Sunday, February 8, 2009
The great snow experiment
We've been on a kick here to lower our utility use (and doing reasonably well .. not that this translates into lower bills).
Anyway, we have a big pile of snow outside, and I got to wondering: Could I melt enough snow to use for household things? (OK, I'll be honest here .. I'm talking about using it in the toilet tank)
I ran it past my friends over at the Dollar Stretcher forum ... they assured me I wasn't crazy, but also warned that I wasn't going to get any great amounts of water out of this.
So, I gave it a try. I filled a 12qt bucket with snow and put it in the bathroom to melt. After a couple of hours, the snow volume was down, but I didn't see any water. But after another 8 or 9 hours, I got water all right -- about 3 pints.
Not much, I decide, but I was willing to try again. So I filled the bucket again with 4-day-old snow and waited.
This time I really got water .. a little over a gallon. I'm sure there's some scientific reason. Or maybe I just packed the bucket more tightly.
It was an interesting experiment .. and hey, I got roughly 1.5 gallons of free water. But frankly, it is a bit of work. Besides hauling the snow in, the resulting water has to be strained (what is that stuff?). So I'm glad I don't have to do this on a regular basis!