Episode-76- Get More Water With Catch, Store And Use Systems

Tony Teolis/ April 13, 2012/ Gardens, Permaculture/ 0 comments

Home water catchment system

      

As you may or not have guessed by the pictures in the show notes or from experience a rainwater tank, rain barrel, rain catcher, whatever is simply that. A large barrel designed to catch and hold the rain water runoff from your roof. Why would you want to do this you may be asking yourself. Well I know it’s now April and it’s hard to imagine what a long hot dry summer may portend but it’s coming and having a little extra water around for my gardens is always a plus. Moreover, it’s free water. In Virginia I am able to go ahead catch rain water and use it as I see fit. At least for now that is. Eventually I would like to put some rain catchment device in place that will be used to flush my toilets. Currently I pay about $40 a month for water use, sewage use and service charges. So anything extra I can save by using that which nature provides us helps to keep the bottom line in line. As the future progresses water only becomes more expensive.
I Visited Monticello yesterday which is the home of Thomas Jefferson. He loved gadgets and he loved growing plants and trees. I wish I could have an extended visit at his home as a guest back in his day. I was awestruck when I came across his 3,830 gallon rain water collector. I was already planning to do this episode but Jefferson’s rain water collector made it all the more important for to get this information out to you online.
the practice of rainwater catch and store that i employ is something that I will build on over time. The Indians saved water and what was wrong with that. rain catchers used to be regular features of rural homes in particular and in many places around the world they still are widely used for everyday water consumption.
To put in a rain water catchment system you could go online and make an order for something in the range of about $145 is where they start with anything of lasting quality and appeal. For me that’s always been too expensive and they never seemed big enough for my needs. Additionally I’m not looking for a continuous water supply for my gardens through rain catchment at this time. Thus, I sacrifice appeal and durability for something that works and provides water to thirsty gardens in a pinch. the pictures at Todolisthome.com depict my rain catchment system and it’s pretty simple. I use 35 gallon garbage cans from Wal-Mart, some screen door screen to keep out mosquitos, silicone sealant and a PVC on/off valve. Total cost for each was less than $15. I have two of these systems connected to my rear downspouts. They are each equipped with overflow runoff connections and together provide 70 gallons of water which almost covers a half a week’s watering of the 400 square feet of gardens I manage. I use them all the time to augment watering but they are particularly useful during dry summer spells. Around here we get the alte afternoon thunderstorms regularly in the summer but the rain evaporates quickly and comes down to fast for good absorption. holding the water in tanks lets us disperse it where it is needed most. It’s Not a perfect system by far but through this learning experience I plan to put in larger food grade water tanks with filters in the future.
Here’s the big list on ways to get more water or to get more for the money you spend on water. First be smart and store enough drinkable water where you live for at least 60 gallons per person. Don’t go out and buy iot all once but get a little at a time and build up a nice supply. next , conserve water, be smart about it. fix leaks around the home or apartment or flat or whatever you like to call your abode. make use of grey water of the water that runs off from sink, and washer waste, use rain barrels under downspouts, build ponds, hugelkultur your garden beds, learn skills as taught tot he British Special Air Service. special link to this at todolisthome.com. http://doomguide.com/sas/pages/ch06.html. build swales and ditches on contour. I have links to Gaia’s garden and Food not Lawns to give you great references for how to learn and manage water capture on your property.
Why is water catch and store important. Well it’s the right thing to do. It’s a safety issue, it’s a cost issue and it’s a knowledge sharing issue. Plus plants and tress love rain water over utility water. There’s so much that rain water goes through as it falls through the atmosphere getting ionized and capturing nutrients only found up high. We must also realize that The more dependent we become on complex systems the more we are forced to pay the piper for the going price. According to my latest water bill we used 8,300 gallons of water during the past month. If I have a roof that covers approximately 1,000 square feet then 1 inch of rain would yield 623 gallons of water. Potentially with the right type of system based on average rain fall for my area I could provide about 26% of water through rain alone. However, to get such a system requires simple steps first. Thus my experimentation with rain water capture over the last three years is a work in progress. Another reason to start experimenting with this is because in the State of Colorado, installation of rainwater collection barrels is subject to the Constitution of the State of Colorado, state statutes and case law [12]. This is a consequence of the system of water rights in the state; the movement and holding of rainwater is inextricably linked with ownership of water rights and is enshrined in the constitution of the State of Colorado. In short that means it’s basically illegally to catch and hold rain water in Colorado. Don’t let that happen in a state where you live. That’s it for today now go and do something useful

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