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Collecting rainwater

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Rainwater Harvesting

Post  twangster on 1/5/2011, 12:47 pm

Hello everyone! I just bought two 275 gallon IBC food grade totes to use for rainwater collecting from my roof. I could build a 4' high deck to gravity feed the water to my garden beds but my beds are about 40' away. Should I use an electric pump and leave them at ground level? I'm thinking if I use a pump, I could bury pvc across the yard. Also, I'm thinking a soaker hose is my cheapest route, but I'm not sure. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  boffer on 1/5/2011, 1:11 pm

Hi,

The idea of gravity powered watering systems is a great one, but a lot of folks on the forum have been disappointed with the results.

I think you'd be happier with a pump system. It will be more time efficient, and allow you to consider many different watering options. Some folks report good results with soakers; some like the drip systems; some still use a garden hose and wand. But they all require more pressure than gravity provides.

Choksaw mentions in this post that he is starting a similar project soon. He is one of the gravity watering experimenters from last spring who were disappointed. I look forward to seeing his video. He has done some nice how-to threads.

Let us know how it goes.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  NAR56 on 1/7/2011, 5:44 pm

I have 1 275 gallon IBC container for rain water at gound level and I use a sump pump I got at Harbor Freight for around $40. The sump pump is connected to a garden hose with a watering wand and I am pleased with the results. My sump pump will not fit into the IBC without modifying the IBC, so I have to fill a 20 gallon plastic tub and pump it out from there.
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Rainwater Harvesting Manual

Post  camprn on 1/27/2011, 7:31 pm

Rainwater Harvesting Manual from the Texas Water Development Board.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Ha-v-v on 1/27/2011, 8:01 pm

@camprn wrote:Rainwater Harvesting Manual from the Texas Water Development Board.
Nice manual Smile
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Collecting rainwater

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 10:12 am

We have talked about rainbarrels on here before and some of you didn't think you get very much rain in the summer, at least not enough to warrant getting a rainbarrel. Here is a link I found rather interesting. You put in your Zip code and they will tell you how much you can collect in your area. Thought some of you might be interested.

http://www.bushmanusa.com/?gclid=CIzYqarKiqgCFQQ7gwodyFkoDA

Gwynn
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 4/7/2011, 10:19 am

Very cool. Now, what on earth will I do with 27,000 gallons of water this year? Open a neighborhood theme park, maybe? And, charge admission.... Twisted Evil Now, THAT is a reusable resource.

Thanks so much for sharing! I hope a lot of people realize they get more water than they thought.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 10:27 am

I know!! It is amazing isn't it!! We really don't realize how much of a valuable resource water is and how much of it we just let go to waste. We haven't had that much rain here this spring, but when the snow started melting, my DH filled all four of our rainbarrels with snow. That melted down and filled them about a third of the way. It rained quite hard yesterday for about 15 minutes and they are all full now.

Between SFG, composting and collecting rainwater, we really could make a huge dent in the problem of world hunger.

Gwynn
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  boffer on 4/7/2011, 10:28 am

I was one of them. Neat site, thanks.

My thinking was correct. But the obvious solution that I overlooked, was to get bigger storage tanks so they could hold more water longer to get through the dry spell. Now, I wonder how much that tank costs that's bigger than an 8 person hot tub? Razz
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 10:39 am

@boffer wrote:I was one of them. Neat site, thanks.

My thinking was correct. But the obvious solution that I overlooked, was to get bigger storage tanks so they could hold more water longer to get through the dry spell. Now, I wonder how much that tank costs that's bigger than an 8 person hot tub? Razz

You were one of the ones I was thinking of when I found that site. Some of those are humongous aren't they? LOL! Speaking of hot tubs......Mother Earth News, back when we subscribed to it light years ago before it had glossy photographs, had an article on building a wooden hot tub. So if you built one of those you could just put a roof over it, fire up the gigantic stove you would need to heat it and use it as a hot tub all winter. Wink Then use the grey water to water your garden come summer. Grey water is a great garden resource.

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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  boffer on 4/7/2011, 10:51 am

I think I remember that issue! But the secret truth about hot tubs is...the only thing they're good for is to help young men get young women out of their clothes! Think about it: how many people do you know have owned and used a hot tub more than ten years? There's so many used ones available that people can't give them away. The American population is aging, we don't need hot tubs anymore! rofl

I agree that grey water is a great resource. Now, if we could just convince the building inspectors of that.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 11:06 am

@boffer wrote:I think I remember that issue! But the secret truth about hot tubs is...the only thing they're good for is to help young men get young women out of their clothes! Think about it: how many people do you know have owned and used a hot tub more than ten years? There's so many used ones available that people can't give them away. The American population is aging, we don't need hot tubs anymore!

