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Old 01-23-2005, 03:31 AM   #1
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removal of salts without water change (low tech)

Has anyone ever tried / read about / heard of someone running a solar still attached to their pond to continuously decrease levels of salt in the water from adding hard water or running hard water through a solar still prior to putting it in the pond??

I'm thinking of summer time when ponds need refills all the time. I have really thought about the design but I don't want to make this post too long. Please let me know if you are interested or might have advice on a design & I will explain.

Thanks
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:36 AM   #2
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As I have no idea what a solar still is, please explain.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:21 AM   #3
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Lets see...Ill bet its something like this:

Water is fed into a container with some kind of covering that allows sunlight to heat the water inside. As the water eveporates, it condenses on the inside of the cover, then the condensation either runs into the pond or is put into another container for later use

Dissolved solids (salts) do not evaporate. As the water in the container evaporates, the dissolved solids are left behind. The water vapor that condenses on the inside of the cover is pure and free of dissolved solids. It all sounds like a lot of work to me, but Im sure someone has a decent set of plans to build something that would work quite well. The boy scouts are tought to use a plastic sheet setup like a tent over a puddle of water to get drinking water from unclean sources. The sun does the rest.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:52 AM   #4
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Thats basically it sin but I was planning to use a black barrel to absorb heat (maybe with some glazing around it like a batch hot water heater). With the water exposed to sunlight I am afraid I would get awful amounts of algae.

I am a biologist & not really sure about the drain & total disturbance of yearly water changes. So far we are using mostly harvested rain water to fill the pond but according to my water chemistry check its still too hard.

I know it would be a lot of work but it might really help with water quality & healthy plants & fish in the long run.

What I am not sure about is if I use a sealed system with downhill drainage that will create a vacuum to help the water evaporate faster & increase effeciency how will I remove the dissolved solids left behind in the barrel. I need like a door that would seal & unseal. Also since this is an experiment I can't spend big bucks.

Maybe I should make a small model first to test efficiency/ see how it works.

I can do all the plumbing & glazing . I am just not sure about the sealed system.

My plan is to bury the condenser underground so it stays cool under the planted hillside around my water fall. I could also use water fall water to fill the still.

So far all the plans I have found are for making potable water & they are just simple stills like you described. Maybe this just doesn't really work so thats why people don't do it.
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