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Sep062015

Expert Interview with Heather Kinkade on Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting

For thousands of years, collecting rainwater for daily use was a common practice; but over the last century, wells and municipal water supplies have taken over as primary water sources.

Today, the diminishing supply of fresh water in wells and aquifers as well as concerns of quality and population growth have lead to a resurgence of rainwater catchment, according to the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA).

We recently caught up with Heather Kinkade, executive director for ARCSA and champion for rainwater harvesting, to learn more about the organization, how rainwater harvesting works and the benefits to homeowners. Heres what she had to say:

Tell us about the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. Who are you and what do you do?

In 1994, Dr. Hari J. Krishna of Austin, Texas founded the 501(c)(3) nonprofit American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) to bring renewed attention to the ancient practice of rainwater harvesting.

ARCSA was created to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices throughout the United States and the world. Our mission is to promote sustainable rainwater harvesting practices to help solve potable, non-potable, stormwater and energy challenges throughout the world.

Top promotional efforts include: creating a favorable regulatory atmosphere; creating a resource pool; and educating professionals and the general public regarding safe rainwater design, installation, and maintenance practices.

Being a worldwide organization, ARCSA funds a virtual hub at www.arcsa.org. This cyber home offers the public a vast array of information and resources including a project gallery, workshop calendar, course agendas, professional location directory and more.

ARCSA is a membership-based organization whose benefits include access to leading news about the technology and advancements in rainwater catchment. The site establishes a forum for members to share and gain knowledge about the growing industry. Members include professionals working in city, state and federal government; academics; manufacturers and suppliers of rainwater harvesting equipment; consultants; backyard amateurs; and other interested individuals.

Why are you so passionate about rainwater harvesting? What are the benefits?

I personally am passionate about rainwater harvesting because it is a practice that keeps rain where it falls and, if collected and treated correctly, can allow a source of higher quality water than what is provided by municipalities. It is a decentralized water source that can be maintained by an individual. I have written two books on the subject, one of which is now published in Chinese. Forgotten Rain was my first book, and the second was Design for Water.

Rainwater can be used for any water need that municipal water is used for, and it does not need to be treated for most non-potable uses. Rainwater is also a soft water, so it has an added benefit of not requiring as much soap for cleaning needs. Collecting and reusing rainwater can allow a landowner to reduce storm water retention needs in most areas.

Can you tell us about one of the most exciting or innovative residential rainwater harvesting systems youve come across?

There are too many these days.

We have numerous examples on our website in the project gallery or the 2014 conference virtual tour. There are potable and non-potable projects that range in size from single family to large commercial. There are even rainwater systems for wildlife catchment for all sizes of animals from hummingbirds and tortoises to bats and large game animals. We are even seeing swimming pools being turned into cisterns for rainwater catchment needs.

What can harvested rainwater be used for? Is there anything it shouldnt be used for?

Rain can be used for any water need, and its purification level needs to meet its ultimate intended use requirements. Therefore, if it is to be used to wash typical vehicles, no treatment may be needed; but if it is needed to wash fighter planes, it might need to be treated to ultrapure water levels.

What are some basic ways homeowners can start harvesting rainwater?

Rainwater can be used in both active and passive ways. A gravity system is probably the simplest. A homeowner can catch and reuse the rainwater for passive landscape irrigation at a later date when the soils are dry. Rain barrels are what some people start with, but they soon see how easy and how much they can capture and often end up moving up to a larger tank.

What are some examples of more advanced harvesting systems?

All systems include the same components; it is just the size of storage, level of pumping, and purification needs that may vary. Again, there are lots of systems on the website under project profiles and the 2014 conference virtual tours.

What are some best practices for making sure a harvesting system is clean and safe?

As the emphasis on rainwater harvesting continues to grow, it is important to understand that a healthy rainwater harvesting system requiring minimal maintenance is essential as our industry continues to make positive strides and the rainwater-harvesting phenomenon moves from simple rain barrels to commercial applications.

Storm water laws require most new commercial construction to detain their storm water on the property and release it over time. This has created an opportunity for properly-designed rainwater harvesting systems to become more prevalent and be used to supply water for non-potable uses.

No matter how big or small the system, using four simple design steps will ensure the system is healthy and requires little maintenance. First and most importantly, the rainwater from the roof must be filtered to some level to remove debris that collects on the roof from the water before it goes to the tank. The quality of filter used will determine the amount of maintenance the pre-filter will need to successfully accomplish this first step. It is recommend that the pre-filter be self-cleaning, which requires minimal maintenance and provides highly oxygenated water. The correct pre-filter eliminates the need to ever clean the storage tank.

