Offgrid Living Posts

Rainbarrel Tutorial: How to make a rain barrel

Step 1: Drill three of four holes in the barrel.  One of these is for the bibet to connect your garden house to the barrel and the other fittings will allow you to add more barrels in the future.  One of the barrels must have an overflow fitting near the top of the barrel.  If you plan on using 3/4 inch fittings use a 1 inch hole saw to cut the holes.  If you have an adjustable hole saw make it a little smaller than 1 inch.

Step 2:  Place plumbers goop on a 3/4 inch nipple. Using a 3/4 inch galvanized metal nipple and some locking pliers, thread nipple into the barrel. the hole for the fitting.  Place Plumbers goop or some other adhesive on the thread.

Step 3: Now the real fun part.  Cut the down spout at the proper height.  You should place the rainbarrel on one or two concrete blocks and then determine the proper height.  After cutting the down spout attach the necessary elbows and extensions to have the down spout reach the barrel.  I still am trying to create a non ABS or PVC way to divert the first couple of gallons after each rainfall (this will keep the sediment from clogging up the screen).  Attach a 4 inch by 2 inch ABS plastic converter to the end of the down spout and attach a fine mesh screen over the converter (you can use a paint sprayer filter which you can get at a hardware store). 

Step 4: If you are adding more barrels do this now.  Attach a garden hose Y fitting on the 3/4 inch nipples.  Position the barrels on top of the concrete blocks and cut the right length of garden hose to connect the barrels (with male fittings attached to both ends). 

Step 5: The final product.  You must attach an overflow line on the first barrel (the one on the far right in this picture).  This must be placed near the top of the barrel and it should be attached to some form of hose or tube to discharge any overflow.   Please note that you must remove one of the two bung fittings on the top of the barrel and cover it with a small screen.  I used the paint sprayer filter with a rubber-band to hold it in place.

Further reading & source:

Complete rain barrel construction kit:×4/

Last updated on 23-May-2022.


Raingarden Rain Garden Bioretention Area 

Rain gardens or bioretention areas are designed to capture stormwater runoff, filter it through a special media and allow it to infiltrate, evapotranspire or flow out. Rain gardens consist of excavated basins equipped with a perforated pie underdrain. The underdrain is covered by a special soil- compost media in which specific vegetation is planted.
A rain garden is a bowl-shaped depression designed as a garden to capture, hold, and absorb rainwater. Rain gardens slow the flow of rainwater from roofs, sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, allowing the water to penetrate the soil.

The soil cleans the water of pollutants before it enters the storm drain and empties into our bayous and bays. This process allows us to keep more of the rain that falls on our yards, and the storm water that finally enters the storm drain is cleaner.
Rain gardens use native plants as well as nonnative plants that are adapted to our climate. When designed properly, water in the rain garden should stand for no more than 24 to 48 hours, too short a period for mosquitoes to hatch.

Another benefit is that rain gardens serve as habitats for wildlife such as birds and butterflies. They are useful for residential, commercial, and public areas.

Above all, a rain garden is a landscape amenity, blending beauty and function—an attractive WaterSmart solution to water pollution.

Download a printer-friendly version of this publication:
Drawing of cross-section of drainage.
Rain gardens or bioretention areas are designed to capture stormwater runoff, filter it through a special media and allow it to infiltrate, evapotranspire or flow out. Rain gardens consist of excavated basins equipped with a perforated pie underdrain. The underdrain is covered by a special soil- compost media in which specific vegetation is planted.

Rain garden designed and created for the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Dallas.

Proposed to be constructed in the southern portion of the AgriLife Campus the rain garden will have curb openings with a concrete flume that will allow for runoff to drain to a collection point within the garden for automatic sampling and flow measurement. A surface overflow box will drain water to an underground pipe away from the median. Additionally, the drainage layer of the rain garden will house perforated pipes that will assist in soil infiltration.
A flow measurement device will measure the overflow and perforated pipe. Water quality samples will be collected with an automatic sampler. A pressure transducer will be installed within a well point to measure soil water storage. The outflow will drain into a depression/ ditch via a flume.
Plants will be selected based on optimal performance of the rain garden, including treatment of the storm water. Overall, the monitoring data will be used to quantify total water inflow (runoff), outflow (runoff and infiltration), soil water storage, and pollutant balances. The rain garden will also be maintained beyond the scope of this project as a demonstration for the public.

