[personal profile] bokunenjin
Instead of working on any number of more pressing projects, I've been ruminating on a dubious idea for a Burning Man installation: a stone-skipping alley. That is, a shallow pool of water in the shape of an alley for skipping stones in. I'm imagining a fused-vinyl liner supported by a frame of lumber set on edge—basically, a long, narrow evaporation pond except with cleaner water and not specifically meant to encourage evaporation. A standard 55-gallon drum of water would be enough to fill an alley 4 cm deep, a meter wide, and five meters long. I'd supply the stones, of course. Possibly I could make some stones with LEDs in or on them for long-exposure nighttime photography fun. The installation would need something sticking up, ideally lighted at night, around the perimeter to keep people from riding or stumbling into it accidentally. A cover to keep out playa dust when dust storms arise (and maybe during off-peak stone-skipping hours) would be useful to keep the water from getting very muddy.

Skipping StoneHere's where I talk myself out of it: if it's to be filled with clean water, that seems like a profligate use of water in a desert environment, even if we do have room in our rental truck for a few more water barrels. Filling it with greywater would be off-putting even if technically safe to touch. Do any of you know if a simple filter like this would produce water that—while non-potable—would be free enough of dirt, soaps, and oils so as not to be disgusting? If it could be done with filtered greywater it could be a good fit within the Alternative Energy Zone where we camp.

Note that the Burning Man org discourages the use of evaporation ponds (see tip #4), and many of its reasons could apply to this stone-skipping water alley idea. Fabric baffles above and on the sides of the alley might alleviate the accumulation of dust in it. Avoiding leaks is another issue, but I'm not sure what kind of "plastic sheeting" they're referring to as being pinhole-prone; it may be something flimsier than I'd be using. As for emptying it at the end of the week, taking the time to bail out as much water as possible with a flat-bottomed dipper before leaving the remaining moisture to evaporate for a day seems like it should head off potential spills from handling the liner.

Thoughts?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-19 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmPf3VDZxpKAW4etrcofoX9SyRnykEjLU4
Sounds interesting! My worry with putting grey water in there is that the stones themselves would eventually pierce the liner, and probably you'd get people going in there after their stones as well, which would be bad. If you can find a way to get enough clean water out there for a reasonable price, I'd do that. But I'm not much of a hippie. Also if you use clean water and white or clear sheeting, you can limit evaporation, which will make it much easier to maintain a consistent water level.

I don't know why the org is so anti evap pond though. I've camped with one for 4 years and they've always worked. You need a really big one if your camp has a shower though (we usually don't) so that might be the problem. Also you need to stop filling it on Saturday and use portable containers from then on. But neither of these concerns apply to your idea of course...

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-19 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmPf3VDZxpKAW4etrcofoX9SyRnykEjLU4
Also, in case you're wondering, this is Jody. Oh, Open ID, sigh.

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