While DK waits for her pain meds to kick in... the next picture.
We review the CJDS specifications - emptying the wallet is the name of the game, in the Cashew Jar Department Store.
But what is that?
Second picture shows the story. Tube on the left is from DK's tap. Two tubes on the right show final tank water, middle tube tested with standard pH test, right tube tested with high-range pH test kit.
What we have is tap that emerges in the pH 5 range (enough to eat DK's plumbing with acidity
, as those of you who follow this thread remember last winter's main distribution line re-plumbing job using John Guest fittings, some pages back herein
). The very low pH in her tap is due to high levels of dissolved carbon dioxide gas, which the magical well fairies bubble into her well water with their sparkly wands (ok, mebbe, mebbe not, but somehow it gets highly carbonated...)
Twice a day, the Water Factory III turns on, releasing this (pH 5 something, temperature 50F something in the winter months) water, which then traverses about 30 feet over about 2-5 minutes, emerging after injections, at the tanks. (Actually, 130 feet or so during the winter months, when the heat exchanger
coil is activated and not on bypass.)
DK has, of course, learned that Mermaids, unlike teenagers, do NOT like carbonated water. They also prefer to bask in warmth, and do NOT like cold showers twice daily. Them's some high-maintenance chicks and dudes.
What we have here, therefore, is live-feed water that is wholly unsuitable for Mermaids, badly. A normal person would therefore pick another specie to cultivate, but to DK, this is simply a gold-leaf engraved invitation for more M..a..d... D..o..i..n..g..s...
I mean, a challenge
. So, we's gotta take it up, and run with it, letting the squirrely brain zigzag here and there, trying to find a zany solution. We do it, because the challenge is there
. Oh, and, because them Mermaids are ALSO already there, wanting cushier digs, demanding this and that just so
, and asking for assorted silicone body parts, to which DK categorically says, "NO WAY!" (OK, mebbe that last part is a lie, DK has problems lying, at times...)
So the challenge was to come up with a real-time, simple, fail-proof, effective method to pull that large amount of CO2 out of the tap water BEFORE it hits the Mermaid tank bank. In our narrative, CO2 equals wallet bucks. (Those of you who are closet or vicarious arm-chair project junkies, EACH of those adjectives posed a substantial technical challenge, EACH ONE: real-time, simple, fail-proof, effective
.) Cheap goes without saying.
If you've ever tried to de-carbonate water, you realize it takes a bit. This post is long enough, so we'll continue the discussion next post.
In the meantime, ponder thusly, these pictures.
Special thanks to Shrimptern 2.0 for support thinking about this project - they helped motivate me to KEEP pondering the problem until DK had a plan...