April 21, 2024

Greenhouse Rainwater Collection System

The rainwater system in the greenhouse is assembled and connected! Rain is imminent in the forecast, so we'll soon know how well it works. Ed (Riverbend Journal) was interested in this project, so I hope the photos explain it well!

All the pieces are 4-inch PVC

Dan removed the downspout from the gutter and replaced it with the set-up you see above. The clean-out plug serves as a roof washer and will catch most of the initial debris washed off the roof and gutter when it starts to rain. It has a removable cap at the bottom for easy cleaning out. 

Close up. Still to do - seal the gap around the PVC pipe entering the greenhouse.

Once the clean-out plug is filled, the water will runoff into the two barrels inside the greenhouse.

(Note the overflow pipe on the right.)

We didn't buy anything for this project; everything was from previous projects. The only thing he didn't have was another elbow to direct the water into the barrel. 

So he made his own from an old screw container.

The last step was an overflow pipe. Remember in the above photo I said to note the overflow pipe? Here's the rest of it.

The drain pipe empties out over an overgrown French drain that Dan dug years ago. It directs roof runoff away from the house and toward the garden swale, which is directly downhill from the greenhouse. 

Stepping back . . . 

This will be so much more convenient than hauling buckets of water! I'm planning to attach a hose and a watering wand for indoor plants.

What I'm really curious about, is how it will function as thermal mass next winter. Thermal mass is anything that retains heat. In this case the barrels will be heated by the sun and hopefully retain enough heat at night to help keep my plants healthy on our coldest nights. 

I'm really happy this is finally done!

© April 2024 by Leigh at http://www.5acresandadream.com


daisy g said...

Wow, what a massive accomplishment! I like Dan’s crafty ways with making do. That is what homesteading is all about! Look forward to hearing how it does with a healthy dose of rain! Enjoy!

Poppypatchwork said...

I do love a homemade solution, and really useful for you, water where you need it.

Leigh said...

Daisy, there's something immensely satisfying using/reusing stuff we already have on hand!

Poppy, me too!

Rosalea said...

So well thought out. So handy. So...Dan!
Enjoy the convenience!

Leigh said...

Thanks Rosalea!

Boud said...

This personifies ingenuity. Simple but everything is thought out. I particularly like the overflow mechanism. That's really beautiful.

Leigh said...

Boud, thank you! You are so right about thinking everything through, although sometimes that's a challenge. It helps to have experimented a lot.

Ed said...

It is how I expected. Between the concrete floor and our barrel of water, it really does help keep the temperatures more steady. Just now, I was out there watering and it was 20 degrees warmer inside than it was outside with no insulation in it whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

maybe put a shelf under the barrels for storage

Leigh said...

Ed, that's good to know! Every little bit helps.

Anonymous, I was thinking the same thing! It would be a good spot for storing large planting pots I'm thinking.

Cederq said...

Where you are at, you have enough of freezing temps during the day/night that might freeze your Goldburg(TM) water collection tanks, instead of moderating the temps, acts like a freezer element? (You know I am razzing you about the unique and brilliant engineering.) You anticipate enough rainfall during the summer months for watering?

Leigh said...

Kevin, we generally don't get sustained temps below freezing, although we did lose a clean-out plug from freezing (forgot to empty it out). Also lost one valve one year, so now Dan covers them when the forecast is for cold enough to potentially damage them.

Our summer rainfall is significantly less than in winter, but since I'm not planning to use the greenhouse much in summer, I won't really need any water, no matter the rainfall amount.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Looks amazing Leigh!

One question, and it may just be the angle of the picture: looking at the screw container plug, is there any concern that the force of water might push it off/ need to secure it? Your rainfall might not been too much, but at New Home we received some gullywashers that might have overwhelmed anything not attached.

CK said...

I must have missed your greenhouse build. Did you get to use it yet? I think it's a wonderful asset to your home. Anything that let's you garden when it's poorly outside, is money well spent!

Leigh said...

TB, the container is a pretty snug fit. If we have problems with it we'll adapt! Someone on Permies mentioned gully washers, and to that I can only say that it's important to understand one's ecosystem and weather conditions and plan accordingly. No one size fits all with things like this.

Chris, yes! I don't have the benches in yet, but I did set something up so I could get a few things started early. I only wish I could have done more! Next year, hopefully.