I believe that I suffer from a genetic predisposition to thrift in a time/situation where it’s rather difficult to practice it. Maybe when we get the kids out of the house. In the meantime . . . I’ve grown adept at ignoring that wee Scotsman, hoppin’ up ‘n’ down, brandishing his shillelagh, and verbally accosting me from the back of my head.
Autumn is at hand and, as much as I’d like otherwise, it’s time to drain the pool. I’m more of a “floater” than a “swimmer” myself and rather enjoy just floating about. But it hasn’t been warm enough to use the pool lately, isn’t likely to get any warmer, and it’s a poly above-the-ground contraption; so we can’t very well leave it sitting out over the winter. If the freezing didn’t wreak havoc on it- it would be July of next year before the darned thing thawed enough to swim in again.
Time to educate my youngest on how to set up a siphon and empty the pool without pumping or attempting to dig a hole under the pool edge to access the manufacturer provided drain (who designs things like that anyway?). I’m in no particular hurry, the water is draining out into the coulee so Momma’s backyard won’t be playing host to a quarter inch of standing water, and all is well ‘n’ good right up to the point where I stopped to reflect on how many gallons I was running out on the ground and how much it had cost to fill the thing in the first place.
“Yah great bleedin’ idgit (whack)!”
If I flinched, my son exercised enough discretion to let it go. Many years ago I had explained to my children that parenting causes parents to develop facial ticks. The oldest child caught on and quickly cautioned the younger two not to press their luck. Since that time, there have been no comments when Mom or Dad turn purple, one eyebrow convulsing, having been confronted with “I can’t wear those shoes! The bottoms are the wrong color!”
So . . . what is pool water when it’s no longer pool water? How is this large quantity of wet stuff made to do double duty? The chlorine will have burnt out by now, but that doesn’t qualify it as “potable” water. No drinking the it-used-to-be-pool-water water. It’s not water-the-garden water since the garden is also pretty much done for the year also. The only daily use non-potable water we might actually have a use for is- toilet water! That’s not 100% true since the dog isn’t at all squeamish about such things. Still!
Folks, put on your “game faces,” ’cause it’s time to do the math.
The first step is shifting the thought processes so that it all makes sense. We convert already-paid-for-used-to-be-pool-water water to doesn’t-need-to-be-potable-to-be-used-in-the-toilet water. That’s “laps” to “flushes” and instead of draining it into the coulee it heads into the septic tank. This saves us from spending money on potable water for a non-potable water application!
If one of the languages on the side of the pool is English (Sanskrit! Who’d have thought!) then Big Blue is 16 foot across by 48 inches deep. 3.1417 times the radius (8 ft) squared, times the depth, multiplied by 7.47 equals 6007.9357 gallons of it-used-to-be-pool-water water. The average toilet dispenses between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush. New toilets will, or so I’ve read, do the same job with 1.6 gallons. New Japanese toilets will do the same, with even less, and play music while they’re doing it! Our home was built in the 70’s so we’ll figure 3.5 gallons per and continue to be content with “gurgling” over Shania Twain.
3.5 toilet gallons goes into 6007 pool gallons 1716 times. Divide that by 4 people and you get 429 flushes! Since everyone here goes to school or work daily let’s figure 3 flushes per day per person and we have enough “toilet water” to last 143 days!
And all I need now is something that’ll do the job of a cistern and a 12 volt recreational vehicle water pump. More on that next time . . .
Anyone else hearing bagpipes?