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I see a bad moon arising
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to everyone. New member on the board. Looks like you have an
incredible wealth of information here. I haven't sorted through it all
yet, but I'm looking forward to it, and am learning a lot. I've been sort
of a closet survivalist for years, but already the many insightful posts
on your boards have pointed out numerous gaps in my preparations.

Anyone want to offer any comments / insight / advice on a rainwater
collection project that I'm considering?

In looking for an alternate "off-the-grid" back-up water supply, it
seems that I have three options:

1. Have a well professionally drilled. I'm not quite ready to go there.
My research puts the cost at several thousand dollars minimum to get
down the several hundred feet I would typically need to go at my location.
Also (I haven't confirmed this), I suspect that living in the middle of
suburbia, the powers that be would not grant a permit for a well.

2. Collect water off my roof. However, its got composite asphalt shingles,
and I'm not excited about the chemicals that might be leaching off.

3. Collect rainwater runoff from the ground.

OK, so expanding on option 3 -- Here's what I'm pondering:

> Dig say a 2'+ diameter hole, about 10' deep. (Seems like a lot of work.
I would pay someone with the proper equipment to auger that out.)

> Then drop a 10' long drainage pipe down the hole. (corrugated PVC,
or corrugated metal -- don't know which would be better. I suppose
reinforced concrete would be ideal, but that's way too heavy for
me to muscle around without bringing in construction equipment
and attracting the attention of the neighbors and the city officials.)

> Pour about 6" of concrete into the bottom of the pipe to hopefully
seal the bottom somewhat water tight. (The soil around here is
typically a dense clay, so that should at least slow down any leaks.)

> Cut some 4" holes into the side of the pipe, about 12" below the
ground.

> Cut 12" trenches in the ground and install 4" plastic drain pipes with a
filter fabric to keep out the silt. Back fill the trenches with pea gravel
and top with a layer of sand, and cover back up with 4" to 6" of top soil.

> Do some minor regrading of the yard to create a very minor (3" +/-)
berm to pond the surface run-off in the vicinity of the drain trenches.

> The 4" drain pipes obviously discharge into the big vertical pipe which
is intended to serve as a holding tank. At maximum capacity, the pipe
could store about 200 gallons, and should easily refill to its capacity
with any sort of moderate rain event. Eastern Kansas, so we get
about 40"+ a year, and it seems fairly regular. I'm thinking 200 gallons
would provide a nice reserve to bridge the gaps between rain events.

> Place a reinforced concrete or steel plate lid over the top of the
vertical pipe, and install a hand pump to access the stored water.

> Understood that the surface runoff would need to be treated if used
as drinking water in an emergency. Hopefully a combination of filtration
and some bleach would be sufficient.

Possible flaws in the plan:

1. Would the concrete "slug" in the bottom of the pipe adequately seal
the pipe? I know the concrete would shrink just a tad as it cures.
Would that gap eventually fill with sediment, or would it just leak
perpetually?

2. Plastic or galvanized metal pipe? Plastic would be lighter, easier to
handle, and not subject to rust. On the other hand, would chemicals
leach from the plastic into the water? Maybe something would leach
from a galvanized metal pipe too, but I don't know.

3. Maybe the crud in the surface runoff is actually worse than what
would run off my asphalt shingle roof? From the roof -- bird droppings,
leaves rotting in the gutter, and asphalt & fiberglass components.
From the surface run-off -- again bird droppings and vegetation,
lawn chemicals from the neighbors, and one of the neighbors uphill
has dogs. All of that would be somewhat (marginally at best) filtered
through the top soil surface layer and the minor gravel and sand bed
surrounding the drain pipes in the trenches.

4. Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? (I know there
are pre-fab cistern tanks available, but due to unique landscaping
considerations, I prefer an isolated shaft for a storage tank instead of
a cistern tank which -- although not as deep, has a much
larger "footprint".)

5. Maybe filtering and treating (bleach) the roof runoff is perfectly
adequate even with my asphalt shingles, making this whole
pipe-in-the-ground project a pointless exercise?


Any feedback would be appreciated before I launch myself into this
possibly silly endeavor. Feel free to mock or poke fun -- no offense taken.

