Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking of using a tarp for collecting rainwater. I have a shingled roof so the roof is out of the question for potable water.

I was thinking of hanging a tarp from the edge of the roof (house, garage, shed, etc) supporting it at an angle so that rainwater would run into a bucket then transfer it to a larger container. This would be for a SHTF situation when water would be at a premium. After collecting rainwater I would then leave the tarp up until it dried off and then fold it up and put it away until the next rain event. After collecting the water, treating and filtering the water would be the next step and then put it in a potable container.

I guess I could also just cover a section of the roof (from the ridge to the gutter) and let the rainwater run into the gutter and then into a container for later treating and filtering.

My question is, would a regular (green, blue, silver, etc) tarp work for this or are there any concerns with the material the tarp is made of?
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
Tarp itself should be no problem. The problem would be that no water from other parts of the roof can get on it.

Every roof is different. It could be real easy on some and downright impossible on others.


Consider this though. Sink four long fence posts into concrete into an 8x8 square. Build a 8x8 frame out of 2x4's and nail on some 2x8 galvanized sheet metal strips. Then bolt the frame on at a slight cant. Now you have a collection surface that you can disassemble in dangerous storm weather. When up it will collect 40 gallons for each one inch of rain you get and also be a handy open shed to leave water tanks or garden machines under. When you hear of tornadoes, hurricanes, or blizzards just unbolt the collection surface and slide it in the garage until the weather passes. The 4 sunk posts won't be bothered by the weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would be an good solution to have an open shed but I am limited on space. I have thought about that after reading about it in another one of your posts. It could just be a water collection shed with water containers sitting under it and the rain water run into the containers from a gutter.

I do have a section of my roof that I could use, but that would be climbing up on the roof prior to the rain and installing a tarp on it.

I think attaching two 2x4's to a couple of the fence post around the backyard would work. Another 2x4 could be put across the top and hooks installed to attach the trap to it. Then the water could be run off into a bucket or other container. Then the tarp could be taken down after the rain is done and the tarp is dry. A removable frame work could be made out of 1/2" electrical conduit to hold the tarp out and divert the water.

I have 3 sheds, 2 fire wood sheds, and a pool in the backyard now so I don't want to over due it with much more. The worst part is that the sheds have shingles on them too. :(
 

·
Threadkiller
Joined
·
1,881 Posts
2x8 galvanized sheet metal strips..
I have always wondered about this and find conflicting information on it. What about the zinc? Also I have seen galvanized panels get a white powder(zinc?) type coating on them and even rust for that matter.
Im sure painted metal would be alot better ( baked on enamel from the factory).

So no concerns at all with galvanized for drinking? I know stock animals drink from galvanized tanks.
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
That would be an good solution to have an open shed but I am limited on space. I have thought about that after reading about it in another one of your posts. It could just be a water collection shed with water containers sitting under it and the rain water run into the containers from a gutter.

I do have a section of my roof that I could use, but that would be climbing up on the roof prior to the rain and installing a tarp on it.

I think attaching two 2x4's to a couple of the fence post around the backyard would work. Another 2x4 could be put across the top and hooks installed to attach the trap to it. Then the water could be run off into a bucket or other container. Then the tarp could be taken down after the rain is done and the tarp is dry. A removable frame work could be made out of 1/2" electrical conduit to hold the tarp out and divert the water.

I have 3 sheds, 2 fire wood sheds, and a pool in the backyard now so I don't want to over due it with much more. The worst part is that the sheds have shingles on them too. :(
You could definitely start with a lean-to frame and stretch a tarp over it. Perhaps make it a progressive job where you use one of your existing sheds or the fence line as the high side and later add those two outer posts for the low side. Later again take the tarp off the frame and screw on the sheet metal. Eventually you end up with the small open shed on the side of your fence line or the side of your regular shed.

Was I able to explain that progression well enough? Describing multiple steps in a 3 dimensional object doesn't always carry over.

I have always wondered about this and find conflicting information on it. What about the zinc? Also I have seen galvanized panels get a white powder(zinc?) type coating on them and even rust for that matter.
Im sure painted metal would be alot better ( baked on enamel from the factory).

So no concerns at all with galvanized for drinking? I know stock animals drink from galvanized tanks.
And every rural Aussie too it seems like. They are crazy but I don't think it's the zinc.

