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water treatment


I long ago realized that my tap water caused problems for some of my
plants that I couldn't fix without walking into other problems.  So I need
to replace my supply.

A solar still has been my long-time favorite option, but the seasonal
variation in solar energy means that to get enough water during the winter
I have to have way more capacity then I need for the rest of the year,
plus I need to be able to store quite a lot of water as a hedge against
extended periods of sub-freezing weather.

RO filters are the most likely alternative, but living in a desert as I do
I find it hard to justify the waste water produced by an RO filter.  I
would also have to be able to produce and store about 50 gallons/week in
order to maintain my current water change schedule.

I'm not going to mess with DI because I don't want either the ongoing cost
of cartridge replacement or the hassle of recharging the cartridges.  Are
there other options?

I think initial costs will for an RO filter will probably be less than the
cost of a solar still.  I don't have personal experience with solar
stills, but I understand that they are essentially free of maintenance
costs.  I don't know as much about RO units; do filter cartridge
replacement costs amount to much?

Also, I don't have that many ideas about how to store the water.  In the
case of the solar still, my best idea was to bury a storage tank below the
still(s), with a pump in the tank to deliver the water into the house.
For the RO filter the seemingly obvious solution would be to put a storage
tank under the counter, but the under-counter space is already in use.
What are other people doing to store RO water?

Roger Miller
in Albuquerque