The second step in this simple process is to reduce any turbulence and introduce the oxygenated water into the tank. Every rainwater storage tank will grow a bio-film that serves as an internal ecosystem. Disturbing this bio-film by simply dumping the water into the tank will not allow for this ecosystem to flourish. Using the proper components will allow the water to gently enter the tank from the bottom and replenish the oxygen throughout the tank.

Step three to a healthy rainwater harvesting system is simply to extract the water from just below the surface of the water. Since we all know this, it makes sense to supply the water source with the highest quality water possible.

The final step to a healthy rainwater harvesting system is to allow the tank to overflow. This can be accomplished simply by allowing the water to exit the tank once it becomes full; however, using an overflow device that uses a skimming effect removes floating matter such as pollen from the tank more effectively. It is also recommended that some type of device is used to keep small animals from entering the tank through the tank overflow.

Providing high-quality water to the pump and any additional purification or filtration devices required for specific applications is essential for any rainwater harvesting system. Using this simple four-step process will ensure your rainwater harvesting system is of the highest quality and will require minimal maintenance regardless of the size of the system.

Are there any common laws or regulations homeowners should be aware of before creating a harvesting system?

Every state is different. ARCSA ASPE ANSI Standard 63 is one we have helped write; it can be purchased on our website bookstore.

What are some of the most common mistakes or oversights you see homeowners making when it comes to managing rainwater?

Maybe not designing large enough storage. Maybe collecting off a surface that is not appropriate for the end use; such as asphalt shingles that have a petroleum base, which can be picked up and carried in to the storage system, or collecting off new wood shakes that have been treated with an algaecide that kills the biofilm in the tank. Not using a pre-filtration can be a big mistake in some areas.

Where can homeowners learn more about rainwater harvesting?

At www.arcsa.org or by taking one of our rainwater catchment Accredited Professional Workshops.

Connect with ARCSA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

For gutter protection that will make for easier rainwater harvesting, call Moonworks at 1-800-975-6666.

http://www.moonworkshome.com/expert-interview-with-heather-kinkade-on-rainwater-harvesting/

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Agos242015

How to Incorporate Mid Century Modern Art into Your Home Decor

I love the look of the clean, simple lines of Midcentury design! Incorporating great Midcentury Modern furniture into your home decor is pretty straight forward but incorporating Midcentury wall art is a little trickieryou dont want your home to look like a page out of 1955 catalog.

Example of Mid Century Modern Design from old Catalog

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How can you use midcentury modern art without looking too kitschy?

It is possible to use Midcentury wall art and look fresh and current! The number one rule to follow is to keep your touches of Midcentury art minimal. Unless you want to show off a collection you have amassed, limit the amount of Midcentury inspired wall art to one or two pieces per room. But what pieces will look good in your 21st century home? Here are some ideas

Vintage Midcentury Modern Art

Scour the flea markets and thrift stores and find some actual vintage Mid Century Modern pieces (not just modern reproductions). Reproductions can be great, but there is a uniqueness that can only be captured in a truly vintage piece. Vintage finds often use color combinations or textiles that are vastly different than our modern interpretations.

Example of Vintage Mid Century Modern Art

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Nature Inspired Mid Century Modern Wall Art

One of the defining characteristic of Mid-Century Modern design is integration with nature. (Source) By focusing more on the natural elements of mid-century design and less on the modern amoeba shapes that have become almost caricatures of the style, you will present a more contemporary, and less overdone, version of midcentury modern. I love the gorgeous driftwood inspired pieces in this fabulous living room!

Great contemporary living room that showcases Mid Century Modern elements and nature inspired art.

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Modern Art Played a Big Role in Mid Century Design

The rich textures and organic shapes of abstract modern art, made it a cornerstone of the Mid-Century Modern style.

Modern Art played an important role in Mid-Century Modern Design.

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Vintage Commercial Art Posters Make for Great Mid-Century Modern Art

Nothing combines the era of Mad Men and Mid Century design quite as well as a vintage commercial art poster. These works of art were created to advertise everything from mineral water to exotic vacations. The vibrant colors and minimalist design make them great pieces of art to showcase in your home.

Commercial Art Posters are a great way to bring Mid Century Modern style into your home.

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Mid Century Modern Ceramics

During the heyday of the Midcentury Modern style, ceramics underwent a transformation. Everything from a humble teapot to a ceramic sculpture can be wonderful examples of Mid Century art. My favorite pieces of Mid Century ceramics incorporate the nature themes into their design. I love the simple modern lines of this ceramic bird.

Mid Century Modern Ceramics are often works of art.

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http://www.diywithadd.com/2015/04/10/mid-century-modern-art/

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Agos222015

Seriously, I'm Not Starting the Kitchen Renovation

Im not. Because Ive got a barn to paint, and a garden to weed, and a pergola to build. Ive got chickens and donkeys and bees to tend to. Plus an unfinished bathroom or two, and a dozen more outdoor projects that need to be completed before winter.

