Duh... Rainwater ETA New Question!

Leta

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I can speak pretty intelligently about DC wiring, how to hack a fridge to save tons of electricity, alternative methods of heating and cooling, greywater reuse, and composting toilets... but I have NO FREAKING CLUE where to even begin when it comes to rainwater harvesting and how to do it in a useful, sensible, and affordable way.

So, any resources, recommendations, or novice tutorials would be most appreciated.
 

SSDreamin

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At the present time, we have an 50 (?) gallon rain collection 'barrel' (It's square, and quite stylish :D ) that sits below a downspout. I use it for everything water-related out doors. Once we move, we plan to dig a large hole in the back yard, drop a large (500 gal/850 gal) water storage tank in, below frost level, then run our down spouts in the back (after diversion ) to it. We'll run an overflow tube out and install a hand pump. That way, I can still use it for outdoor watering, and we'll have a back up water source for inevitable power outages there. It will stink to have to haul water, but thats better than nothing. We used the small 'barrel' as our learning curve and decided it works well for our purposes.
 

TanksHill

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I guess its a good thing it rains where you live. ;)

I would love to harvest water but rain would be necessary first.
:D
 

Toulle

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A couple of us are currently discussing rainwater collection over in my journal section
 

Boogity

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Hi Leta. Harvesting rain water can be as simple or as extravagant as you wish. Since we live on a small farm we have several roof surfaces where we can harvest rain water. For esthetic reasons we do not have rain barrels on our house downspouts but we do have them on 7 other downspouts here and there around the place. Ours are very simple arrangements using a 55 gal. drum and simple piping or hose items to route the water into and out of these drums. Some people like to use a diverter valve (I think it's called a "first-dump" system) where the automatic valve sends the first few minutes of rain water away from the drum to carry away dirt and sticks that are washed off the roof surface. After a few minutes of water flow the valve automatically routes the water into the container for storage. You must have an overflow outlet to allow the drum to completely fill and also allow the excess water to go to a desired place like the drain line, garden, yard, or wherever else the water would go with out the rain barrel in use.

The discharge from the storage container can be a simple as a valve and a garden hose connection. You can also install rigid piping to distribute the water into a raised bed garden, animal watering devices, outdoor kitchen, etc.

The gravity flow from the container works much better the higher you have the container installed. Although I have one 55 gal. drum installed on a 26" diameter x 12" high log (looks like a stump) out at the goat barn/chicken coop, all the others are much higher than 12" off the ground. 48" is my preferred installation height.

Always remember that you will have to be able to completely drain all components of the system if you are in a cold weather location.

Here is an old picture of one of my installations in early stages. I wish you could see how the "in" and "out" piping is installed. I now have a raised bed garden where the red "X" is. PVC piping is installed from the drums (there is another drum on the far corner of the tool shed out of view) along the shed wall. This winter I plan to build a lean-to type greenhouse along the shed wall as it is a good southern location.

 

moolie

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Rainwater is easy to collect, but it isn't potable or recommended for food plants if you have an asphalt roof. We have rain barrels under our gutter downspouts, but only use the collected water for non-food plants and cleaning purposes.
 
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