Experiments

Grey ice

The whole rink is made from grey water – entirely from our main floor bathtub. I originally had planned on siphoning it out with a garden hose but the flow was far too slow, so I ended up choosing the low-tech solution: a five-gallon pail.

The whole rink is made from grey water – entirely from our main floor bathtub. I originally had planned on siphoning it out with a garden hose but the flow was far too slow, so I ended up choosing the low-tech solution: a five-gallon pail.

On a slushy day early in the winter I built up a three- or four-inch mound of snow/ice around the perimeter (about 4 metres by 10 metres, or 13 by 32 feet). And then, when it got more permanently cold, like staying below -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit), I started shoveling off the section and carrying out the bucket after bath-time with my boys (ages 1 and 3). The first number of floods took five or six buckets full, as the parking pad wasn’t level. But as the ice built up on the low end and leveled out, I could coat the space with two or three buckets full.

I did this two or three times a week for a month, so maybe 12–15 floods before we started skating on it. I’m sure a more level surface would need less. I’ve done maybe two more floods afterwards to smooth it out after a good skating party. The size isn’t really functional for adults, but for kids learning to skate, it’s been great fun. We’ve even had neighbours dropping by to use it. – Derek Eidse, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Issue 13

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 13, Spring 2009, Experiments with Truth.

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Issue 13, Spring 2009

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