March 5, 2021

Rain Catchment for the Buck Barn

It's been awhile since I gave an update on our little buck barn, so I have lots to show you. We've had some uncooperative weather, but there have been plenty of good work days too. 

Here's how it looked at the beginning of February. 

One important job now done is rain catchment.This saves a lot of walking back and forth to fill water buckets!

To start, the tank was placed on the back to catch run-off
from both roofs. Eventually, we can add tanks as needed.

To make a filter, Dan used gravel and a piece of window screen.

The screening keeps the rocks in place and
blocks mosquitoes from entering the tank.

The clean-out plug (on the right) gets the roof flush. Then the
cleaner water enters the tank through the rock filter. Very simple.

Hard to see the slope on the pipe; it's one inch per ten feet.

Dan elevated the tank on block to get a small bucket under it.

Only a few details left, and then we can move the boys into their new home. Continued here.


  1. Oh my gosh, that is brilliant in its simplicity! Good on ya!

  2. What a perfect design. Is this an original design or did he create it? Very nice.

  3. I've been thinking about doing for our new garden since I have a large machine shed with a metal roof sitting right next to it.

  4. Gorges, thanks!

    Daisy, from experience I can tell you that simple is always better. Less maintenance and fewer potential problems!

    RT, lots of people use those totes for rainwater collection, but the kinds of filtering systems you see is extremely varied. What Dan does now is from years of experimenting. Trial and error pays off, eventually!

    Ed, oh yes, that would be excellent. Nothing is more comforting than a tank or two of rainwater during a long dry spell. :)

  5. Tell Dan that his ticket is waiting at will call in the airport. And because I know a good team when I see one there is one for you also. Bravo!

  6. That's how we replaced our toilet bowl water refill, our washing machine, and critter waterers.

  7. Great photos, Leigh! Wonderful project and it must really feel good to have a water source in place. We are planning on rain catchment this summer, and I had not taken the filter into consideration. You point out perfectly howDan has thought this through. This post has me rethinking the set up in my head... that could be Thanks !

  8. Goatldi, lol, thanks!

    Jo, Dan is itching to do the same with our house run-off. We just haven't gotten that far yet. We have a whole side of the house that, so far, is an untapped rainwater resource. Trouble is, the driveway. Further down on the list we plan to do something about it, some day.

    Wyomingheart, a filter helps a lot. Look in the water self-sufficiency chapter of 5 Acres & A Dream The Sequel for ideas. The clean-out plug gets the initial roof-runoff, but it isn't enough to keep the water clean. The other thing that's important, is keeping the tank out of the sun or it grows algae like crazy! Dan will probably paint this one once the weather warms up a bit.

  9. Being goats are the way goats are and like to climb, do you think the tank is hi enough to keep them from trying and of course I see away to the roof... goats love to climb...Good idea about the catchment and filtering. Glad you are not in Oregon, it is illegal to catch rainwater for personal/farm use

  10. Cederq, very true about goats!!! The tank will be fenced off so the goats won't be able to get near it.

    I didn't realize that about Oregon. I thought they were a progressive state.

    TB, simple is always best!

  11. That's the thing about homesteading self sustainably, there are more projects than we have time to implement or money. I did notice that you did not either wrap your water in black plastic or paint it black. You'll get algae in your tank if you don't.

  12. Jo, Dan plans to paint it once the weather warms up a bit. Too cold right now.

  13. The closest thing to running water for the livestock. My one question is will the contained water get too warm in your climate during the warmest months?

  14. that buck barn looks amazing. Your bucks are going to love it. hopefully they don't eat it too quickly. lol

  15. Mama Pea, it makes it much easier than carrying buckets of water from the house!

    The water in the tanks is definitely somewhat warm in summer, but we haven't noticed that it gets too hot. And that's with most of our tanks being painted dark brown to prevent algae growth. But also, they are all in shade as much as possible. The only water that gets too hot is the water coming from the garden tanks that sits in the hose. If it feels too hot, I'll let it run off before using it on the plants.

    Renee, for the bucks, the only real plus will be that it's closer to the girls' pasture and hence will make for more convenient girl watching. :)

  16. Have you considered making wood char to use as a filter instead of the stones? It is good for trapping impurities and can be washed every few months and reused for a long time.

  17. Nancy, thanks!

    Rita, yes, we have. We haven't tried it yet for a couple of reasons: we'd either have to buy it or make it. Not that either of those options is "bad," it's just that we always aim for the simplest option in all scenarios. Plus, it's for goats, who will happily drink out of puddle. So for them, charcoal probably isn't necessary. The goal here is to keep debris out of the tank, and from past experimentation, Dan thinks the gravel works fine. Now, if this was going to the human drinking water, we would take the extra steps for purity.


Welcome to 5 Acres & A Dream The Blog! Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation.