|Our rain catchment tanks collect water from a small addition to the house.|
A better photo and close-ups of the set-up are here.
I've been wanting to do an update on our rainwater catchment system, but we had to fix a problem first. That problem was a leak at the pipe fitting between top and bottom tanks.
|The water level gives you an idea of where the pipe fitting leaked.|
The water level in the photo above shows where the leak was. This was disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. We'd considered the set-up experimental to begin with, something we've learned to do with new projects because things don't always work out as we first expect!
The first thing we did was to try various sealants to plug the leak. Even waterproof caulks state they are not for underwater use, or in this case, in constant contact with water. Between that and the pressure from the water in the tank, nothing we tried worked. It took awhile to figure this out because we had to wait until it rained again to test each sealant.
What Dan wanted, was different fittings, but we couldn't find anything locally, nor online for a decent price. Finally, on a trip to Iowa, he found what he was looking for at Bomgarrs.
|Left to right: gland nut, washer, and flanged|
threaded fitting with gasket incorporated.
The gland nut (above left) and washer (middle) were fitted into the hole on the inside of the tank. The flanged threaded fitting (on the right) screwed into the gland nut from the outside, and the tanks reconnected. How did it work? We had to wait until it rained again to find out.
|Success! Leak fixed.|
As you can see, the top tank is beginning to fill with no more leaks. The white piece between the two black elbows is a coupling and threaded union Dan put together.
|Not an especially good photo, sorry!|
To see the rest of the set-up, click on this link, "Rainwater Catchment (At Last)".
So how much rain are we collecting? That small section of roof pictured in the first photo measures 15 by 7.5 feet, or 112.5 square feet. From that, we collect 50 gallons of water per one inch of rain. I am so glad we resisted the temptation to put up a couple of 55 gallon drums, especially considering that we've had over 23 inches of rain since the tanks were installed at the beginning of January. That's over 1100 gallons of water from that little bit of roof! (And our two tanks only hold a total of 550 gallons).
It's almost overwhelming to consider how much rain run-off gets away, even from a small house like ours. That's not only potential irrigation water, but potential toilet flushing, showering, and washing machine water as well. Needless to say, Dan's mental wheels are turning.
Rainwater Catchment Update © April 2013