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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in an area that is still suffering from droughts. I feel that I must do something to better prepare for these droughts.

I thought about harvesting rain. Here is a link to the setup that I am looking at. Does anyone have any good articles about this? What if I wanted to factor in two barrels into this layout? How could I do that?

Any help is appreciated.

http://www.bayteccontainers.com/55galrawkit.html
 

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We use all of the down spouts on our house, not just one, and in our case that would have been expensive to buy these kits, so we made our own setup that I think works better anyway, because it allows you to hide the setup better so that the prying eyes cannot see that you have an excess of water supply. Here is what we did, on the underneath side of the gutters we drilled about a 2" hole (I think) to fit this right before the gutter hole (straight down, then from the roof side down installed this http://plumbing.hardwarestore.com/5...ouplings/threaded-female-coupling-184796.aspx just jb weld it on the inside of the gutter, and use some clear silicone on the outside to seal it. That allows us to use a threaded pipe (from ground level) to screw into it when we need to use it then we can run that pipe right into the barrel (which we normally leave them in the shed out of sight). With this system you can divert all of the water to the barrel by blocking the hole in the downspout, or just allow it to remove enough like the system in your pictures does, kinda allows you to choose how much water is collected. When you dont need the collection system, just use a pvc pipe plug and screw it in the adapter to have the gutters work like normal. Let me know if you need a little more info as I am still feeling like CRUD so when I get to it I will throw up some pictures of the fittings installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Unfortunately I do not have gutters on my house right now. (Weird I know - I didn't really notice until months after we moved in) So those have to be installed first.

I thought about getting one of those smaller tool sheds to cover up the barrel (or barrels) to hide them.
 

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If I may ask, (I can probably design something up with a little more info). How many downspouts are you going to use? how far from the house are you gonna put the shed? how much rain do you normally get at one time? how long between rain? In reality that makes it better if you dont have them (if your gonna put them up yourself) because you can prep all the stuff on the ground (I didnt we had them up a few years and I said hey why not collect rain) that is a pain in the neck in the air. LOL but yeah that leaves you allot of options to build your own system, you can even use the aluminum downspouts to feed water to groundwater pipes buried over to the shed underground through some pipes. LOTS of options for you, :) not really so much for me though :( Let me know what you are looking for and I can fab something up that you can build yourself for cheap (I have a friend that works on roofs and gutters so cheap experiment for me LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
On the back side of the house I thought that I would run a length the whole length of the house to the far end. Come down with one spout and then that into the barrel(s).

The shed would be something like this. Of course I would build it insted.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=19218-1217-FG374601 714&lpage=none

The little shed would be right beside the house and would house 2 or 3 barrels elevated about 1.5 feet off of the ground. I could fill my watering cans with these or run a small hose off the barrels.
 

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The reason I asked is because most common roofs (1200 square feet average) will provide an average of about 700 gallons of water from a good storm, so using a large portion of the roof without a bypass can lead to flooding, and backed up gutters, which will damage the roof. Depending on how much rain you get per storm, there can be a ton of water to be collected. I like the idea of the shed close to the house, I wish I could have done that. I would say that using half the roof would be good for over 150 gallons of water per storm easily, which may exceed your storage capacity, so either a few more barrels linked together, or a diverter will be necessary, that is the principle of the pipe before the downspout, it collects allot of water, but allows any excess to drain down the spout. You can link the barrels and use one outlet, or just use a splitter inside the shed to split off into several barrels, but in some cases a splitter will cause one barrel to overflow, and another to remain empty. Here is a link to a diverter and linking kit, all you would need to add is barrels, the shed, and the gutters, cost is a little less too. http://www.gardeners.com/Rain-Barrels/default/StandardCatalog.Watering_RainBarrels.cat
 

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Yeah, I am very concerned about the drought as well. We have four (65 gallon) rain barrels. We originally purchased them to use for rain collection only. However, right now, we are using them for emergency water storage containers. We have them set up behind our garden shed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I am very concerned about the drought as well. We have four (65 gallon) rain barrels. We originally purchased them to use for rain collection only. However, right now, we are using them for emergency water storage containers. We have them set up behind our garden shed.
Yep, my thoughts exactly. Scoop out a pot full. clean it up and you are in business.

