Here are projects cooling houses, streets, cities, farms - and Earth. Exciting. Any of us may do this where we live, too.
Brother and sister sell surfing gear made from plastic 'waste'
Part 1 of how you can keep stormwater on your site. In this video I talk about the amount of wasted water and the pollution it causes. In Part 2 I will show you how as a householder you can keep all stormwater that falls on your property on site.
It took over 15 months but Sydney off-grid champion Kylie Ahern has won her battle with Marrickville Council to have a rain tank and disconnect from Sydney Water.
Last Friday the first trial drain garden was installed in the footpath outside 13 Oxford St, Newtown as part of Kylie Ahern's off-grid renovation.
The drain garden has these components: a sump into which water drains from the road gutter; two long pits with plants and grates over through which the plants may grow; an overflow point for when the pit fills; capacity to harvest over 29,000 litres of road water a year.
It's designed to bring previously wasted road runoff to irrigate the tree roots below the surface. The aim is to increase the tree height and canopy and to thereby cool the street. If we harvest previously wasted road stormwater to irrigate trees we can cool our cities by several degrees and increase the health of the air we need to live and that's needed by all that's living in cities.
We'll monitor and report on its performance, particularly the accumulation of sediment in the first sump; there's a removable 'pot' to enable easy removal of sediment.
The cost to Kylie of this trial drain garden is $2400. With simpler design and multiple production we expect this to halve.
We're seeking rate rebates and exemption from stormwater levies for Kylie from the local council and the local monopoly water provider, Sydney Water. We're asking governments to give rate rebates to farmers and householders who conserve water and energy on their land and provide a public benefit beyond their boundary. We'll keep you informed about this, too.
Unfortunately, in the brutal way only governments can be, the local council imposed a $3,000 developer levy on Kylie's renovation approval for it to carry out stormwater works; an act of silliness but that, too, is a work in progress as Kylie is seeking a refund.
Anyway, hang on sad tree, water is on its way to you.
The lab test in today shows the rainwater in the rain tank at Kylie's Off-grid house is safe to drink.
Nil faecal coliforms detected (an indicator of harmful bacteria), and nil results for lead and mercury.
As the lab tests come in I'll convert them to a trend graph showing the results over time.
Kylie Ahern is going off-grid in Newtown, Sydney and construction is underway.
Whether you’re a renter, owner, developer or on-looker, Kylie’s how to go off-grid story will have tips, costs, contacts, products and facts for you.