Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rain Water Harvesting - The Good, the Bad and the Bunyips.

More Monsoons are supposed to be coming, hopefully. When they do, how much water will remain on your property? Will it cause problems on your property like flooding, erosion or foundation settling? If it happens to be a big rain, how long till you turn your irrigation system back on? Two, maybe three days?
I recently attended a very interesting seminar here in Phoenix. The topic was Rainwater Harvesting. If you live in Phoenix you may not know much about rainwater harvesting. We seem to have the attitude that water is cheap and plentiful, and it is thanks to the CAP. But this isn’t the case most everywhere else in Arizona. Tucson, for instance will be mainstreaming rainwater harvesting into their city development plans very soon. Starting this January all commercial projects in Tucson will have to provide 50% of the landscape irrigation through rainwater harvesting.

This is big news and no small step for any municipal water district. But what do you know about rainwater harvesting? Would you like to know more?

Well, the seminar was basically an introduction to an on line information module just now available for free through the University of Arizona, The Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF), and The Water Sustainability Program. The actual module site was created by the Arid Lands Information Center team: Carla Casler, Theresa Crimmins, Damian Hammond, Chris Hansen, and Katherine Waser.
The goal of the site is to provide Arizonans who are new to rainwater harvesting with the tools and information they need to begin planning their own rainwater harvesting system. They discuss some of the most useful backyard water harvesting strategies, including some that you can implement yourself without a lot of expensive equipment or tools.
They even offer a How-To video on Bunyips.

A bunyip is a mythical creature from Australian folklore, but also a very old and useful tool for grading. Personally I’ll stick with my laser level, but bunyip is such a cool word, I had to work it in.
You must register, but use of the module is free. Check it out: Simple Techniques for Back Yard Water Harvesting.
Have you ever noticed how happy your plants look after a good rain? It isn’t your imagination. Your plants prefer rainwater. I encourage you to get your feet wet (pardon the pun) and try a small project. If you have children, they will love it and it might get them away from the game console for a little while.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Word of Caution Before You Dig

Every yard has utility lines; water, electric, phone, cable TV, natural gas and sewer. Add to that, landscape irrigation pipe and hoses, pool piping, landscape lighting, electrical for outdoor kitchens, patios, fountain pumps, drainage lines, etc. Like tree roots these lines criss-cross your property and are impossible to see without the proper equipment. Anytime you dig or push a soil probe into the ground, you should understand where these wires and pipes are and take proper precautions not to hit any of them.

There is a chance that you could make contact with an electrical line and receive a lethal electrical shock. The utility companies can also charge you hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair the lines you have damaged.

Never use a hammer or anything to drive or pound your soil probe into the ground. Also make sure your probe is rounded or blunt on the tip. This way, if you do bump a drip line or pipe, your probe will probably slide off rather then puncture or cut the line.

Always call before you dig or excavate! Arizona Blue Stake will mark your utility lines in your yard for free.


All information contained in this blog is for discussion only. Many of the topics discussed here are theoretical and often represent very new ideas. Don’t assume that what might work or even be legal in one situation in one part of the world or town will automatically work in another no matter how similar the situation may seem. Before beginning any project or action, always seek the consultation of a qualified local professional who can review specific information relative to your project and the site where it will be constructed.

All comments and posts are not generated by Bill Kisich and Inspired Landscape Creations, LLC. Comments represent the opinions of the poster and shall not be considered the position or opinion Inspired Landscape Creations, LLC. Additionally, Bill Kisich and Inspired landscape Creations, LLC shall not be held liable for any comment or information posted.

Research these ideas carefully and ensure that they apply to your specific area and situation. Always Call before you dig! - Arizona Blue Stake.