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Watering from rain barrels

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  Blackrose on 3/24/2011, 11:04 am

I've been considering getting rain barrels. I can put them right beside my garage to catch the rainwater. Good thing is that the garage is right near my SFG. Win win!

At first I was a little concerned about acid rain, but then I thought, when it rains it rains right onto my plants. So how much of a difference can it make if I collect it and then use it for my plants? It's still got to be better than paying for water to water my garden, right? Any thoughts? :scratch:

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/24/2011, 11:24 am

I think this is one of those topics that is "to each his own". I plan on using my roof water, but will probably set up an extra barrel to "run" things through so that any roof particles fall to the bottom, or set up a screen. Not just to get the unwanteds out of my water, but to also not have stopped up plumbing. I'm growing my own food so I can have real food, and better taste and quality, but I'm not going to go overboard about it. I like using things like air conditioners and toilet paper, but I do try to conserve what I can when I can, and do what is best for my family. In all honesty the water that comes from our roof is probably better water than what comes from our well, we seriously need a new well, this one puts out water that has a red tint to it, and we haul drinking water in, and our whites to the laundrymat, so I'm more concerned about watering with that than anything else, but not going to stop growing our own food because of it. Blackrose, I think your roof water will be just fine, I was just mentioning it may be worth looking into so you can better inform yourself (each of us) for your own peace of mind.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  ashort on 3/24/2011, 11:41 am

@FarmerValerie wrote:
I have read that if you have shingles on your roof you should not collect water for food, there is asphalt in those shingles.

Sorry for the double post, I didn't read down far enough this morning...

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/24/2011, 11:57 am

No worries, that's why I try to be on my second cup of coffee before posting, I make more sense that way.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  CindiLou on 3/24/2011, 1:02 pm

I have a screened hole on the top of my barrels. Keeps mosquitoes and debris out. I have always used the roof water. My plants seem to love it better than rain so the shingles can't be too bad. Next year it will be a metal roof lol.

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Watering from rain barrels

Post  happycamper on 3/25/2011, 1:50 am

I also use rain barrels to water the garden. I have two 65 gallon barrels and two 35 gallon containers I use for overflow water storage.

I learned last year that it was not enough to handling the watering needs of the garden in the summer BUT I also discovered that my summer 2010 water/sewer bill was $113 less than what it was in the summer of 2009. I will hopefully be able to find more barrels/containers this year to be able to afford my SFG habit!

Years ago I owned a Maytag wringer washing machine and my gray water was used to water the lawn. I wonder how many people know what a wringer washer is!

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/25/2011, 2:04 am

I know! I know! I know! I even remember getting my fingers, hand and wrist caught before my Mom turned it off. I was helping.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  boffer on 3/25/2011, 2:07 am

@happycamper wrote:Years ago I owned a Maytag wringer washing machine and my gray water was used to water the lawn. I wonder how many people know what a wringer washer is!
I have one that I'll let go for $25. In working condition. I bought it an auction for parts; then I found out it worked, darnit! I can't in clear conscious dismantle a working machine. Please buy it and use it! It's a Speedqueen.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  CindiLou on 3/25/2011, 2:57 am

Rofl...I would if I were closer Boffer...been looking for one for hubby's grease rags lol...

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  kiwirose on 3/25/2011, 5:10 am

I have 3x 65 gal and 2x ~35 gal and multiple buckets (5 gal). The 3 65 gals are hooked up - 2 of them fill off one downspout using a diverter that only collects a portion of what comes down the downspout but the advantage is that when the barrel is full, the water is then redirected down the downspout - only it takes an inch of rain to full the barrels. Not satisfied, I am working on improvements. My 3rd 65 gal barrel has a flex hose directing ALL the water from my roof to the barrel - but it fills in minutes in a good rain, so I can them (manually) move the flex hose and direct the rain back down the downspout so that I don't flood my foundation. Because this barrel fills fast, the bottom of this one is hooked up to the other 2 large ones and the water level equalizes which is really nice.

My garden is a ways from the house, so my 2 x 35 gal barrels are located in my garden with a hose that runs from one of my 65 gal barrels and gravity fills the ones in my garden. then when I get oodles of rain, I will also fill up my buckets (which I use up first because they don't all have lids) to collect even more. I am still refining the set up and minimizing me schlepping water all over creation - my hubby is concerned about the number of hoses - or pieces of hoses I have around as I refine my RB plumbing lol - but like someone else said - my plant grow so much better with rain water than tap water - the cost of our water is through the roof - we get city water, but because we live in the county we pay a 'special rate' - it works out to about 3x what we paid in the city.

