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Daox 09-24-08 12:38 PM

Rain water collection
This could go in a few different forums, but I choose here because I plan on using the water for gardening purposes. I'll probably wait until next year, but I would like some ideas on how to build a rain water collection system. The garden area is right behind my garage, so I plan on collecting the water off of it.

The initial plans are to use those blue plastic barrels as holding tanks. The gutters (which need to be put on yet) would route the water to these barrels. I'd get a bulkhead fitting for the tanks and connect them together and to a hose. I was hoping I could get away with a gravity fed delivery system so I didn't need a pump. I think this will work.

Anyone have a system already setup that could provide some info?

Tony Raine 09-24-08 01:24 PM

i wish i had gutters on my house, i would do something like this. my thoughts include putting a 5 gallon bucket above the collection barrel, and fill it with gravel of various sizes to act as a "prefilter" to keep out leaves and dirt that could clog the hoses. you also may have to paint the collection barrel black to keep mold from forming.

as long as the bottom of your barrel (or wherever you put the output hose) is above or level with your output at the garden, gravity feed should work great.

truckncycle 09-24-08 02:20 PM

I often think about rain collection. I also wonder how to collect the water that is running down the street from other peoples sprinklers. You will have to tell us how it goes. I know that a lot of systems use a diverter (roof wash) to dump the first couple of gallons coming off the roof so you aren't storing the contaminants.

Daox 09-24-08 02:45 PM

I really like the gravel bucket idea. I had also been thinking of a way to keep mosquitoes out of the water and that should solve that problem too.

I don't really think a diverter would be needed since this is just going to be used for watering the garden? I'm guessing I'd only get pebbles, dust, and leaves that wash down, and the gravel should filter some of that out.

Why does painting the barrel black keep mold from growing on it?

Binger 09-24-08 04:31 PM

I saw an episode of a show about renovations on the planet green network (hosted by the steve guy from this old house).
There was a family who had an underground system that tapped into their srinklers.

The gutters drained into this tank and it went from there to the underground system.

They stretched panty hose over the top of the first tank because it allowed water in and kept bugs out.

toyobug 09-25-08 08:34 AM

Check this system out! COOL!!
A Spouse's Guide to Building the Perfect Rain Barrel System

Found these too:

Rain Barrel by Aaron
Rain Barrels | Rain Barrel Water Savers | Composters
Rain Barrels, Downspout Diverters and Filters, Rain Barrel Kits

I've heard of these type systems before. Daox, you've really got me interested in this idea. Thanks

Tony Raine 09-25-08 09:11 AM


Why does painting the barrel black keep mold from growing on it?
i think because it keeps light from going in. here at work, all the big, trailer-mounted pressure washers have the tanks painted black. i asked why, and thats what they told me.

Daox 09-25-08 10:04 AM

That first link is excellent Toyobug! That is pretty much exactly what I planned. I didn't think about the overflow vents though. I'm not keen on paying for things that I can make. Especially since I very much enjoy building things myself.

toyobug 09-25-08 10:15 AM

I liked the set up in the first link too. After looking at the other variations from other sites, I'm going with the first! It's too easy of a set up! I've already got the spot picked out in my back yard!
The other sites did have some useful info about various products to go along with any system though. Like the mosquito things, different down spout ideas.
One site had multiple barrels connected by the "over flow" pipe. I'd lke to know how viable that idea is.

Tony Raine 09-25-08 11:26 AM


Originally Posted by toyobug (Post 340)
One site had multiple barrels connected by the "over flow" pipe. I'd lke to know how viable that idea is.

thats the way i would go, but i would probably use bigger diameter pipe to connect them. just a short piece of pipe, one barrel to the next, near the top.

or you could connect all the barrels, top and bottom, from the sides. that way you basically have one big "tank" with one input (at the top of one barrel) and one output (on the very bottom of one barrel).

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