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Rain barrel setups?

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by dante, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Was tempted to put this in the "garden pron" thread since it'd mainly be used to water our garden, but thought it could use an entirely new thread. Our water is fudgin' expensive ($50/month when we're *not* watering our garden/lawn), including only one meter that counts towards both water *and* sewage. So if we water our lawn, it still counts as if it was being dumped back into the sewer system... :rant:

    We got a small (49g) decorative rain barrel for the front spout, but it's about 3/4 full from just a short rain overnight. We can get surplus 55g barrels from the University for $5 apiece, and PVC is cheap, so I'm thinking about setting up a bigger system in the backyard, especially after seeing some setups online:



    Anyone try something similar? So far, the biggest down downsides I can see are:

    1) Only ~$20/month is for the actual usage, everything else is flat "service charges". Actual savings would probably be pretty low (kind of like our tankless water heater which halved our NG usage for heating water, and it saved us ~$7.50/month).
    2) Ideally I'd like to set it up for a drip irrigation system for our garden, but the dirty water apparently clogs the holes that you put in the PVC pipe (also, it'd be a low-pressure system which makes drip irrigation more tricky).
    3) It means that I'll have to clean out the gutters far earlier in the spring...

    Upsides:

    1) It's GREEN!!!
    2) Setup would be cheap. $5 barrels + some PVC piping/faucets + cinder blocks to get it up a bit higher (more water pressure) would probably be under $30-40 or so.
    3) Saves us from the "waterlogged backyard" problem. Our property is flat, and so to alleviate backyard flooding we ran the downspout underground, then did a perforated pipe, then exiting into a small rock-filled trench away from the house. Most of the time it works well, but for long and sustained rains it gets a bit soggy. This wouldn't completely eliminate it, but would divert 150-200 gallons (depending on setup) into storage.

    Thoughts? Anyone try this and have drastic words of warning?
     

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  2. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    my neighbor growing up did this. he was an old timer (passed away a few years back and was 90something). don't remember the exact details but i recall it working well, and he had something like a 400+gal setup (he had at least 8 55gal barels).
     
  3. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    also, check local regulations re: rainwater collection, I know in certain arid regions there is a limit as to how much rain water can be collected.
     
  4. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Thankfully looks like it's only those commie states like Colorado and Utah that ban it... Our DNR actually encourages it. :)

    Out here we usually get a decent amount of rain during the spring, and then very little during the late spring/summer months. Plus, the rain we do get during the summer is usually torrential downpours which does little to no good watering plants, but would be great for filling up rain barrels in the back yard. Still no clue on how much water that would save (since I have no idea how much water we actually use on our garden), but seems like a simple and easy way to conserve water, save money and reduce runoff into our lakes*.




    *Ok, not really. Out of our two downspouts one is buried, so water only comes out when there's a TORRENTIAL downpour, and the other is set back far enough from the road that I doubt any of it actually makes it there... Still worthwhile, though, as our lakes are in pretty bad shape from runoff from farms that over-fertilize.
     
  5. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    any reason you can't re-route?
     
  6. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    That would be the one that gets rerouted to the rain barrels in the back yard. I'm just saying that I really can't use the excuse that it's draining into the lake, since it's really not...
     
  7. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    Everything else is expensive here on Long Island save for water: $9 per 3 months for 10,000 gallons. Extra dollar per thousand gallons over that.