Archive for the "water" category

How can I reuse or recycle hot tub water?

We’ve had an email from Linda:

i want to use the water from my hot tub on the garden, it is a great waste to just put it down the drain. the water has chlorine in it.

if i drain the water into water butts, is there any way i can remove the chlorine from it to make it safe to water my garden?

This isn’t something I know a lot about – I know people use filters to remove the chlorine from tap water but that’s in a lot lower and smaller quantities than a hot tub.

So anyone with more watery experience got any ideas?

(Photo by allygirl520)

What’s the greenest way to get/make sparkling water?

We’ve had an email from Jennifer asking:

I was on the verge of buying a soda siphon to make my own sparkling water at home – surely much more ecologically sound than buying bottled sparkling water, right? But my husband raised a concern about the used CO2 cartridges? Are they recyclable?

A not-so-quick Google around suggests that they’re metal (typically steel) so can be recycled with normal metal recycling. Anyone know for sure?

When we posted about water filter cartridges three years ago (cor! that’s ages!), we had a number of people making reuse suggestions – how to clean them to get more life out of the filters – are there any tricks like that for soda syphon cartridges?

Even if they couldn’t be reused or recycled though, it still might be worth considering the syphon route because of the amount of energy wasted shipping heavy bottles of water around the place.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle rainwater?

rain-puddleContinuing our week of water themed posts, we’ve had an email from Chris:

Being a good green hippy, I’ve got two waterbutts in my garden, which I use to collect water for my garden. But now it’s winter my garden doesn’t need watering and the butts are nearly full even though it’s only November. I imagine I could use all the water now and they’d fill up again within a couple of weeks. Can you or your readers make any suggestions?

One answer might be to plumb in the water butts to feed your households non-drinking water needs such as toilet flushing and perhaps even laundry – not just for this time of year, but for use all year around when you’ve got the water to supply it. I really want to set up a greywater system, including rainwater, to feed the toilet cistern if nothing else but I suspect it would too problematic in this awkwardly tall house as the water would have to be stored two storeys below the bathroom – but if we have another toilet put in lower down in the house, I’ll definitely look into it.

I remember someone telling me at some point that rainwater is also good for cleaning windows as it typically has less mineral deposits in it than tap water (so will leave less residue) – but Googling doesn’t seem to confirm or deny that — anyone know?

Staying outside, you could use the water if you need to clean paths of stuck-on leaf mulch or cleaning out the greenhouse ready to shut it down for winter.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle water from washing out paintbrushes?

paintbrush-waterWe had a water week – a week of water themed posts – in honour of World Water Day back in March but I’ve had a run of water-related questions recently so I thought we’d have another wet week. “Water Week 2: This time it’s personal damp.”

A couple of weeks ago, Tyler asked a question on a random old post:

What should I do with the water I use to wash of my paint brushes?

It’s a good question because it uses a surprisingly large amount of water to get paintbrushes clean – and even more if you’ve been using a roller for large scale decorating.

Can anything be done with the very, very watered down paint – particularly the first rinse which is really quite paint-y?

Do you have any tips for reducing the amount of water used to clean them? I try to squeeze out as much paint as possible before washing – old newspaper works well as a wrapping material but quickly gets soaked, plastic bags is less absorbent but you’ll be able to squeeze it for longer.

(Picture by basheertome)

How can I reuse or recycle chemically-scented blossom water?

orange blossom waterFollowing on last week’s waterthemed posts (in honour of World Water Day yesterday), we’ve had a related-but-different email from Meiko:

I really like the idea behind your site and I’ve been reading all your past suggestions. Here is a small question for you (maybe too irrelevant to consider).

I have a bottle of orange blossom water (to use as a flavouring in desserts and cakes) whose taste I really don’t like (tastes too much like chemicals, not like natural flavouring). But there’s a lot of it and it does smell nice, so I don’t feel like
throwing it away.

Do you have an idea of how I could use it to make something smell nice?

Nothing is too irrelevant for this site ;)

I had the same problem with some rose water a while ago but unfortunately the strong scent – whether fake or otherwise – got in the way of many of my first reuse idea – using it as a facial toner: bringing the scent closer to my nose, not wise ;)

I suspect it could be used in soap making or the like, or in a spray bottle as a quick-and-easy air freshener – the strong smell might be more palatable in those places.

Any other ideas?