Re shingle roofs - I agree it is personal preference. I have a shingle roof - my thought process is that as long as I wash my produce before eating it... it will be OK. I also think - well, what crap does the city put in the water - the water I wash my veges with - lol - I don't know which is worse. I decided to stop worrying about it because I couldn't find any convincing science either way - people had theories but I didn't find any solid evidence - and concentrations of harmful chemicals would deminish the older the roof is (my theory again).

It is 5am and dark outside otherwise I would run outside and take some pics of my rainbarrel set up (and my garden which I haven't ever posted). I am very proud of my set up this year. Very Happy even if I do say so myself

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  walshevak on 3/25/2011, 9:13 am

Boffer, that looks just like one my mother used. We had it sitting in the back yard between the well and the house. Had to run an extention cord out the back door, hand pump the cold water in the kitchen and heat on the kitchen range. Sure am glad we moved from the farm before i got old enough to have to help.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  FarmerValerie on 3/25/2011, 9:30 am

Okay everyone let's break out singing "I'm Proud To Be A Coal Miner's Daughter", that looks like the one Sissy Spacek kicked while portraying Lorretta Lynn. Oh how I wish I could come get that thing boffer!!!!

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Watering from rain barrels

Post  Goosegirl on 3/25/2011, 10:17 am

@boffer wrote:
@happycamper wrote:Years ago I owned a Maytag wringer washing machine and my gray water was used to water the lawn. I wonder how many people know what a wringer washer is!
I have one that I'll let go for $25. In working condition. I bought it an auction for parts; then I found out it worked, darnit! I can't in clear conscious dismantle a working machine. Please buy it and use it! It's a Speedqueen.

Too bad that thing WORKS! If it were just a shell, it would make a most AWESOME planter as a centerpiece for a SFG box!

Very Happy

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/26/2011, 2:02 pm

Seeing that makes me thankful for technology!

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/26/2011, 2:02 pm

btw- I went and picked up more 55 gallon drums today so I'll be busy converting them tomorrow!

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  westie42 on 5/26/2011, 8:38 am

I now have seven 55 gal barrels full of rain water at the house roof downspout, all are on a manifold pipe. I also have 3 more full out beside the SG boxes about 75 ft away and a Delavan 12 volt sprayer pump setup to move the water out to the garden barrels. That all works beautifully. Soon a solar panel will recharge the 12v battery. The pvc pipe drip irrigation is still a work in progress but is coming along ok at this point. My problem is that my living is split between two different towns 180 miles apart and so need an automatic timer to start watering twice each day. The Vigoro by Melco timer from HD does not turn on in low pressure situations, it does turn on fine at the city water hose faucet but not at the barrels. So now I have done all this to not be able to use it in my absence and am desperate to find a valve that will come on under low pressure. Can anyone suggest an automatic watering valve that will work here. Your help is needed and appreciated.


Last edited by westie42 on 5/26/2011, 8:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/26/2011, 8:40 am

I cannot offer any advice, but I did see one a few years back that I want, it's "connected" to a weather service, and when it's raining, the sprinklers won't come on.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  walshevak on 5/26/2011, 8:47 am

Found this on the internet. zero pressure battery timer. $55.00

http://www.rainbarrelman.com/irrigation-kit.htm


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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  Blackrose on 5/26/2011, 9:26 am

My town is having a rain barrel sale on the 4th. Only $35 for a 55gal. We're going to get a couple! I can even place one at the back of the garage closer to my SFG.

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  westie42 on 5/26/2011, 9:54 am

Thanks Walshevak I have one on order. That guy didn't take cc so found one elsewhere but much appreciation for your informative helpful reply.

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looky looky!!!! my rain barrel will be up soon!

Post  cienfuegos on 5/26/2011, 5:27 pm

I bought a 275 gallon tote for $40 bucks. Next thing will be to buy an on demand pump and installing the gutters. I'm excited. I asked for a the pony pump for my birthday. cheers

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Re: Watering from rain barrels

Post  pattipan on 5/26/2011, 5:41 pm

@Blackrose wrote:My town is having a rain barrel sale on the 4th. Only $35 for a 55gal. We're going to get a couple! I can even place one at the back of the garage closer to my SFG.

That is so cool! I really think it should be promoted and businesses get incentives everywhere!

We bought a second one through Ace hardware (free ship to store) for $72. Tax included. They're connected via the overflow of the one on the left. The other overflow I stuck into a bucket to catch even more water. With all the rain we are having we could do more if we had the space!



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