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Water Systems

As holistic farm we focus on treating all resources efficiently. Even more Water.

Did you know that water is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. Water is the one of the 4 elements (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire). Humans are born of water from our mother’s womb. Our bodies are made up of 70% water. The Earth’s surface is covered by 70% water. Most plant life is 90% water. Humans need to consume water in order to survive. It is a crucial resource here on Earth.

Gravity Fed Water System at PermaTree

Water System Gravity Fed PermaTree
Water Fed Gravity System At PermaTree

We at Finca Yantza collect water from small springs (1) high up in the property. Then the water is funneled in black water pipes to several tanks which break the water pressure into a big 5000L main tank (3) about 80 meters above the main house (4). From this main tank water pipes go to the different locations. Between the main house and the tank is the natural swimming pond (5) and backup water tank in case of drought. The water not used in the house goes into the natural swimming pool. The runoff of the swimming pool goes 50 meter lower into another smaller 1500L tank which is used for the tree nursery (6). The runoff of that tank goes finally back into the creek. Before first passing 100 meters of Vetiver Grass run off natural filtering. Our entire water system runs off gravity, no electric pumps are needed.

Spring Water

Here we harvest the crystal clear water. Gravity fed pressurized spring water which goes to the homestead

The water which is not used goes directly as run off into the natural swimming pond. After that, into another smaller tank which is used for our plant nursery. We additionally do collect partially rainwater into another tank. Compared to urban treated water, we have super clean water, because below the springs the mountains stops and there is no further neighbor.

So when you take a shower at PermaTree keep in mind its gravity-fed system no electric pump needed at all.

Berkey Filter for our Drinking Water

The Berkey Filter

Now tapping the crystal clear spring water and using it for showering and our crops is one thing. For our drinkable water we use a extra gravity-fed water filter system. The Berkey water filter system is a water purification which removes remove micro size particles (nanometer = .024 micron), viruses, protozoa and bacterium.

In addition, this gravity filter removes the micro plastic particles which are found in our environment, oceans, rivers and urban tap water. Micro plastic particles can also carry pathogens and have a reported size of approximately 2.5 micron.

So as you see for us at PermaTree clean natural spring water is a very high priority. This because from our very own experiences exploring many different countries in Latin America we have been fighting diseases that have come through water. 

Black Water, Grey Water, Run Off?

Well as you can see now we produce no black water (sewage) because our toilet is dry. We do produce gray-water from the sink washing the dishes and taking showers. This water will flow down about 145 meters in a open canal bordering the access road to the house. Here you can often observe chickens picking rice hulks oder other edible bits which have been washed down. Before reentering the natural creek we have a 15meter long final run off with vetiver grass which again helps to break down the gray-water.

Infographic: Water Footprint of Humanity

2 thoughts on “Water Systems”

  1. blazej niewiadomski

    Just a thought as I am not sure if this makes sense given your situation…Have you considered creating small ponds with some of the out-flowing water?

    It seems that the soil is very rich in clay and would not require a pond liner although I see you used one in your natural swimming pool. I am thinking maybe this would attract more biodiversity although Ecuador seems diverse enough. In time i am sure your land will balance out.

    1. Good thought. Well actually we have a total of 3 ponds including the natural swimming pool with the liner. Yes most likely its all a question of time. 🙂

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