Sorry if this has been covered in a previous post. I haven't worked my
way through the hundreds of pages posted here yet.
 

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DIY RPG's
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wow for a first post very nice personally i'm going with plastic 55 gal drums with pvc piping this coming spring. so that everything is pretty much plug and play. but to your question i think the pvc would be fine but not sure. on to the cement plug and leakage you could cover the bottom around the edges with fish pond rubber and fill in holes with aquirum sealent. and welcome to the forum from iowa
 

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Why don't you just put a cistern in the ground made of plastic, like a big 500 gallon plastic container. Google it I know I saw someone talking about how to install one. Just dig a big hole (equipment needed) and some kind of overflow, a pump and there ya go.
 

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I think you would be better off collecting water from the roof over collecting surface water. If you treat your lawn or your neighbors do, the chemicals will end up in your tank. Also if you have animals, the waste will also contaminate the water. Anything that would leach out of your roofing I think would be minimal.
 

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I think your most inexpensive option would be to collect rainwater off your roof, invest in a good storage system, and then invest in a good filtering system. I have a Berkey.
 

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CHEERS :p
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if you go pipe in the ground route.......

pour the concrete into the hole first then force the pipe down into it....that way you have concrete inside and out of the pipe........ :D

welcome and as stated before good post
 

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I see a bad moon arising
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1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback.

Sounds likes there's a variety of options that might work better than
my idea. I appreciate you talking me "off the ledge" before I poured
effort and $$ into a possibly flawed plan.

I think my next step should be to just collect some rainwater off my
roof, run it through my filtration system, and send that off to be
sampled for water quality. No sense building an elaborate contraption
while ignoring a workable solution that already exists.

Thanks for your help.
 

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There are a couple of files in the survival files section [among others, I'm sure, but this and this are ones I found and know about] that deal with putting in a water collection system. Basically, since roofs collect bird poop as well as bugs, leaves, etc., the first bit of water you get is literally a wash, both in terms of it sluicing off the roof and in terms of it being unusable. Any system has to take into account the amount of crud, chemical or otherwise, that will go into it; you keep the solids out and filter the rest and if nothing else you can use it on your garden.
 

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I looked into collecting rainwater, here in Colorado Springs it is illegal. The city decided they own the rain:confused:.
 

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I see a bad moon arising
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1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>> BretByron: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/rainwater.html

Wow -- I just started rummaging a bit on that site you posted. Looks like
some excellent info there. Thanks.

>>BrowserCat: Thanks for the links.

As a completely new and wet-behind-the-ears member, I'm still not allowed
to access files. Thought I read something about needing three posts before
you get full rights. Maybe this post will do it for me. :) I'll definitely give
those a look when I get the rights.

>> Myke: The city decided they own the rain.

That is absolutely outrageous. I can see placing controls on wells in regions
where the water supply is tight because that depletes the water table
without regard for property lines, but to say they control the rain that
falls on your own property in crazy. :eek:
I'm the last guy to advocate letting slip the lawyers of war, but I surprised
that this either (1) hasn't been challenged in court and/or (2) has withstood
legal challenges.
 

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Them controlling the rain is really strange. I live in Colorado Springs and most of our water comes from reservoirs in the mountains. My neighbor does collect rain from his roof to water his trees and garden. He's the one that told me it's illegal.
 

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RockOut w/ your GlockOut
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As a completely new and wet-behind-the-ears member, I'm still not allowed
to access files. Thought I read something about needing three posts before
you get full rights. Maybe this post will do it for me. I'll definitely give
those a look when I get the rights.

I had many posts and could not down load files, so I donated $5 and became a VIP member w/ unlimited download access.:thumb:

It's well worth it. http://www.survivalistboards.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=845
 

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I see a bad moon arising
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1,267 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
>> BretByron: I had many posts and could not down load files, so I donated $5 and became a VIP member w/ unlimited download access.

Hmmm. After posting three messages, I've now got access to the files that
BrowserCat posted links to. But you raise a good point. Guaranteed I've
already gotten WAY more than $5 worth of excellent information off this
site. I need to pony-up and kick in my fair share.
 
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