09 November 2011

Beyond My Skill Set

Hopefully the hardest part of the rainwater cistern project is behind us...

...although it's likely that there are harder parts to come, as all we've done so far is submit our rebate application to the city. The application was brutal. It wasn't that they asked a lot of difficult questions or anything. No, it was the art test that killed me.

The application required a "site drawing" showing the house, the cistern, and major landscaping features on the lot, as well as a 3-dimensional "system drawing" showing the house and rainwater system components. The city helpfully put the following sample drawings on their website:

The site drawing wasn't too terribly hard. I just had to track down a copy of our site plan from construction (basically a survey), white-out the extraneous lines, and then draw in the required components. It won't be winning any awards, but it's not too bad:

But then there's the system drawing. It would have to include all of the rooflines that feed into the rainwater system (which cover two and a half sides of the house), plus the water meter (which will require a special backflow prevention device), and sufficient detail of all of the various rainwater harvesting components, so an aerial view like the sample would be best. But our roof is complicated with a capital C, and I just couldn't figure out how to draw it from an angle from which I've never seen it. After briefly contemplating renting a helicopter, I settled for tracing the shape of the house from a photograph taken from the back corner of the lot, fudging the garage at the far left (which wasn't visible at all in the photo), adding the cistern and other rainwater collection components, and making a mockery of scale and perspective.

This was actually the better of two system drawings I attempted. I have since shredded the other one. Hopefully our rebate application will be approved without the need for any redos, and we can move on to the much easier step two: ordering the cistern.

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