We Love You

Click here to find out where the gathering will be.
Click here to find out how to get into the gathering without receiving a mandatory court appearance ticket. (check the right hand side of the page)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Creating a Healthy Gathering Through Hand Washing

One thing that goes a long way to keeping folks at a gathering healthy and safe is washing hands - a lot. And I don't mean just rubbing your hands with sanitizer, but actual biodegradable soap (Dr. Bronner's is great) and filtered or boiled water. Some awesome Rainbow engineers have designed a hand wash station that's transportable and light weight. One goal of a Rainbow hand wash station is to make it hands free, so no one picks up germs in the process of washing their hands. (A smaller setup of this same type can be used for soap dispensing). If you're not up to speed on drinking water issues, Hawker has a great website showing what he's done in the past and discussing issues in greater depth.

Here's a great drawing of what I'll explain in words below. Thanks TimBear.

"From our experience, the primer bulb check valve can fail if the water gets trash in it. The solution we found was a small piece of filter material (like the filter from a wet vac) or fine mesh screening (a couple of layers of panty hose) around the end of the water intake. The pvc pipe allows you to direct the water where you want it, even if there is no tree where you want the water." - TimBear's words, not mine. What ever you do, make sure the grey water is at least 300 feet from creeks, rivers, and ponds and preferable somewhere where no one is walking. Dogs and people can get into the grey water and spread the germs all over the place and that's not healthy.

The key is a one-way syphon valve. It's made of rubber and can be squeezed by hand. Each end has a place to clamp hose onto. I usually get them at my local Marine supply store. Hook it up to some clear plastic tubing - one end to go into a bucket of filtered water. It looks like this:

The other end should be fastened somewhere (if not using TimBear's Pipe method) and hopefully have a drain system so people aren't standing around in gray water. To conserve water, get spare sun shower nozzles and put it on the end. These are $5-10 each from a camping supply store. They work great for the "faucet" end. Here is a photo of one.

Then to wash hands, all people need to do is pump the black syphon ball with their feet, and water comes out the shower nozzle. Portable hands free hand washing and kids love it!

Filtered water is best for hand washing. Providing an alcohol based hand sanitizer and/or a bleach wash as a final step is a great idea, but please label the ingredients so people can make informed decisions.

I also like to make a sink to minimize the amount of mucky grey water around the faucet. I've used a plastic bowl in a round tomato cage. Then drill a hole in the bottom and put in a connector so you can clamp a discharge pipe and run the waste water into a gray water pit. WARNING! HIPPIES CAN BE DUMB. Every time I use my sink setup, someone thinks we should recycle the gray water by putting it back into the fresh water container. THIS IS UNSANITARY AND IS WORSE THAN NOT WASHING YOUR HANDS AT ALL. So if you use a sink, please make a sign telling people that the drain DOES NOT go into the water source.

I'll be bringing a few extra setups to give out - but we needs lots of them. If someone(s) are looking for a great public service project for this year's gathering, here's a great one. Let's make sure we have enough hand washing stations scattered around the gathering so that people can't help but wash their hands at least twice a day. Every year I promise to make them at home and bring everything but the sink, but it doesn't seem to happen. Sure is easier at home with my tools.

Clean hands creates a healthy gathering.

Just a quick reminder, no soap in any surface water. Biodegradable soap only biodegrades in the soil.  All soapy water should be kept 300 feet from surface water like creeks, rivers, ponds and springs.  Don't be the dufuss who tries to wash your hands, clothes, hair, body in the creek. All you're doing is creating dirty water for the animals (2 and 4 legged) who drink the water.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that are racist, sexist, or that advocate violence will be removed.