BUT.

But if I was going to start the kitchen renovation, Id definitely tear out the floor

image

Which, okay. I did that. But the dumpster was here that was just being efficient.

However, when I do finally decide to start working on the kitchen, Ill definitely want to reconfigure a few of the cabinets.

DSC_0693

The large pantry and wall oven have always driven me a little nuts. It looks like a big cabinet-tumor on the left side of the kitchen, and throws the balance of everything out of whack. That doorway? WTF.

So if I was going to start the kitchen renovation which obviously Im not Id definitely buy a few replacement base and wall cabinets. And maybe a shelf for the end of the island to extend it out a bit more

DSC_0698

And, actually, if Im being honest, I found myself with some floor plans wandering around Lowes on a rainy day a few weekends ago, and decided I might as well order some cabinets to have at the house just in case I find the time to start the kitchen renovation. Which I wont.Clearly.

I also really like having a functioning kitchen, you guys. Remember that time I lived in a garage and didnt have a functioning kitchen for two years? Pizza rolls cooked on the grill in the middle of winter have their charms, but I actually like being able to cook real vegetables now.

Well, so, heres a thing turns out there are a lot of good Fourth of July sales on appliances this week. So, you know, I figured it would also probably a good idea to buy the new stove that will replace the wall-oven and cooktop, so that when I do decide to start renovating the kitchen I wont be without appliances.

Id love to have a gas stove, but since my heat runs on fuel oil, and Im really not interested in running a propane line in to the house just for the stove, I went with this electric one



Looks pretty good, all considering, and gets great reviews across the board. I used to stress about this shit, but now I just make my decision and move on because I have some feelings about things I put in this house, but mostly I have feelings about how much food I can grow, and whether or not I need some pygmy goats (I do, right?) and I dont care to spend that much time worrying about something Im basically going to use to heat up water to boil fresheggs

So, really, Ive been thinking about my plan for the kitchen every time Ive set foot in this room for the last, uh, three years. When this goes down I know exactly how Im going to attack it:

Step 1: Fill all the nail holes in the wood paneling, one section of the room at a time (because if I try to do the whole thing at once, Ill lose my shit do you know how many nail holes there are in this room? Thousands.)Step 2: Replace cabinets and trim where necessary.Step 3: Widen entryway (move electrical where necessary.)Step 4: Paint cabinets and paneling (which I expect to take no less than a thousand coats of paint.)Step 5: Mod existing cabinets for better function.Step 6: New sink and hardware.Step 7: Newcounters.Step 8: New flooring.Step 9: Install wood stove.Step 10: Refinish kichen table, chairs, and bar stools.

But obviously Im not going to attack it right now because that would be crazy.

image

Um

http://diydiva.net/2015/07/seriously-im-not-starting-the-kitchen-renovation/

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Agos192015

Personalized home decor from Tiny Prints

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get paid a little when you shop. Your purchase helps support this site.

We love Tiny Prints for printed goods like Christmas cards and such, but did you know they have home decor items too? We actually got a cute pillow from them last year and I noticed that they have added a lot of other fun options since then!

Ours was the happy home pillow, and its a nice big size (not too big), perfect for cuddling with during movie night. I really love this map pillow, especially since you can pick where to put the heart and add your family name to it.

Love lives here custom pillow from Tiny Prints

I also really like the cute home themed stationary they have too (super cute new address cards). And because fall and winter will be here before we know it, I think these throw blankets are awesome. How lovely would they be for holiday gifts, and housewarming presents?

Monogramed throw blanket

If you are a new customer you can get 20% off your first order using this link. And dont worry, even if you arent a new customer you can still get a good deal with 15% off orders over $75.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

http://thestylishnest.com/personalized-home-decor-from-tiny-prints/

Admin · 60 vistas · Escribir un comentario
Agos152015

Personalized home decor from Tiny Prints

This post contains affiliate links, which means I get paid a little when you shop. Your purchase helps support this site.

We love Tiny Prints for printed goods like Christmas cards and such, but did you know they have home decor items too? We actually got a cute pillow from them last year and I noticed that they have added a lot of other fun options since then!

Ours was the "happy home" pillow, and it's a nice big size (not too big), perfect for cuddling with during movie night. I really love this map pillow, especially since you can pick where to put the heart and add your family name to it.

Love lives here custom pillow from Tiny Prints

I also really like the cute home themed stationary they have too (super cute new address cards). And because fall and winter will be here before we know it, I think these throw blankets are awesome. How lovely would they be for holiday gifts, and housewarming presents?

Monogramed throw blanket

If you are a new customer you can get 20% off your first order using this link. And don't worry, even if you aren't a new customer you can still get a good deal with 15% off orders over $75.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

http://thestylishnest.com/personalized-home-decor-from-tiny-prints/

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