4-Day Water and Earthworks

A swale holds water in the landscape
A swale holds water in the landscape

Brad Lancaster is coming to Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture to teach!  Wayne Weiseman and Brad Lancaster will team up to present this course material as well as hands-on learning opportunities on our sloped and highly erodible  landscape here at Kinstone. Come learn about rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, water management, grey water, and the earthworks you may need to implement to support these systems.

In this 4-day intensive course we will learn how to read slope and how water moves by gravity. We will discuss what the hydrological cycle is and its importance in the great web of life. We will learn how to capture water with dams and swales, how to recharge groundwater systems, how to move earth in order to construct earthworks such as ponds, lakes and dams, how to identify the keyline in a landscape, how to assess and construct wetlands for water purification, what kind of vegetation helps to purify water, what to plant in and near swales, ponds, and lakes, how to utilize gray water in orchards and fields, and when the use of septic, leach fields and wells are appropriate. Most of all we will learn that all water used in the landscape and for personal use can be purified and recycled for further use. Water rights and usage are becoming a major issue in the world today: what are these current issues?

Brad Lancaster is a guest instructor during this course. Brad is an expert in rainwater harvesting and water management approaches.

Prerequisites: None

Organization: Readings, narrated power point presentations, field skills, hands-on techniques and practice.

Course Length: 4 days (Thursday-Sunday)

Instructors: Wayne Weiseman with Brad Lancaster

Course Texts: A resource list and handouts will be distributed at the course. Any specific texts that may be required will be announced well in advance of the course start date.

Course Topics:

  • Regional intervention in the water cycle
  • What is the hydrological cycle?
  • What is the chemical makeup of water?
  • What are the many uses and abuses of water?
  • Earthworks for water conservation and storage
  • Keyline system
  • Dams and earth tanks
  • Swales
  • Ponds and lakes
  • Diversion banks and drains
  • Earth moving equipment and construction
  • Sewage systems and composting techniques (toilets, compost piles, etc.)
  • Purification of polluted waters
  • Grey water
  • Surface catchment and water storage (cisterns, purification, etc)
  • Natural swimming pools
  • G. Wells
  • Septic and leach fields
  • Wetlands for water purification
  • Water Cycles and Management

Recommended Reading:

  • Aquatic Plants for Water Treatment and Resource Recovery, Reddy and Smith, 1987
  • Aquifer Restoration, R.C. Knox
  • Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner, Penguin Books, 1987
  • Composting Toilet System Book, Del Porto and Steinfeld, Center for Ecological Pollution Prevention,1986
  • Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment, Municipal, Industrial and Agricultural, Donald Hammer
  • Create an Oasis With Graywater, Art Ludwig, Poor Richard’s Press, 1994
  • Design for Water, Heather Kinkade-Levario, New Society Publishers, BC, 2007
  • Dynamic Aquaria: Building Living Ecosystems, Academic Press
  • Earth Ponds Sourcebook, Tim Matson, Countryman Press, 1997
  • Ecological Aquaculture, Laurence Hutchinson, Permanent Publications, 2005
  • Ecological Engineering for Wastewater Treatment, C. Etneir and B. Gullerslam
  • Ecological Engineering, Patrick Kangas, Lewis Publishers, 2004
  • Ecological Engineering: an Introduction to Ecotechnology, Mitch & Jorgenson, 1989
  • Freshwater Aquaculture Book, William McClarney
  • Freshwater Crayfish Aquaculture, J.V. Hunter, Food Products Press
  • Getting Food from Water, Gene Logsdon, Rodale Press 1978
  • Groundwater Hydrology, David K. Todd
  • Groundwater Quality Protection, Larry W. Xanter, 1987
  • Gray Water Use in the Landscape, Robert Kourik, Metamorphic Press, 1988
  • Handbook of Gravity Flow Water Systems, Thomas Jordan, Intermediate Tech Dev. Group
  • Home Water Supply, Stu Campbell, Storey Books, 1983
  • Lifting the Lid, Harper and Halestrap. The Centre for Alternative Technology, 1999
  • Living Energies, Callum Coates, Gateway Books, 1996
  • Living Water, Olaf Alexandersson, Turnstone Press, 1982
  • Principles of Aquaculture, Robert R. Stickney
  • Rainwater Collection for the Mechanically Challenged, Suzy Banks and Richard Heinichen, Tank Town Publications, 1997
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol I, 2nd Edition, Brad Lancaster, 2013 (order from Brad’s website: www.harvestingrainwater.com)
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Vol II, Brad Lancaster, 2007 (order from Brad’s website: www.harvestingrainwater.com)
  • Residential Wastewater Systems, NAHB Staff, 1980
  • Sensitive Chaos, Theodore Schwenk, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1965
  • Sewage Solutions, Nick Grant, Center for Alternative Technology Publications, 2000
  • The Humanure Handbook, J Jenkins, Jenkins Publishing, 1994
  • The Toilet Papers, Sim Van der Ryn, Ecological Design Press, 1979
  • Water Encyclopedia, Van der Leeden
  • Water for Every Farm, PA Yeomans, Second Back Row Press, 1981
  • Water: Element of Life, Theodore Schwenk
  • Watershed Hydrology, Peter Black, 1991
  • Water Storage, Art Ludwig, Oasis Design, 2005
  • Wells and Septic Tanks, Max Alth, Tab Books, 1992