Zinc is a nutrient metal your body can deal with. Like all metal nutrients it is a matter of how much.

I would suggest first cleaning it with alcohol to remove the factory oils.

And I've known folks to let it age a little in the sun first. Most of any zinc that isn't well bonded will come off after the first few rains once you strip the factory oils first. After a bit of sun and rain time you will get that faint chalking of zinc oxide. At that point it should be good to use.

As for what too much zinc does to the body, there is this info: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/effects-much-zinc-7099.html

As for painted steel roof panels, it is important you contact the manufacturer and make sure you find out what they are coated with. As long as it is epoxy then you are good.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sigmund and JimET

·
American made
Joined
·
478 Posts
If you are planning on using a tarp or plastic sheet it seems like it would pay to do some research on the highest daily wind speed and direction for your area. What might look good for one direction may become a sail if the wind changes direction.
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
Ok, here's my new suggestion in graphic form.



Hinge the 2x4 frame up to the fence line or side of a shed. Include some way to lash or bolt it flat against the side there for when it is down. Rig your tarp in the frame and use a crate or bucket to rest the low side down on at an angle for now.

Later add 2 sunk posts in the front outside the frame that you can run a carriage bolt through each one to get that perfect angle you want and so it isn't just resting on a prop. This would also be a good point to create a secure lock down against the side of the fence or shed if you just went with a lashing before.

Finally you can put a more permanent surface on it as the last step.

At the end you have a water collector and open shed cover you can lock down and stow away against the side when you need the open space or if a weather disaster is coming.

But you wouldn't need to buy it all at once and the only excess thing you have when you are finished is a basic tarp.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JimET

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are planning on using a tarp or plastic sheet it seems like it would pay to do some research on the highest daily wind speed and direction for your area. What might look good for one direction may become a sail if the wind changes direction.
Wind would be a problem. I think on days when you just have rain with no high winds would be the time to use the tarp. You know, those all day rains with no storms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, here's my new suggestion in graphic form.



Hinge the 2x4 frame up to the fence line or side of a shed. Include some way to lash or bolt it flat against the side there for when it is down. Rig your tarp in the frame and use a crate or bucket to rest the low side down on at an angle for now.

Later add 2 sunk posts in the front outside the frame that you can run a carriage bolt through each one to get that perfect angle you want and so it isn't just resting on a prop. This would also be a good point to create a secure lock down against the side of the fence or shed if you just went with a lashing before.

Finally you can put a more permanent surface on it as the last step.

At the end you have a water collector and open shed cover you can lock down and stow away against the side when you need the open space or if a weather disaster is coming.

But you wouldn't need to buy it all at once and the only excess thing you have when you are finished is a basic tarp.
I like the hinge idea. It would still give you the option of taking off the tarp after it is dry to keep it clean and you wouldn't have to take the frame work down, just let it fold back against the shed/fence. You could have several of these on a fence to be able to collect more water at a time.
 

·
Threadkiller
Joined
·
1,881 Posts
Wow Zeke. I think you could just make it permanent instead of removable. Hinged may even be more dangerous in bad weather. JimET the shed I dont think is for a tarp, thats where the galvanized roofing came into play. You said you have several sheds already, just put a metal roof on one of them?

Hell you could just put a few stakes in the ground to collect water with a tarp.
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
Wow Zeke. I think you could just make it permanent instead of removable. Hinged may even be more dangerous in bad weather. JimET the shed I dont think is for a tarp, thats where the galvanized roofing came into play. You said you have several sheds already, just put a metal roof on one of them?

Hell you could just put a few stakes in the ground to collect water with a tarp.
If it was properly latched to the fence or shed at the bottom when down then it should be fine as long as the weather doesn't take out the fence or shed. If the fence or shed goes then you have bigger problems.

I would definitely use heavy hinges like used on exterior doors, and something like this on the bottom.




But that's just a new brainstorm idea today. Sinking 4 posts and bolting up a roofing frame would work too. When the disaster storm is incoming just unbolt the roof and leave the 4 posts in the yard because they are sunk into concrete.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JimET

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Could you just 'reroof' one of your outbuildings? Put a metal roof on that -- as long as it over hangs the shingle the run-off should be fine.

