|Our 1st rainwater catchment set-up. More to come.|
These tanks stack well, so this set-up gives us the potential to catch and store 500 gallons of rainwater. Placement of the tanks was tough, because we didn't want to block the window, and putting them at the corner of the house would block the path to the garden between the house and carport.
The horizontal pipe from the downspout to the tank has a slight downward slope, to allow water to gravity feed into the top tank.
|Dan cut a hole in the tank cap for for the corrugated hose.|
The upper tank drains into the lower tank.
|Tanks are connected|
This not only doubles our storage capacity, but will help with water pressure when the tanks are full.
[UPDATE: April 15 - We had a leak at the connection but have solved the problem. Details on that and how much water we're collecting are here, Rainwater Catchment Update.]
The tanks already had shut-off valves, so Dan added a hose bib onto the bottom tank so we can hook up an ordinary garden hose.
|Bottom tank is fitted with a hose bib to enable |
irrigating the garden with a regular hose & sprinkler
To prevent leaves and dirt from entering the tanks, he added a clean-out plug.
Initial rainfall washes debris off the roof and into the tube. Once the tube is full, water flows into the tanks. Theoretically, only clean rainwater should enter the tanks. The end cap can be unscrewed to empty the drain pipe. I admit I was wondering about this, since it is so high off the ground. It does require a ladder, which is not really a problem, but I pictured water going everywhere as I tried to catch it in a bucket. The end cap is not a tight fit however, so that all the water had slowly dripped out by the time I went to empty it. All that was left in the clean out was a few leaves.
The roof surface area here is roughly 100 square feet. Our curiosity was obliged that very night, with a third of an inch of rain. This gave us two inches in the bottom tank. About a day later we got another 2/3 of an inch. That one inch total brought the water level up to the 50 gallon mark.
We're considering this experimental for the time being. We've learned that many of our projects need adjustments and tweaking as we go along. We have the option of connecting the other downspout to these tanks if we wish, but we'll wait to see how much rainfall it takes the one downspout to fill the tanks and how long that lasts. One thing I will likely have to do, is to paint the tanks because summer sun will encourage algae growth, which we'll want to avoid. Dan also wants to add an overflow of some sort. Other than that we've had a little leakage around the valves, but nothing that couldn't be easily taken care of.
This is the first project completed from our 2013 goal list! I have to admit, that alone feels pretty good.
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Rainwater Catchment (At Last) © January 2013