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Nov 18, 2011
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undiscovered paradise, ny
Here in the frozen tundras of new york we get a lot of snow during the winter so I wonder since we can use rain water during the winter can we use snow during the winter. Of course I would have to imagine that it needs to be melted then warmed to room temp but can snow be used as a seasonal alternative for rainwater?
 
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Mar 11, 2010
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just put it in a pot and put it on the stove and it will melt pretty quickly, but a lot of snow only makes al ittle water which sucks...
 
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Make sure you use snow that has not been polluted with salt or cinders or whatever. That will kill your plants faster than tapwater!
 

Not a Number

Hello, I must be going...
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Well the density of water varies with temperature but at room temperatures 1 US gallon of water is about 8-8.3 pounds. So figure you have to shovel around 8 pounds of snow to get a gallon of water. That's probably a lot of snow.
 
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You would be surprized about shoveling 8 pounds in 1 scoop lol. Sometimes more. We have plenty of snow around here so I don't think finding it would be a problem and ill just put 5 gallon buckets of snow next to the wood stove it'll work well. I had a good idea I could use snow but wasn't 100 percent. Btw it takes about and inch or rain to make a foot of snow
 
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the thing is you can shovel a ton of snow but melting it all is tedius.... 5 gallons of snow isnt ery much water.. probably around 1 gallon maybe a bit more... and it takes room and such...
 
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Get some 5 gallon buckets. fill them with snow, then find or make something to pack down the snow and compress it..something like this would work, a tamper:

http://earthbagbuilding.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/ames-tamper1.jpg

(although something round would make more sense than a square tamper..but you get the idea..)
or you could just stomp on it with your boot! ;)
add more snow, pack it down tight, etc..until you have a full bucket of densly packed snow..
then bring it indoors and let it melt..
by packing it down densly, you might get 2 gallons of water for every 5 gallon bucket of snow..

and yes, be sure to use only clean snow! preferably freshly fallen, and away from a road..

Scot
 
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Dec 4, 2011
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By Using your inch of rain equals a foot of snow numbers, I would guess a five gallon bucket is 2 feet tall ? Then that would be 2 inches of water in your bucket ? Not a lot, now packing it in the bucket will obviously change the math a little. But then I wonder how much more your furnace would run by bringing in all that cold snow ? Let's say it only costs 25 cents of furnace time, still add that to your hassles and you can buy distiller water for about 90 cents a gallon, Probably cheaper if you find a good source. Now I did catch you said "wood stove" so heat cost are zero basically, but it's still a hassle for a few inches of water. I just mentioned the furnace time for others who might be thinking about this.
 

GrowinOld

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ARTificial Bog in da' Middle of da' USA
I have used snow in winter, when I occasionally run out of rainwater.
As everyone mentioned, make sure it is clean & indeed, it takes a LOT of snow to accumulate much water at all.
I would also recommend selecting snow from the 2nd or 3rd snowfall if possible, when snows come frequently. I suggest this, as the first snowfall usually seems filled with a lot of soot & pollutants. In fact it has an odd burnt/chemical smell to it sometimes (like from deisel engines or something).
I have not had any issues using it for plants, and would likely not use it for aquariums or animals or such, but do consider that it is the same water you are using when it rains, and seeing as the plants growing outdoors by you can handle it, your indoor CP's should be able to also.

(We live in such a sterilized world sometimes, we forget how truly robust and strong plants and animals really are.) Not to say that polluted water and resources won't kill them, but on the other hand, they don't need to be overly protected from natural situations either.

So I would say, have at it! But again, realize it takes a lot of snow to fill the bucket!
I used to just fill a bucket & put it in the garage to melt. As time passed, I would simply add more snow until eventually the buckets would be near full of water.
It is a good way to get water if you aren't in a hurry or need a lot right away.

Good Luck!
:water:
 
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