Monday, July 14, 2014

Rain water collection system - rainbarrels, etc. (part 1)

In the past week I have setup a system to collect rain water from the roof of my house (located in Pittsburgh, PA). The water to be used for irrigation of the lawn and garden. I have wanted to do it for quite some time now, but now that my pipe under the driveway collapsed, I decided to build it, instead of digging the driveway, which was freshly covered with new asphalt just this past October.

The cost of the system is around $300. the biggest investment was my own time. I spent estimated 20 hours to build this thing, but now I feel quite happy as the system works very well.

I have taken pictures and provided captions for every picture should you decide to build a system like this. The project is only half finished at this time as I have water being collected in plastic totes, but I need to finish the decoration so that these same totes are not exposed to sun and do not look as ugly as they do. I will probably build something out of wood to make it look pretty. Here is a quick snapshot of the entire project - click on the image to see detailed comments for each picture:
The only thing I still need to figure out is the fine filtration. Since I use small electric motor to pump the water to a higher ground of my front lawn, the fine filter on a sprinkler gets clogged every hour or so, so I have to take out the house from that sprinkler and clean it. I need to build a filtering system so that pumped water is clean. Have not decided on how to to id yet.

It appears my calculations for capacity are not correct as some rains provide more water than the total capacity of my system and water overflows via this little blue house I have for the overflow. It is not bad, just sorry to lose that water. Perhaps in the future will add one or two additional 275 gallon water tanks to expand the capacity.