Or that matter -- put your tarp over it and collect from both sides [assuming a non-shed type roof] or one side if shed.

You could pre-place dohingees to attach the tarp to on the high side of a shed roof. And pre-figure out how you are going to catch from the tarp [any roof].

By putting it on a roof [and not your high house roof] you cut back on the wind problem.

[Using a pre-existing gutter would require you make sure it is clean from previous shingle bits/runoff -- wouldn't it?]

weighted milk jugs [water/sand] tied by ropes to the holes will also keep things from flying away in milder winds.

Other than pre-exisiting gutter usage -- how are you planning on channeling your water into containers?

Old bathtub or two, or watering troughs along the side of shorter building, with the water running off the tarp would catch most. Or you could gather the tarp/plastic up some.

Better to re-roof with metal and replace the gutter for one of your smaller out-buildings.

Are those plastic panels safe to use?
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
You could pre-place dohingees to attach the tarp to on the high side of a shed roof. And pre-figure out how you are going to catch from the tarp [any roof].
When I see a phrase like that I feel sad that someone didn't get you into design or engineering school.

It's clear that you mentally see what you want in vivid detail. It's called "spatial intelligence" and cannot be taught. You are born with all you will ever get. The stronger you can visualize shapes and space the easier design is for you.

The military even tests for it and a high score is mandatory for combat pilots and certain technical trades.

But for all that potential talent it sits almost useless unless it is give good math and design training.

Many folks never use that potential talent because the civilian school system doesn't bother trying to identifying it in children. It should be identified early and the students given special attention to help boost their math skills. None of this "I'm not good at math" permissiveness that is so common in schools. I'm not in favor of letting kids quit on math anyway, but for these special children there is no excuse at all for letting the kids throw away a rare talent because it doesn't have the right complimentary tools.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JimET

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This could be one way of collecting the rainwater off a tarp and run into a bucket. Then the water could be transferred to a larger container when the bucket filled up. This method means you need to be around when it is raining so you can keep the buckets emptied.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcWwEWxxwZU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm57TCzyWNM

By setting up more than one tarp you can collect more water at each rain. This way means doing some work while it is raining, but in a SHTF I don't think much of anything is going to be easy. If you had extra tarps it could be a barter item also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
When I see a phrase like that I feel sad that someone didn't get you into design or engineering school.

It's clear that you mentally see what you want in vivid detail. It's called "spatial intelligence" and cannot be taught. You are born with all you will ever get. The stronger you can visualize shapes and space the easier design is for you.

The military even tests for it and a high score is mandatory for combat pilots and certain technical trades.

But for all that potential talent it sits almost useless unless it is give good math and design training.

Many folks never use that potential talent because the civilian school system doesn't bother trying to identifying it in children. It should be identified early and the students given special attention to help boost their math skills. None of this "I'm not good at math" permissiveness that is so common in schools. I'm not in favor of letting kids quit on math anyway, but for these special children there is no excuse at all for letting the kids throw away a rare talent because it doesn't have the right complimentary tools.
Thank you. My interests ran to the biological sciences.

I didn't 'quit' in math -- though I found calculas in College 'difficult, but Statistics less so. Being female born when I was [1956] math wasn't pushed on me, so it was extremely easy during high school even though I always took a course even if not required. A dear teacher [I had him multiple times, had to have been a saint. He didn't know what to do with me. So he would just do like all the teachers [math or most anything else] since 1st grade -- have me 'help' the semi-helpless. [Being elective classes, I no longer had to help the helpless.] He once said in one of his communicative frustrated points -- about some theorems I had done -- 'You think sideways'. Which I already knew.

My brain does work differently -- somewhere in Kindergarten I figured others 'thought' differently. A German teacher 'noticed' the main area of difference and sent me off to be tested. I am a type of dyslexic with some aphesisa -- all related to the audio imput.

Thus I know the words 'dohingiess' or 'thingamabob' if I learned it audioly I have extreme difficulty expressing it written form. And often have verbal word blindness.

I learned computer programming back when it was with punch cards! Did that sideways too.

Anyway -- maternal grandfather was a master brick layer and house builder. And his father was an engineer. Father was an engineer and in artillery [could read maps, including topographical before I could read].

For amusement now I make my own house plans [and actually am working out a large cylinder space station....].

