Friday, July 25, 2014

Camping with Cub Scouts in Boy Scouts' Heritage Reservation

This weekend my youngest son Edward and I were at Camp Independence with his Cub Scout Pack 36 for 4 days. This is annual event and is open for all Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.What an awesome time we had!!! Wow.

The weather was perfect - no rain, not too hot, not too cold. Forest and lake are beautiful. Facilities are great. Staff is outstanding - very energetic and super friendly. Program was packed with all kinds of cool things. The only thing that was a bit lacking is the food, but for 4 days it was ok. Kids had every hour scheduled, starting at 7:50 flag ceremony, followed by breakfast at 8, then activities until 6 pm dinner, which included geology (tour of the mine and rock search), nature trail, sports, BB shooting, bow shooting, crafts, swimming, kayaking, boating, fishing, service project, castle wet sponge fighting, rock throwing, knife skills, tennis, basketball, camp fire, etc. In our pack everyone enjoyed all of the activities. This was so much fun and kids were very happy. After dinner there was a show at camp fire and some free time. Bed time started at 10 pm. Some adults with pedometers found out that we walked about 6 to 7 miles every day. I managed to run 7.5 miles only once (on second day).

I took bunch of pictures and videos while at the camp (click to see the full album):
Full album

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rain water collection system - rainbarrels, etc. (part 1)

In the past week I have setup a system to collect rain water from the roof of my house (located in Pittsburgh, PA). The water to be used for irrigation of the lawn and garden. I have wanted to do it for quite some time now, but now that my pipe under the driveway collapsed, I decided to build it, instead of digging the driveway, which was freshly covered with new asphalt just this past October.

The cost of the system is around $300. the biggest investment was my own time. I spent estimated 20 hours to build this thing, but now I feel quite happy as the system works very well.

I have taken pictures and provided captions for every picture should you decide to build a system like this. The project is only half finished at this time as I have water being collected in plastic totes, but I need to finish the decoration so that these same totes are not exposed to sun and do not look as ugly as they do. I will probably build something out of wood to make it look pretty. Here is a quick snapshot of the entire project - click on the image to see detailed comments for each picture:
The only thing I still need to figure out is the fine filtration. Since I use small electric motor to pump the water to a higher ground of my front lawn, the fine filter on a sprinkler gets clogged every hour or so, so I have to take out the house from that sprinkler and clean it. I need to build a filtering system so that pumped water is clean. Have not decided on how to to id yet.

It appears my calculations for capacity are not correct as some rains provide more water than the total capacity of my system and water overflows via this little blue house I have for the overflow. It is not bad, just sorry to lose that water. Perhaps in the future will add one or two additional 275 gallon water tanks to expand the capacity.