How does your evaporator work?

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How does your evaporator work?

Postby teardropper » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:31 pm

I know how they work, I just don't know how good they work. I've seen a couple in action. It seemed like playa dust was coating the bottom after only a few days. Also, there seemed to be standing water in them late in the week. It seems like you might have to haul some greywater out. I hear black pond liner is the way to go. My questions are how big they need to be and how to maintain them?

If there's a way to search for old topics, I don't know it, so I apologize in advance.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:46 pm

Black pond liner doesn't work as good as black plastic, the rubber used in pond liners is resistant to UV and does not produce heat, plus its's pretty damn heavy, by comparison.

It is better than plastic, however, as you will never get a leak from it.

Just toting your water back out in the jugs it came in is the easiest way to go.
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Postby teardropper » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:59 pm

I carry my drinking water in the 3 and 5 gallon jugs you get from a water service. If I put greywater in them I would never get them clean. I would have to carry a separate tank. And a pump you run off a cordless drill. Just thinkin' here... I've seen 5 gallon plastic jerry cans, 4 of those equal 8 2 1/2 gal showers, 4 apiece. Then I'd only need a small "evaporating" pond.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:50 pm

Ok. first, the search link is up above. Pretty easy...click Search, and fill in the items you wish to find, in this case put in Evap ...

But this is about the best thread on it here: viewtopic.php?t=12911&highlight=evap

Although it's about mechanisms, that thread gets into a fairly detailed discussion about how & why evaps work or don't along with things that have been tried.

At this point I've tried it all and I too have given up and just punted, hauling mine out. I simply bought 4 7 gallon plastic "jerry" cans from Pep Boys and spray painted them so no mistaking that they are gray water. Very easy to do, easy to empty when done on playa, etc.

Such a relief not to have to deal with a messy evap pond at the end of the week. Just a disgusting, dirty job to deal with.....trust me.

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Postby teardropper » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:59 pm

Yeah, I believe you are right. Jerry cans, a drill, a pump and a basin. Suck up the water after each shower so the basin is clean and dry. I have an old motorhome but don't want to fill up my greywater tank. Can't shower inside every day. This is a good solution. Thanks
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:12 pm

You can shower every day in the RV if you replace the showerhead with a dish sprayer or something similar that only uses water on demand.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:31 pm

Our evap ponds (of various designs) have worked pretty well most years. What I’ve found to be the biggest problem with evap ponds is that the past couple of years has been people sneaking and dumping their gray water in our pond. I even caught a guy, who was camped next to us in a large RV dumping his dish water in our tiny pond instead of his commodious tank.

Couple this with always having to sop it all up on Sunday by hand and I think I’m done with evap ponds.
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Postby Elliot » Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:17 pm

:D
You think so, eh....
I had the job of dealing with a left-over mess of an evap pond in 2006, and I KNOW I'm done with that! :evil: :lol:

Some folks report good results with mechanical evaporators, but a plain pond is useless, partly because the off-white dust covers up the black in no-time.
:D
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:28 am

I want to shower this year.. So I need to dispence the gray water..

Can I use a solor collector and a wick?

Will have to start with a shower floor box.. Stuff the box full of foam and cover it with a fresh towel each shower.. Hang the towel to dry and store..
Allow the water to leach out of the foam.. Getting the scab and scales out will help the water to wick..

Now the solor collector.. A box 18inch w 4inch d 48 long.. Lined with a reflector then black plastic and covered with clear/opaque plastic.. Set at an angel say 30 degree.. The air inside should heat and rise quickly.. Making a solor passive air flow..

Then for the wicking devise.. A(black) pan arranged inside of a plastic sleave.. This could be made from some 36x48L sheep fence and a heavy duty garbage bag..

The sleave is another solor collector.. As the suns heat passes through the framed plastic the hot air will rise to the top..

Arrange pan in the sleave above the solor collector.. Sealing the two units togeather with black plastic.. Damper the top for best flow. Hang a wicking cloth into the pan and water and turn the sun on..

NOW please pick this apart so I can improve the design..
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Postby Elliot » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:12 am

:D
Let’s see…. You have designed a solar oven, with thermal movement of air thru it, and then you hang wet cloth in that hot air flow. The bottom of the cloth hangs into the pond, so water keeps wicking up into the cloth and evaporating much faster in the hot air flow than it would from a plain pond. The concept sounds valid to me.

But you are going to have to make it work yourself, Jon. There is a reason why many manufacturing companies have a department called Research And Development. Even the best concepts usually take a lot of tinkering before they actually work well.

Countless such devices have been built for Burning Man. Some of them have been presented in detail here on the board. In my four years, plus reading the archive further back, it seems the best evaporators are those that have an electric motor to move the water “into harms wayâ€
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Postby yellowdog » Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:35 pm

IMHO, people who say evap ponds work great were never the last ones in camp who had to break it down. Sweat, dead skin, used toothpaste, spit, ass funk, etc. sitting in warm water (plus copious playa dust) for a week = a mess you do not want to deal with. Suggestion: get some used 5 gal buckets with lids from a restaurant, transfer used water there, add a splash of "blue stuff" to prevent fermentation, and dump in an RV dump on the way home. Even better, elevate your shower platform to put a 5 gal bucket under it. That's what we did last year and it worked great. No more evap for me. Ever.
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Postby swampdog » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:11 pm

I invented a new evap pond last year. It worked fine, but we had really low load on it - just a few people max per day taking garden sprayer showers.

The concept is to soak up the water with towels and hang the towels to dry. Simple enough. So I built a black plastic evap pond about 5x5. In the middle, I built a structure out of PVC about 4.5 ft high, 4x4 at the base. Just a simple empty cube, basically. I drove rebar through the plastic base to stand the structure on, and tied the structure down to the playa with straps.

Voila! we have ze towel rack! Hang the towels on it, and clip them together at the bottom so they don't fly away. Voila! we have ze privacy screen for ze shower!

Take a shower using some low water, low splatter method, take down a towel and dry yourself and then mop up the floor of the evap pond, then hang up the towel (you may want to keep separate towels for body drying). Within a short period of time, the towels will be dry again and ready to reuse. (You may want to shake out the dust once in awhile.)

Let me know if you want more details. I took lots of pix as I built it.

Oh, one other wee thing - I attached the 1x3 (I think) that I used for the perimeter of the evap pond to each other with duct tape. There's no stress on that joint, you don't need to put screws or anything else there.
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Postby unjonharley » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:43 pm

Swampdog said.......


I tryed that towel thing.. Ended up with playa filled towels.
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Postby teardropper » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:04 am

I thought we were supposed to post twice.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:09 am

It's Double Speak Week.
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