HarvestH2o Online Community

SECTIONS -|- ABOUT US -|- FAQS -|- ARTICLES -|- RESOURCES -|- VENDORS -|- NEWS -|- NEW PRODUCTS -|- SERVICES

NEWSLETTER

PRIVACY: We will not sell, rent or share your name with anyone. see policy

MOST POPULAR

 

RECENT COMMENTS

SERVICES

SITE CONTENT

Article Archives
Books
Company Info
Consulting
Conveyance Systems
Floating Extractors
Gutters
How To Guides
New Products
Non-Water Resources
Pumps
Rainbarrels
RWH Active Catchment
RWH Advanced Info
RWH Basic Info
RWH Calculators
RWH FAQs
RWH Healthcheck
RWH Incentives
RWH New Products
RWH Nonprofits
RWH Passive Catchment
RWH Plumbing Code
RWH Regulations
RWH Research
RWH Resources
RWH Testimonials
RWH Vendors
System Design Services
Tank Calculations
Tank Sizing
Water Audits - Indoor
Water Audits - Outdoor
US Water Standards
Water Books
Water Conservation
Water Films
Water Quality
Water Related News

Article Listing

Is Rainwater Harvesting a Good Investment
Drip Irrigation Basics
Florida Environmental House
Swales and Berms
Use It Twice - Greywater

Rainwater System Component Articles

Gutters
Pumps
Pumps or Pressure Tanks

Pump Sizing

Storage Options

Sample Systems

Free Pumping
Off the Grid

Water Conservation Articles

Tale of Two Cities Rainwater Harvesting in Taos
Water - Why Care
Save Energy, Save Water

Water Quality Articles

Chlorination, Part I
Chlorination, Part II
Importance of pH
Is Rainwater Safe
Potable Rainwater: Filtration and Purification
UV Purification
UV and Carbon Filtration

Water Op Eds:

Climate Change Greenest Roof
Water - Why Care

 


Below Ground Water Storage — Water Wicks Can Be An Option

by Doug Pushard

When we hear the term below-ground water storage, a buried cistern is what usually comes to mind. Yet there is another approach that has been used for centuries — a water wick. These structures hold water and release it slowly over time. They are also commonly known as Watson wicks or pumice wicks.

It has been known for centuries that mixing organic materials into soil helps it absorb and retain water. Water wicks are taking this concept to the next level by providing a large, constructed basin for this water storage.

Water wicks are typically constructed with pumice, a form of volcanic rock that floats and absorbs water due to its highly porous nature. Where pumice is not readily available, scoria is often substituted. Both come in a variety of colors and sizes and both absorb water and slowly release it.

The general concept is to bury the water wick under the planting area. The roots grow into the wick and pull up the water when needed. The wick holds water longer than regular soil, thereby providing plants access to a “passive” water container. Water wicks are typically constructed about 24 inches below ground, beginning with about 12 inches of pumice, covered with about 6 inches of sandy soil, covered with about 6 inches of planting soil, and a few inches of mulch on the top.

The size of the wick area varies depending on what is draining into the pumice wick, how big a planting area you are creating and what you are planning to grow.There are also variations on what is installed under and around the wick and whether the wick is equipped with an overflow so that the plants do not become saturated in the case of too much water being fed into the bed.

Water wick systems can be made to receive water manually or from alternative water sources such as rainwater, greywater or blackwater. With greywater and blackwater, the water needs to be specifically pre-treated prior to feeding a wick. Many greywater systems installed today incorporate a wick-type system and while blackwater systems don’t, they could.

These alternative sources of water may need permitting in some locales. It is always a good rule to check with your local or state permitting agency to find out what is allowed.The concept that some materials are more absorbent than others is an easy concept to grasp. Just submerge a sponge or a paper towel in water and watch it soak up water.

Over time both of these materials will dry out due to evaporation. Under ground, pumice or scoria act the same as a sponge, soaking up water and storing it in the multitude of air spaces both contain. Since they are buried they will typically not lose this water to evaporation, but will release this water to the surrounding area.

Water wicks are not the solution for every watering need, but they can be a solution for many gardeners. When integrated with a rainwater, greywater or blackwater system, they provide a great method to reuse water onsite and reduce our water footprint. In Northern New Mexico, there are many professional firms trained and capable of installing a pumice wick system for you.

Links:

Related Webpage: Watson Wick
Related Webpage: Watson Wick Design Diagram
Related Article: Passive Versus Active Rainwater Harvesting
Related Article: Greywater Gone Wild

TOP

HOME


LATEST ARTICLES

FAQS

How do you harvest rainwater?

Where do you get the water?

What is the best way of harvesting rain?

Why should I harvest rainwater?

Do I need pumps to harvest rainwater?

Can I use drip irrigation or soaker hoses with a rainwater?

How big a yard can I water?

How big are rain barrels?

I want more pressure, how should I raise it?

Can I water my grass with rainwater?

and many more>>

SITE SPONSORS

Xerxes Tanks

RMS

Fun Facts

Favorite Water Books

Taking on Water

A Great Aridness

Drinking Water

Tapped Out


 

ABOUT US -|--FAQS -| -ARTICLES -| -RESOURCES -| - VENDORS |- NEWS-|- NEW PRODUCTS -| SERVICES

Copyright © 1990-2016 HarvestH2o, All Rights Reserved 505-603-5498