Duh... Rainwater ETA New Question!

FarmerChick

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also be sure yours is a state that allows collection.
some do not.


your set up is all about usage. small can easily 'water' stuff, or go for big tanks etc. for your purpose. so sit down and figure out what you truly want it for and go from there.
 

Leta

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Well, here are my issues:

-I primarily want to harvest rainwater for irrigating the garden and crops.

-We currently live in town, so we have a water bill, which I am looking to cut down.

-We have no gutters. None of the houses here have gutters. At all. We live in an extreme climate and the snow/ice/wind just destroys them. So should I just place a rain barrel under the valley of my roof?

We are looking at moving to a small farm this spring. There, we would not have a water bill, we'd be on a well. But well = electric use, so I still want to be frugal with water. Or, as frugal as possible. I also have heard horror stories about wells running dry, so I don't want to overtax ours. In the new location, we would want to use rainwater to:

-irrigate plants

-filter and give to livestock for drinking

-use for laundry

-use to establish a natural swimming pool/pond in a low spot

The farmhouse doesn't have gutters, either.

Thank you so much to everyone who has responded. I'm going to go check out those links now.
 

Leta

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Oh, and it is perfectly legal to harvest rainwater here. :D
 

calendula

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We don't have rain gutters either. We have just strategically placed our barrels around the house where the most of the water runs off. I wish there were a way to keep collecting and storing water during the winter here though. We use it to water our chickens, but everything freezes solid here in the winter.
 

moolie

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Leta said:
-We have no gutters. None of the houses here have gutters. At all. We live in an extreme climate and the snow/ice/wind just destroys them. So should I just place a rain barrel under the valley of my roof?
.
There's absolutely no reason to not install gutters in an extreme climate (ask any Canadian).

People are generally fearful of ice dams building up, but this doesn't happen if you have proper ventilation in your attic and soffits, and your ceilings are insulated (floor of attic--can use batts or "blown in" loose fiberglass). Winds should not be a problem either if gutters are installed properly, I've lived through gale and hurricane force winds up and down the west coast as well as here in on the edge of the prairie/Rocky Mountain foothills and never seen gutter damage due to wind. You do need to clean the leaves out every fall if your trees drop leaves into your gutters or you'll have problems.

Southern Alberta, where I live, gets heinous freeze/thaw cycles for 6 months of the year because we get warm Chinook winds roaring down from the Rockies every couple of weeks all winter long. It snows, it gets COLD (mid -30 C/-22 F), we get a Chinook and some melting, it freezes again, it snows some more (even when the temps are in the -20s C), it melts--all winter long.

Northern Alberta and most of the prairies just get cold, snow, and more cold all winter long. Everywhere on the Canadian prairies gets wind, and lots of it. Everyone has gutters on their homes, and ice dams are rare, and ALWAYS related to poor insulation/ventilation of the attic space.

There is a lot of outdated misinformation about gutters out there, don't listen to old-timers who tell you gutters won't work in your climate. Gutters prevent runoff damage to your landscape and completely eliminate dangerous icicles hanging off your roof. Downspouts can direct water into rain barrels, flower beds, and to the base of trees--saving water.
 

Boogity

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FarmerChick said:
also be sure yours is a state that allows collection.
some do not.
Can you name some of those states? I've never heard of such a silly thing. My state doesn't own the rain and never will. But on the other hand the EPA and the stupid elected officials are unbelievable. :)
 

Leta

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Well, we insulated our attic (ceiling, walls, and floor) last summer, and it's crammed. It has at least one vent that faces west. I am concerned that when the accumulated snow falls off the roof (in a giant sheet, usually, in April) it will tear the gutters off.

If we do install gutters, we'll get the kind with a leaf barrier.
 

moolie

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Leta said:
Well, we insulated our attic (ceiling, walls, and floor) last summer, and it's crammed. It has at least one vent that faces west. I am concerned that when the accumulated snow falls off the roof (in a giant sheet, usually, in April) it will tear the gutters off.

If we do install gutters, we'll get the kind with a leaf barrier.
We have a foot of snow at a time on our roof during winter (sometimes more, but then we get up there and shovel it off) and often have snow-slides as it avalanches off--no problems ever with our gutters coming off. :)

Never tried the leaf-guards, but people around here do use them. We don't have any trees that drop leaves into the gutters, so we just check in case anything blows in and make sure they're clear before the snow falls.

As to insulation and venting, all soffits here are vented (with screens every here and there if wooden, or perforated if vinyl or aluminum). Make sure the insulation doesn't extend into the soffit area, a simple roof should be fine with only one vent but larger/more complicated rooflines might need more than one.

A lot of people here have the twirly kind of vent, often one at each gable end of the house:


but we just have the regular kind, similar to this:
 

FarmerChick

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Boogity said:
FarmerChick said:
also be sure yours is a state that allows collection.
some do not.
Can you name some of those states? I've never heard of such a silly thing. My state doesn't own the rain and never will. But on the other hand the EPA and the stupid elected officials are unbelievable. :)
blurb from a website: but I think more than just these states are affected because there are tons of laws about rainwater. remember drought states truly need ground water for everyone.....so....


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Rain. Just because it falls on your roof doesnt mean its yours. At least not in Colorado or Utah.

In these states, citizens or businesses that attempt to collect or store rainwater are in fact breaking the law. The overriding rule here is that of prior appropriation i.e. in order to have any rights to water you have to gain a state water right.

However, in the drought plagued, over appropriated Western states, most of the water is already spoken for, which can make securing a water right complicated, if not impossible.
 

Boogity

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FarmerChick said:
In these states, citizens or businesses that attempt to collect or store rainwater are in fact breaking the law. The overriding rule here is that of prior appropriation i.e. in order to have any rights to water you have to gain a state water right. However, in the drought plagued, over appropriated Western states, most of the water is already spoken for, which can make securing a water right complicated, if not impossible.
That's got to be one of the dumbest laws I've ever heard of. What difference does it make if I allow the water to run out of my downspout onto the ground or route it through my rain barrel and onto the ground. I know, I know big brother is trying to be all things to all people but they DO NOT own the rain. I'm sure the laws are made for large scale water users and storage situations but I still think that big brother is too big for his britches.
 
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