Whether you are trying to save a few dollars on your water bill, are concerned about water conservation, or you just want to be independent and off grid, Rainwater harvesting and storage is viable for almost any situation and amount of water needed.
Choose a site for your storage vessel, be it a large tank holding thousands of gallons, or a single 55 gallon rain barrel.The tank should be placed a short distance from a roofed structure with a gutter and downspout. Once the site is chosen you level the tank. This video shows using gravel to level the tanks. Other methods include a concrete slab foundation or a wooden frame.
Next, the piping from gutters must be measured and installed. Piping varies for every system, but the fundamentals are the same. Start with the PVC pipes from the gutter downspout that divert water to the tank. The diversion piping starts with a first flush system — the first rain collected will be diverted from entering the storage tank because it contains unwanted debris from roof gutters. There are commercially available diverter systems that help insure water stored for household use is adequately clean. Also, at this point a filter will be installed. The amount of filtering and size of filtering screen will depend on the intended use of the water being stored.
After the diversion system and filter are installed, piping from these systems and a connection to storage tank are assembled. Again, this varies with different systems. Pipes will continue to the storage tank and end with a well sealed fitting between the PVC pipes and the tank. The size of fittings and pipe will depend on the size of your storage tank.
You can now have a filled tank of water stored for your use. The next step is to install the appropriate outlet to retrieve water from your tank. Start with another well sealed PVC fitting and pipe at a low location leading out of the tank. If the water is intended for garden or irrigation, you may choose to install a spigot in order attach a water hose, to fill buckets or to attach an irrigation hose. If the water is intended for household use, fittings and pipe may lead out to a pump to push the water through household pipes or to a purification system to make water safe for drinking.
A simple garden system can be easily and creatively self-designed to suit your particular needs with common components bought or recycled. If a larger system is required for household use, professional advice should be sought. Whatever the reason, use and size of the system, water is a valuable and precious resource that should not be taken for granted.
Containment Solutions has a general video that is useful and applicable to any size of rainwater harvesting system. Its instructions and components are universal – relevant to a small system with recycled parts or a commercially available system. Follow these fundamental steps and harvest water for household use or garden/yard irrigation.
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