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#93104 - 05/01/07 04:07 AM Filtering / Drinking Sump Pump Water
Ninja Offline

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 1
Long time lurker - first time poster...

We live in a fairly high water table area. I collect my sump pump water in a 2ea 65 GAL outside water container for use in my garden. If/when needed - what precautions would I have to take to be able to drink this water (besides portable water filters)?

I'm wondering what type of filter system would I have to build to drink the water?

Also - would the same rules apply to water runoff from my gutters?

Thanks all...

#93122 - 05/01/07 06:48 AM Re: Filtering / Drinking Sump Pump Water [Re: Ninja]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2941
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Now that's an interesting challenge.

Also timely, since my sump pump has been running regularly for a couple of weeks now. A fast snowmelt and a slowly receding frostline means that, in this old farmhouse, it's pump or swim.

Anyway, trying to think this through ...

Water from a sump pump probably comes from 6-10' below ground level, which means it's pretty grungy stuff.

I suppose it would have both biological and chemical contaminants in it. Everything from dog-leavings to weed-and-feed residue.

Filter it through another 30' or so of hard-packed clay, of course, and it becomes well water.

To do it yourself is a tall order, IMHO. You could build a pre-filter of sand, fabric and charcoal to start the process. And then, give it a good long boil. It would still be pretty foul stuff to drink, I think.

As far as your gutters go, there may of course be bird droppings and particulates from your local chemical plant. Still, a lot easier to treat (by far) than sump water. A particulate filter and quick boil would probably do it. Better also if you let the first hour of rain rinse the system out a little. If you make coffee from this, invite me over, unless you're downwind of Chernobyl. I'll pass on the sump water :-).

Edited by dougwalkabout (05/01/07 07:00 AM)

#93123 - 05/01/07 06:51 AM Re: Filtering / Drinking Sump Pump Water [Re: Ninja]
Tom_L Offline

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
You could build a large filter yourself filled with layers of gravel, progressively finer sand and charcoal. As long as the water is not very heavily polluted with industrial waste etc. this kind of filter should work just fine. Boil the water before drinking to be on the safe side and you should be fine. The same goes for collecting water from the gutters. Rainwater is usually safer to drink and may not even require much filtering. Just don't collect any rainwater the first few minutes it starts to pour because it will contain all the dust and dirt on the roof and gutters.

#93136 - 05/01/07 01:05 PM Re: Filtering / Drinking Sump Pump Water [Re: Ninja]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3633
Loc: TX

Welcome to the fire and that's a very good question. As others have mentioned water collected from your roof should be easily treatable assuming you aren't in a heavily polluted area (say, China). As for the sump-pump, even that could be treated mith the right sorts of filters. Make sure they have some activated charcoal to catch chemicals.

Depending on the space, time and money you have a system like this sand filtration unit used in refugee camps might be your ticket.


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