Janna Hafer


Urban Frontier House Living

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04/19/17 - “May the rains fall soft upon your fields…” is part of an old Irish blessing that is just as relevant today as it ever was. It is especially pertinent for us since all of our irrigation, washing, and drinking water comes directly from rain. We tend to be careful (but not stingy) with our water usage and, therefore, may have been over zealous in our calculations for what we anticipated needing to store for all of our needs. As you might recall, we have the capacity for 9,000 gallons of rainwater in our basement and have not even come close to running low. Another pleasant surprise has been the lack of hard water spots on glassware and shower surfaces. Those spots are practically non-existent which makes cleaning so much easier. And, there is no need to buy distilled water for the iron. Someone once asked me how I felt about drinking water that has fallen on my roof. I told her that the water is filtered twice and passed through Ultra Violet purification before I drink it. I also asked her where she got her water. Of course, I already knew the answer. The Billings drinking water comes out of the Yellowstone River which originates as snowfall in the mountains. It melts and flows downstream picking up silt along the way. There are also fish in the Yellowstone River along with elk droppings/bear scat/cow manure as well as rusted metal from discarded machinery and don’t forget the pesticide runoff from the farm fields. Don’t get me wrong; Billings has an excellent supply of clean water but it comes at a price. And, Billings taxpayers are facing a huge tax burden to expand the current water treatment facilities. It just seems sort of counterproductive to spend all that time, money, and energy to clean the water to potable standards when a lot of that water is used to water grass and flush toilets. So, no, I’m good with drinking rainwater that has fallen on my roof and am thankful for all the rain that falls on our little corner of the world. “And may the rains fall soft upon your fields…” as well!
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