I can think without words, sounds or even pictures -- if you can get that -- all at once or in variations. In fact, I read without sounds.

Anyway, back to the original post.

I have contemplated the tarp method of water gathering -- as in we have so many dry months here in FLA. Not for rain but for dew. We can have a easy month with no rain, but soaking wet dew mornings.

The 'normal' dew gathering method is using a tarp posted out horizontally [essentially] with a weight dipping the middle down -- best with a hole to drip into a bucket. Here in FLA you'd get dew gathering on both sides of the tarp.

But you can get leaves and bird stuff and so on.

I've contemplated [only mildly fiddled with] a vertical tarp. Not with the 'edge' horizontal with the ground, but one of the corners.

Run a line and pull the 'high' corner up. Water will run down straight into one bucket [you'd need to tie the bottom corner of the tarp so it doesn't shift in any night winds -- to the bucket would be the easiest, and most of the times there aren't high winds to dump over the bucket].

To maximize your dew water gathering you'd need to then tie off the other two corners high off so you'd see a Kite shape of some sort.

Those other two corners do need to be 'tilted up some' so that there isn't dripping from them.

Galvanized corrugated metal hanging will work fine too [been there, done that, nuisance to collect the water]. Ditto with a piece of corrugated plastic roofing.

You do need to firmly fix metal or plastic corrugated because they will turn in any breeze and you loose dew.

I have thought of attaching a piece of either corrugated item to a fence, sort of horizontally with a good slope, so everything will drip at one end to catch. Never done it. You would only lose a little dew where the ridges touch the fence.
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
Interesting responses, Jean.

It definitely does seem like you would have been a good engineer or designer with formal training as you definitely have the spatial intelligence. I realize that may not have been where your interest lay and chose to go into the biology end. Odd how men tend to lean toward the physical sciences and women to chemical and biological, but no matter as both are always needed. If anything this should be the century that has a bigger boon on the biological and chemical side.

I haven't played a lot with dew and fog collection. We only have dry spells about once a year for no more than a month or two. So please keep playing with it and keep us updated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,022 Posts
A whole lot of soft skills in engineering, are related to 3D visualization- well 4D often, as things move in 3D. Two things can occupy the same spot, just not at the same time.

The number one user of that skill in Air Traffic Controllers (Think FAA or AWACS.) The FAA has found to their suprise that a 4 year degree in Air Traffic Control (so called CTI schools) is a poor indicator of a students sucess as a controller (A few schools such as Embry Riddle have simulators and are the only exception). Associates who are controllers say if you concentrate on thinking about where the planes will be in 10 minutes, you are behind the curve- you need to know, and be able to do your job in the first 20 seconds of each minute. This leaves you relaxed, time to scan for unknowns, time to burn the radar scope in your head and never behind the situation.

BTW, while men seem to have a strong preference for Math, Physical Science, mechanics, and "physical" engineering (civil, mining, mechanical, etc) the ability doesn't seem to be sex linked.

Back to the original subject- Zinc shouldnt be a problem with rain water- it's a nutrent, and while pure rain water will disolve it, contact time is minimal. Older houses were build with Zinc pipes, BTW which allowed for much greater contact times.

I'd have no problem using the water off of asphalt shingles a few years old- I'd throw away the inital water (with any leaves or bird poop), and treat what is left with chlorine- maybe filter through charcoal. If it's not clear, you block the rain barrel, and remove the cover or flip the diverter after the rain starts.
 

·
Beer Truck Door Gunner
Joined
·
30,718 Posts
I'd have no problem using the water off of asphalt shingles a few years old- I'd throw away the inital water (with any leaves or bird poop), and treat what is left with chlorine- maybe filter through charcoal. If it's not clear, you block the rain barrel, and remove the cover or flip the diverter after the rain starts.
That is the real danger of asphalt roofs. You cannot treat the runoff with chlorine.

While the danger from the petrochem toxins may be low from the roof those same toxins change radically when they are chlorinated. They become halomethanes, which are downright evil carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds.

All you can do for water off an asphalt roof is filter it slowly though a ceramic and charcoal filter. That means you will never be able to treat a lot at once or in continuous flow, just small bucket batches.

Absolutely never try treating water off an asphalt roof with chlorine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aceoky and JimET
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top