Camp varies in the number of people who are here. Right now we are a group of 37 but that could swell with the next plane coming in. The cooks certainly need to plan and need to order food way in advance of the fluxes of people. They always need to think ahead. But what else do we always need? Water. Last week, Kathy Young, our camp manager said that we used 1300 gallons of water, approximately 35 gallons per person per week. How much do you use at home? Factoid:5 gallons are flushed through most toilets each time!
Jake Gibbons was loading up snow into the melter today with a front loader. The water gets melted and goes through charcoal and sediment filters. UV filters are also used at various stages before coming out of a water tap. Once the water is melted and filtered, it is filled into the "Pig”, a 200 gallon container, and hauled up to the Big House. There it is pumped into other water containers and filtered again. This happens at least twice a day, but that depends on how many people are here.
Water is used for cooking, washing dishes, showering, and flushing the toilet just like you might expect at home. But if we used water here like we normally do at home, we would need to fill that Pig more often. Everyone is very careful on conserving water. Showers are once every 5-7 days and short….turn on the water to get wet, turn off, wash with soap, turn water back on to rinse. The technique is like using one of the solar bags for camping showers. Washing clothes is also on a weekly basis and only those clothes that are next to your skin. The toilet doesn’t get flushed every time. Someone once coined the expression, "if it is yellow, let it mellow; if it is brown, flush it down.” That is what everyone adheres to, again to conserve water. There is water for both the Big House and the Greenhouse. At the Greenhouse the water can flow into a holding tank without being delivered by the "Pig”. There is so much to think about in a remote location such as Summit, Greenland and I have only touched on the water. It certainly has made me think of how I can be more conserving in my own personal water use at home.