Helper if you will notice there is a diverter in the kit that I was going to order. I think this would do the job.

Also if I put a connection between the barrels near the top and at the bottom I would think that they would all act as one barrel. And would fill up and drain at equal levels. Of course it has been a while since physical science class but I think that would work.
 

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Honestly, I didnt notice but you are correct. I think that will work just fine, I would look for a source of barrels that is local, they seem expensive everywhere I look on the net, we get them from a local candy maker for like 10 bucks. That setup you got planned in a little shed should work just fine, and I think you can daisy chain them top to bottom (ours are split from the supply line) but I would try it to make sure it doesnt flood over the first before it evens out in the second. I would say you could even stack them on each other to make the daisy chain hose shorter, just remember that a full barrel of water is about 450 pounds full, so you may need a sturdy platform. O yeah I forgot that if you only want 1 barrel or two or whatever, and the rain is still coming, I put a valve on the line that comes from the gutters so I could run out there and shut off the supply line to prevent overflow. (we have more rain than we need normally). I think we have covered most of it and I think you have a good plan already, now you just need to get the supplies and test it out :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I picked up (x2) 55 gallon plastic drums today. $15 each from a place nearby that sells washing chemicals. These barrels were used by the food industry first and then went to this company.

I still need to put in my gutter system but at least I have the barrels.
 

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I was actually wondering about this myself, and after a wee bit of thought came up with the following idea.

Since these collection systems used rain water from the roof, and people talk about having a shed for the barrels, could you simply put a gutter system on the shed itself, and flow the water directly into the barrels?

If my math is correct, per square foot, 1" of rain is aproximately 144 Cubic inches, or .62 Gallons. If you had a 10x10 shed with gutters, and a nice perfect inch of rain falling straight down, you could theoretically collect 62.34 gallons of water.

A shed with 10x10 size you should have the internal area to store six 55 gallon plastic drums and still have some left-over room. Plastic 55 Gal drums are 23.2" wide by 35 inches tall roughly. This would allow you to place two rows across the back side of the shed, and have plenty of room for connecting pipes/valves/fittings. Also you would have room for some extra storage in the shed, albeit not that much . You could have the drums elevated a few feet above the floor and this would allow some storage space below them. Of course, elevating the drums would require a serious structure, as water weighs aproximately 8.35 lbs per Gallon. A 55 gal plastic drum weighs 22lbs, and full of water that would be aproximately 481.25 lbs. Six full drums would be 2887.5 lbs!
 

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Here's what I did (I do have gutters).



55 gallon barrels set on 3 concrete blocks.

3/4" spicot on the bottom ( may change this to a plastic plug and move the spigot up higher for easier filling).

Swimming pool overflow "basket" with a piece of screen under it.
Cut the hole for the basket, place an oversize piece of screen over the hole and push the basket down into place. Trim excess screen.

Drill 1+1/2-2" overflow just under basket depth.



Because we get so much rain here, I added a second barrel by conecting it to the first via the original overflow, then added another overflow on the second.

Connected this to a porch long (actually half the length) piece of pipe and then drilled it every couple of feet to water the area under the 2+1/2' overhang.
Double barrel system on each end of the porch with the overflow/irrigation pipes meeting in the center and flowing into the yard.

 

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Yes I have 4 barrels.

I guess you could sink 'em camp but you'd need some kind of pump to retrieve the water.

You can add as many as you want in line though, by just hooking another to the overflow, shortening the pipe and connecting the exisitng overflow pipe to the new barrel(s).

I've seen pictures of as many as 4 in line and even another that had 8 toatla, 4 stacked on top each other.:eek:
 
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