Last updated on 11-May -2022 by

Garden Water Saver

Welcome to Garden Water Saver

Garden Watersaver allows environmentally-conscious people to easily collect rain water from the roof of a house, so that the water can be used whenever it’s needed to irrigate a lawn or a garden, to clean yard tools, or for any other non-drinking use.

The secret of Garden Watersaver is their unique Downspout Diverter, which attaches easily to any gutter’s downspout. Once in place, the Diverter sends water to a rain barrel through a hose until that barrel is completely full. Once full, additional water simply continues down the downspout as it normally would — so the process is automatic!

Garden Watersaver also offers a Complete Rain Barrel Construction Kit that includes the Downspout Diverter plus all of the other items and instructions necessary to build a complete rain barrel system for water collection. It’s all there!

The amount of rainfall that you can collect is governed by the following formula: Easy to Remember Formula: 1″ of rain x 1 sq. ft. = 0.623 gallons To calculate the amount of rainwater you can collect, you need to know your annual average precipitation for your area. You can use the precipitation map below to find an approximate amount for your area.

Last edited on 10thMay 2022.


Bamboo Drip Irrigation

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As you may already know, the topography in Meghalaya is hilly, with steep slopes and rough landscapes. Hence, using ground channels in this area is unfavorable. So, bamboo drip irrigation is widely preferred.

Usually, water sources are distant from plantation sites and so the main bamboo channel runs several meters, sometimes even a couple of kilometres. Water is thus obtained and managed through a brilliant bamboo system of secondary and tertiary channels to reach each part and corners of the plantation.

Bamboo channels are utilized to tap perennial water from up-slopes, which is cleverly diverted to the lower parts using gravity. An ingenious system that wastes very little water and works to this day.

Channel sections are made of bamboos of different diameters, to control the water flow in such a way that the water reaches the site in the lower reaches, where it is circulated without spillage. The channels are supported by forked branches. 

It is so perfected that about 18-20 litres of water entering the bamboo pipe system per minute gets transported over several hundred metres and finally gets reduced to 20-80 drops per minute at the site of the plant.

One must see it to appreciate the intricacy and the smartness of the system. It is estimated that even up to 20 liters of water flows into the channel every minute. Have you ever heard of this type of irrigation before?  Read the story at Zizira website:

About Zizira:

Additional Reading:

One can buy online best quality herbs and spices that are grown in traditional ways by Meghalayans farmers (without pesticide and chemicals fertilizer) and are unadulterated and guaranteed by Zizira from their website .


Soil and Water Conservation Allen County

Conservation Practices: Erosion Control

Critical Area Planting
Establish vegetation in small areas of isolated erosion. The grass, trees, or shrubs provide surface cover to stop raindrop splash and slow water flow.
Cover Crops
Plant crops, including cereal rye, oats and winter wheat, to temporarily protect the ground from wind and water erosion during times when cropland isn’t adequately protected.
Conservation Tillage
Leave last year’s crop residue on the surface before and during planting operations to provide cover for soil. Crop residue shields soil particles from rain and wind until crops produce a protective canopy.
Water and Sediment Control Basins
Build an embankment across a depressional area of concentrated water runoff to act similar to a terrace. It traps sediment and water running off farmland above the structure.
Grassed Waterways
Grade and shape a natural drainageway to form a smooth, bowl shaped channel, and seed to sod-forming grasses. Runoff flows down the grassed drainageway, preventing erosion and the formation of gullies.
A Cover Crop is a non-cash crop planted to keep ground covered. This video explores how Charlie Roberts in Halls, TN is using this practice to protect soil health and increase water infiltration on his cropland.

Major benefits of this practice include:
1. Decreases erosion
2. Improves soil health
3. Decreases soil compaction
4. Reduces evaporation
5. Reduces input cost

For more information, visit

The Conservation at Work video series was created to increase producer awareness of common conservation practices and was filmed at various locations throughout the country. Because conservation plans are specific to the unique resource needs on each farm and also soil type, weather conditions, etc., these videos were designed to serve as a general guide to the benefits of soil and water conservation and landowners should contact their local USDA office for individual consultation. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. #CoverCrops #SoilHealth #Conservation

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13.7MW Floating Solar Power Plant in Japan’s Yamakura Dam reservoir by Kyocera TCL Power

Yamakura Dam, Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
LocationYamakura Dam (Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan)
OperationKyocera TCL Solar LLC
OutputApprox. 13.7MW
Solar modules270-watt Kyocera modules (50,904 modules in total)
Expected annual power generationApprox. 16,170MWh/year
Electricity generated is planned to be sold to Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated
