards for surface water runoff. Turbidity is the result of sediment being suspended in moving water. The States, and ultimately municipalities, must devise ways meet the turbidity standards, which oftentimes is pretty much unattainable. The best way to do this is to keep the sediment from moving in the first place, which usually means slowing the flow and protecting exposed soil surfaces. Next, is the use of detention basins where runoff is held so that suspended sediment can fall out of suspension. I have no experience with eastern water law, but I suspect that taxes are meant to be an incentive to people to prevent runoff from their property, which would contribute to turbidity issues. Kind of like cigarette taxes were supposedly intended to stop people from smoking.
******
I see many "retention ponds" here in the Castle Rock, CO area already. Our neighborhood had to put one into the drainage in case of a Noah's Flood were to drop and this was to slow the water down going down the valley. So far it serves as rabbit habitat.

Colorado was a rural state when southern California was gathering water rights. Colorado had way too much water for the small population flowing through the headwaters of the Colorado River... today, that is no longer true. Hmmm, timing counts.

There have been some discussions of running a pipe system to the Great Lakes and draw water probably to southern California. How about a pipe line to the Pacific Ocean, desalinate and raise water prices to cover the infrastructure and processing. Eventually the "waste treatment plant" will recycle it back into the system and bottle it for sale. Imagine the label: "Treated Los Angeles Waste Treatment Water", 0 calories. Made in the USA.

Just kidding... sort of, since it will not happen until the Colorado River dries out as it is leaving Utah. If you have rafted the Colorado River, it is already getting to that point south of Moab. Lake Meade is not any better. Lake Powell is restraining to release more water than necessary.

In my case I own my water rights in two water reservoirs. The current water supply is crystal clear, no unusual dissolved solids, cold and filtered through the eroded debris of the early Rocky Mountains and the receding of the Cretaceous Oceans. Probably sourced from the Pleistocene melting glaciers to the west of the mountain parks and fracture system to the west of us. (Nobody seems to know where it is from when you ask. Maybe a big piece of ice in a plastic bag.)

Be a rebel. Do not declare the runoff from your awning. It did not hit the ground and should be yours to keep. Much like the three second rule if you drop your cheeseburger in the yard and recover it quickly.
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Old 07-04-2015, 09:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
I made a very crude dishwasher supplied by awning water, Two 5 gallon buckets, and biodegradable soap. Canine prewash feature is key. I got funny looks until I explained. Then I got the " You're not as dumb as you look " ( I think that I look kind of smart )

Disclaimer: This was not anywhere near houses, wells, natural water, or tributaries.
Hey, MandolinDave - more info on the dishwasher, please. Sounds interesting. :-)
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:38 AM   #20
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:01 PM   #21
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Just been in a very long extended drought here in central Texas. With all the local growth the aquifers were dropping fast and wells were running dry. We built our own rain water harvesting system and got off the well. Twenty thousand gallons of storage and filtration system for a complete potable water system. Our county even encourages collection with tax breaks on the improvements. Been on it for four years now and have never been below half full. Only regret is not doing it sooner. I always feel good when I'm filling my airstream tank with cloud juice before heading out on a trip.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:27 AM   #22
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Ray - Carla reads this thread occasionally so I can't comment on your avoidance techniques ... Are you sure Nancy never checks to see what you're up to here???

Safe travels!
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:44 AM   #23
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Rainwater rights for us Coloradoan's are making advancements and rainwater collection barrels have started popping up in garden centers and home-improvement stores in the past few years.

For boondocking, we're putting in a very high-quality water filter/purifier with an external pump and a 100-200ft hose for reaching nearby water sources. Additionally, we'll be hauling along a ~300 gallon fresh water bladder, which can compress very small while traveling. We can also put it in the back of the truck, drive into to town to fill it up, and haul it back to camp.

We'll be diverting awning water to a separate tank and/or bladder for showering/dishes, etc., but would also be able run it through our filter for drinking/cooking.

We're requiring to have a high-quality water filter as my wife is extremely sensitive to fluoride, chlorine and a few other chemicals (not to mention we don't want to be drinking those anyway).
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Old 11-23-2015, 01:25 PM   #24
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Our favorite when camping Off the Grid water sources are the Forest Service offices that have a water pump for travelers, or hook up to the side of the building at the tap. The more remote the complex, they are more likely using ground water, filtered and potable.

I have found that our well water, which is from 484 feet into a 1000 feet thick Tertiary rock, grit and sand natural filter from the last Ice Age and being replenished from the snows west of the Front Range is excellent. It is slightly acidic at 6.5pH (7.0 is neutral and anything higher is alkaline), cold and seem to resist becoming "mildewy" over time in our trailer's water tank. It has no taste, although mineralized... not affecting the interior plumbing. There can be calcite crystals when draining the hot water tank after a one to two week trip.

HOW can you test for Acidic Water? Take a cup of the water and add a pinch of baking soda. If it fizzes... Acidic. If it really fizzes... slightly more. Can affect your cooking if adding baking soda, so be aware.

Many Forest Service well water is just as good if not better than our well water, which is excellent. Glenwood, New Mexico Forest Service water... worth filling your tanks. Same with Reserve, New Mexico Forest Service water! Knowing the geology is more important than what minerals are in the water, if potable to the standards today.

Cretaceous formations are full of sulfates and other foul tasting minerals. Ancient ocean deposits as clay or silty sandstones. Areas where petroleum or coal is being mined from formations near the surface... you will taste the difference.

Later Tertiary deposits in the Rocky Mountains are ground up igneous rocks and sands, with silty clay minerals. (Thalweg might want to get into this.) Some of the finest water sources from wells.

The older limestone formations of the Permian and Pennsylvanian Periods produce some excellent well water. North of Lusk, Wyoming from deep wells in the Pennsylvanian is good enough to bottle as Spring Water, at the Boner Ranch.

Know your geology and you can have a good idea of the water quality beneath the surface. If we were to drill our well to 1,000 feet+... we would be in the Denver Formation which is at the end of the Cretaceous when the inner ocean of North America was receding and the beginning of the Tertiary where the Rocky Mountains were being elevated. (Thus the retreat of the oceans...) So in Denver it can be the best soft water from a producing well... or within a coal bog that would digest your iron and copper over time...
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:06 PM   #25
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Know your geology and you can have a good idea of the water quality beneath the surface. If we were to drill our well to 1,000 feet+... we would be in the Denver Formation which is at the end of the Cretaceous when the inner ocean of North America was receding and the beginning of the Tertiary where the Rocky Mountains were being elevated. (Thus the retreat of the oceans...) So in Denver it can be the best soft water from a producing well... or within a coal bog that would digest your iron and copper over time...
Much of the oil produced in eastern Colorado is from the DJ (Denver-Julesberg). Water produced from oil wells is usually pretty briny and maybe sulpherous. This has to be reinjected back into the formation with the briny water to protect the potable water formations. Very tough regulations for that. Interesting, in Nevada the produced water with oil is better than surface water, but still has to be reinjected into the formation instead of letting anyone use it. Mine water originally can be quite good, the issue is when air and oxygen gets to the original unoxidized rock, the sulfides in the rock and oxygen and water turn into sulfuric acid and then you get the rusty water. Or sorta like that. Arsenic is natural in a lot of rocks that are interesting to be mined. If you can keep air from getting to the rock, there wouldn't be the mine water problem.
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Old 11-23-2015, 02:21 PM   #26
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Thanks NevadaGeo!

The absolutely worst water in Wyoming from the early 1970's was that of Gillette, Wyoming. You felt fresher BEFORE taking a shower.

The oil patch had paraffin wax globs that were difficult to remove from your shoes or clothing and from the salty brine and signs posting for possible Sulfuric Acid gas (cannot recall the signs, maybe SO4). Nobody wanted to work this area, so the young employees were chosen among the victims.

"H2S"... were the warning sides. Do not inhale...
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:45 PM   #27
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My Pennsylvania farmhouse has a 70 foot deep well

The water tastes great. but I should have it checked. The house used to use one of the hillside springs on the property. I've seen a few VERY OLD houses that were built right next to a spring just coming out of the ground.

Anyway, the neighbors up the hill with a few hundred feet higher elevation, had to dig way deep for water for their new house. The sulfur smell is so bad, you can smell it when you walk in the house. I worry about it somehow happening to my house.

I don't know what to believe about fracking, but It could really only make matters bad for me, because I am good now. Although gas royalties would pay for the whole estate in 4 years.

So I'm try to wrap my head around all of this geological info on the thread
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:44 PM   #28
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In my neighborhood well depths also vary. Ours is about with the majority. Some wells are much deeper and the "recharge", the rate that you can pump water out is so low, that they have a cistern to fill. That gives them storage of water available to use when needed. Filling like your toilet bowl would after a flush, to make it simple.

If you look out your window today, most places the surface is not flat like an ocean bottom. There are groves of trees, open ground, marshes, rocky spots, rivers, creeks, etc.. You add a thousand or five thousand feet of sediments, the surface sags from the weight and some spots hold more water underground and others less. You can have a dry well with no water and go 100 feet and have a flowing well... This happened in Littleton, Colorado in the early 1900's. The water was under pressure (head pressure) and when drilled it flowed up to the surface and served the city well. When more people moved into the town and it needed more water, the city drilled more wells to discover... the water pressure dropped and it needed to be pumped out of the ground. Now there are experts like Thalweg (Brent) who figure these things out.

Some in my neighborhood have blue grass and water every day. They think this ground water will last forever... and have legal rights to one acre foot of water. A lot of water. They are fools... but lets not go into that.

For mandolindave... Pennsylvania is COAL country. S04 is associated with organic matter. It stinks. It is probably not unsafe to drink, but gives you... gas as well. Because of the extensive research done in Pennsylvania with Coal Mining... there are reports for most parts of the State into the 1870's. They include maps, mine reports, coal quality and probably water reports.

The USGS has been publishing Water Supply Reports since the early 1900's. Probably all are now on the internet for FREE in digital form. The maps, maybe not...

YOU can research your area most likely right now. It is there for no charge if by the State or US Geological Surveys. Any major Coal State will have extensive reports available. West Virginia has nearly every County since around 1915.

Indians never camped ABOVE a spring. Human waste was a big contaminator for them, too.

My wife's brother turned down an Oil Shale company's offer to drill on his property in New York. He thought it would contaminate his well. Well... they could drill right across the street and he would get nothing.

Fracking is as safe as the company doing the work. The larger the company, the more they would have to lose. If they are at 10,000 feet to frack and you are at 70 feet... you have little chance of a problem. Most is imaginary or made up... Wells are not just holes in the ground, but have sleeves inserted to protect contamination of water resources.

Fossil fish of western Wyoming are in a 40,000,000 year old shaley limestone. If you take a scrape off the rock, you call actually smell natural gas from within the stone.

Geologists do not get too alarmed about some of the misleading environmental news. But people will believe what they want to. The days of having Pennsylvania oil wells gushing thousands of gallons onto the ground at Titusville, Pennsylvania of the 1859 is long gone. When oil was $1 a barrel... even around Los Angeles it was a stinking mess.

If it were simple... we all would understand. Some people spend their entire lives studying one county's water supply. It does make good conversation. Sorry, mine was long as usual.
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