Monday, August 31, 2015

Safest place on the planet.

My wife wanted to go to the movies Sat evening and see the recently released "War Room".
It was a good movie, albeit with some bad acting, but nonetheless, well worth watching.  But that's not the topic of this post...

The movie was not playing at any theaters on our side of the river, so we had to go into the Not-So-Free state to a theater in Frederick.
I saw a blog in the last few weeks that talked about some theater's new "policies" regarding patron security, safety, blah, blah, blah...
I had forgotten about it until we walked up the entrance, and there a new sign greeted us:

As we entered the theater, the ticket-taker did a cursory look into my wife's purse, as he did to the lady in front of us, paying no attention to me.  I wasn't carrying at the time, knowing that in that state, simply exercising one's right can turn one into a felon very quickly. 
So let me think about this;  We are standing in a state that effectively does not allow the carry of firearms outside of one's domicile.  Couple that with the implication that "they will find weapons you're trying to smuggle in" and that leaves me with the warm fuzzy feeling that I'm in the safest place on the planet, because we all know that signs and laws stop criminals and evil-doers, right?
Of course, the sign does not say that they are looking for weapons, so maybe I'm reading in between the wrong lines and they are trying to protect me from unauthorized snacks and beverages?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Water, water, everywhere, finally some to drink!

One of the major projects that has been on my plate is now 99% completed.  That undertaking was to install a water treatment system.
When I bought my house 4 1/2 years ago, there was a cursory water test done as part of the sale, as the house is on well water and septic.  The results, which I didn't see until closing, stated that the water was potable.  That was pretty much the extent of it.  No numbers or values for anything.  I wasn't very impressed, but that was not going to be a show-stopper.  The "documentation" for the test that was done stated that the well was shocked, (pouring a gallon of bleach down the well) and the next day the water was tested and no bacteria was found.  Ya think?
We would simply drink bottled water until such time I could have a proper test done.  When I did have a proper test done, by an independent lab, (Don't ever use a water treatment company to do your test.  They won't leave until they sell you something.)  The results were disappointing but not surprising, as there was a water softener and a U.V. light system in the basement.  Although the U.V. light was not plumbed in and the water softener was on by-pass.  The water hardness registered around 19 grains and Coliform bacteria was found to be in excess of allowable amounts.  That too, is not overly surprising since I am surrounded by farmland and the geology is riddled with caverns and old quarries.  Who knows what my aquifer is tied into.
Let the research begin!
There are two main ways of treating private residential water for bacteria.  U.V. light and chlorination.  Each has it's pro's and con's.  The U.V. light is simple and doesn't take up much space.  The downside is the bulbs need to be replaced every year, which can be very expensive.  Depending on the system, they can be anywhere from $60- $150.  It is also possible for bacteria to "hide" in sediment passing through, so once past the light, it's free to do whatever it is that bacteria does.  If the power goes off, so does the light, which may be a non-issue unless one has a back-up power source for the well pump.
The other method, and the one I chose, is chlorination.  It's relatively inexpensive to operate, but space is needed for retention tanks to allow "sitting time" for the chlorine to do it's thing.  Unlike the U.V. light, the chlorine will get everything down line as well.  So all those years of having contaminated water flowing in the pipes is mitigated.

I now have two 120 gallon retention tanks in a corner of the basement.  I rather like the idea of having 240 gallons of treated, usable water on hand for the occasions that the power goes off.  The less time I need to run the generator for the well, the better it is.
At the time I ordered the equipment, I was unsure of the age of the existing pressure tank.  So I ordered a new one  Turns out the tank is only a couple of years old.  I have seen tandem pressure tank installations before.  Did a little research and found that it's not a bad idea, as it minimizes the amount of time the well pump has to kick on, increasing the life of the pump. I now have two pressure tanks.

Tanks in order, from left to right; Solution tank with injector pump.  Typical chlorination mix is one gallon of unscented household bleach to 14 gallons of water.  Next are the two pressure tanks, with the pressure switch, pressure relief, drain and main shut-off.  Being that the pressure switch moved about 3' to the right, the incoming power line was just barely long enough.  It works, but I'm not happy about it looking like that, so I purchased some additional wire to tidy things up a bit.

I thought I took a picture of this area completed, but you get the idea.  There is the water softener tank, carbon filter (blue) for removing the chlorine and the reverse osmosis system higher up on the wall. This is to remove the sodium from the water from the softener, as it's not healthy to drink sodium-laden water.  The r.o. supplies not only a faucet on the sink, but the refrigerator and ice maker as well.  WOO-HOO!

It was a lot of work (and money!) and a lot of thought on planning the layout of plumbing lines, but having the peace of mind of having potable water was very worth it.

Sigh....  Now maybe I can get back to getting my Jeep running again....