New Low-Tech Gray Water Solution: Wikiwickatron

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jim.ga...@gmail.com

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Jun 24, 2014, 9:22:02 PM6/24/14
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Hello--

Last year, inspired by reading about the Evapotron but lacking in sufficient Maker skills to pull it off, I tried a lower-tech, low-cost solution. Instead of using wind and wheels to get gray water up in the air, it uses the wicking action of the humble towel.

It worked really well. It took up a tiny amount of space and handled the cooking and shower water of a camp of over 40 straight through to Sunday. 

I made a little Wordpress site about it here:


Cheers,
--Jim

Ember

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Jun 24, 2014, 10:31:15 PM6/24/14
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On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 6:22:02 PM UTC-7, jim.ga...@gmail.com wrote:
Hello--
Jim, congratulations.  I really want to see your device -- do you know where you'll be camping this year?  I'll be in my truck camper in the  Alternative Energy Zone; please leave me a note telling where to find you.

I have to say, I completely argued myself out of the towel approach -- I was convinced that towels would stop absorbing in a couple of days.  That's true, and it's what you found also.  BUT I was so set on designing something that would evaporate without needing human intervention, that I overlooked the "minimally manual" approach you used successfully.

So, nice going.  Tell me where to find your device!

Ember

jim.ga...@gmail.com

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Jun 25, 2014, 2:39:15 AM6/25/14
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Hello, Ember--

Thanks! And thanks again for the inspiration. 

I'm not sure if I'll be setting up a Wickatron this year. I made it in 2013 for the briefly revived Opera Camp. This year we will be a smaller "Opera pod" within the much larger Alien Siege Machine camp (major Friday night burn.) I don't know much yet about how camp infrastructure is handled in this larger camp. 

My towels actually kept absorbing, drying out, and absorbing again all week. Which is what towels are designed to do, after all. Even when dust coated them with playa mud, they dried out. In the middle of the day, they dried out in a couple hours. Dunked late in the evening, they were dry by the time I checked them in the morning. 

I will look for you at Alternative Energy Camp.

--Jim

t3hh...@gmail.com

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Aug 5, 2014, 7:25:33 PM8/5/14
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Hey Jim,

If you weren't in the larger camp…would you still use the Wickatron? I've been placed in charge or gray water management for a camp with ~dozen people and this looks like the prefect reasonable solution. 

Jim Gasperini

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Aug 5, 2014, 7:32:34 PM8/5/14
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Hello--

Yes. It turns out I am actually going to be setting it up again, for a group of about 15 within the larger camp (i suspect it will get used by more.) I will set it up near 6:45 and Darjeeling, in the "Opera Pod" within EBB-Glow camp (East Bay Burners.) Stop by & say hello...
--Jim

Mike S.

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Aug 5, 2014, 11:42:01 PM8/5/14
to Jim Gasperini, gray-...@googlegroups.com, ray...@mac.com
Very cool, Jim. I'm wondering if there is a material that might work better as a wick and keep reduce the need for people to man the pool. I had microfiber towels (full size) and air conditioner drip mats suggested to me. 

Jim Gasperini

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Aug 6, 2014, 12:18:24 AM8/6/14
to Mike S., gray-...@googlegroups.com, ray...@mac.com
Hey, Mike--

Those sound like great ideas. Be the first to add a comment to the Wickitron page!

Might increase expense though, unless you know where to find cast-offs. All the towels I used cost $1, $2 or $0. 
--Jim

Mike S.

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Aug 9, 2014, 11:41:37 AM8/9/14
to Jim Gasperini, gray-...@googlegroups.com, ray...@mac.com
I'll stop by and say hello. I'll be with the Provocative Monkeys, but no fixed site yet. 

--x--

Why We Not Hit Hard? vincere scis victoria uti nescis

--x--

Raymond Bruman

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Aug 9, 2014, 1:18:10 PM8/9/14
to Mike S., Jim Gasperini, gray-...@googlegroups.com, Larry Livember Breed
Hi guys!  I'm glad to hear of another design experiment, and to hear of the Gray-B-Gon Google Group.
In previous experiments, dust has been the main enemy of both evaporation ponds and wicking fabrics, but it is always interesting to see more research.

Several evapotron designs have been successful on the Playa, including a "curtain waterfall" design using a cylinder of metal hardware cloth forming a thin sheet of water.  Everyone is curious, or even desperate, to assess how much water each design is capable of evaporating.  I am CC-ing David Yao of the AEZ on this email because he is concerned about effectively removing gray water this year.

It has been difficult to compile useful performance statistics, with so many variables besides the design.  The weather conditions vary enormously, the evapotrons don't always run continuously, the gray water poured into them is not always  measured or logged for evaluation, and so on.  But Larry Breed has a rough idea that one basic Gray-B-Gon is capable of about 20 gallons a day.

With so many evapotrons deployed, increasing each year, we might hope for more data.  But Burning Man is not exactly a relaxed vacation where people can do methodical hobbies, so it isn't reasonable to hope for good data.  This ain't like bird watching or measuring snowpacks at regular intervals.

Burning Man is full of quirky people, some of whom would run an evapotron if only for entertainment, and others who wouldn't touch one with a stick.

I look forward to seeing you all in Black Rock City!

Come on by the Earth Guardians pavilion and say hello!

Ray Bruman (Raybees)
Earth Guardians


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