I agree that grey water is a great resource. Now, if we could just convince the building inspectors of that.

You probably DO remember that issue. Since when has advancing age stopped men from trying to get women to take their clothes off? You obviously haven't spent enough time visiting people in seniors homes. So since you won't be needing the "hot tub" anymore Wink you can skip the heating part and just save the water.

Gwynn
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Collecting Rainwater ILLEGAL?!!

Post  mollyhespra on 11/23/2012, 8:15 am

I thought I'd start a new topic on this but the credit goes to the Keyhole Garden discussion where this came up.

Maybe this is old news for some of you, but my jaw just about hit the floor when I read up on it.

Did you know that collecting rainwater is illegal in a few states?
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  camprn on 11/23/2012, 8:56 am

Oh water rights is a VERY SERIOUS thing. Yup, water is tremendously precious out west. So little water falls out west that more of it gets taken out of the Colorado river than is replenished annually. Unless it snows A LOT in the mountains, the river is a mere shadow of it's former self.

Have you ever read The Milagro Beanfield War ?

The link you provided leads to an article that lacks adequate general historical information about water rights and it seems like an inflammatory piece regarding 'Liberty' in general. Water, where ever it is, is a very, very precious resource that needs management. Particularly in arid areas. I was glad to see recent changes in the Colorado laws.

Water rights in the USA have a long history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_right#Water_rights_in_the_United_States

http://water.usgs.gov/

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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  RoOsTeR on 11/23/2012, 9:44 am

Thread moved to Everything Else.

You got it camp. In arid climates like Colorado, water is a precious commodity. Especially when other towns, states, farms, ranches etc. downstream depend on the flow of water not only from rain, but ice melt as well. Snow and snow melt is of HUGE importance here in Colorado. I'm just hoping we don't have another summer and winter like we did this past season, or we are going to be in hurting Embarassed

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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/23/2012, 6:51 pm

Homes just a block from us have "water rights" from a canal that is close by. Where I live we don't have access to that "water". I don't know if I would want it anyway. I have heard there are lots of weed seeds and chemicals. As if our faucet water doesn't have chemicals.

I have heard of others using "grey" water and have been contemplating doing research on whether the "grey" from tubs and sinks can be used here in Utah outside. A problem would be how to get it outside easily without breaking our backs and spilling it everywhere. Some bath water is quite clean after its use. It seems a shame to just let it go down the drain and have it go get "treated". I will go and try to do my research.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/23/2012, 7:05 pm

I found the laws for Utah and it sounds quite complex with lots of strict requirements, which is understandable. It sounds expensive but I will try to find if someone has been successful with this in a simple and inexpensive fashion. Free would be good, lol. The Health Dept. even has to come and inspect the set up.

One item I noted was that the "grey" water could not come in contact with vegetables to be eaten. That is interesting.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Unmutual on 11/24/2012, 7:15 am

Most people use grey water for fruit trees to avoid all the issues of "unclean" water. Brad Lancaster has done excellent work in harvesting rainwater in Arizona.

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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  camprn on 11/24/2012, 7:48 am

I think Mother Earth News has had articles of retrofitting for collecting rainwater, diverting water in other ways and grey water use.

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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  cheyannarach on 11/24/2012, 10:22 am

Wow, I had no idea that rain water would have sooo many rules.
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I´m lucky

Post  viola on 11/24/2012, 1:30 pm

Wow, I guess I should be lucky to live in Sweden. When I read about your problems with water I feel a little bit ashamed of myself that I have been complaining about all the rain we have been given in our country this year. It seems like it has been raining everyday and all my containers are filled and running over for a long time ago.
If I could I would send you some water Very Happy .
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/24/2012, 2:56 pm

I will have to use some on my fruit trees Unmutual. Every bucket full would be that much less going down the drain!

Cheyanne, I agree.

Viola, but too much of anything is about as bad as too little, even rain.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  FamilyGardening on 11/24/2012, 8:38 pm

What a Face
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  CindiLou on 11/27/2012, 2:09 am

We don't have water issues in Iowa so far. Of course another year like last could be the point were we get asked to conserve. But water is collectable even without a permit as long as it is less than 25k a day taken. So far that is what I have found. But we do have areas that were getting concerned last summer with the drought. And a few spots had their water reservoirs get low enough to have to buy from other sources.
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Re: Collecting rainwater

Post  Triciasgarden on 11/28/2012, 11:16 pm

I hope you get good rain, but not too much!
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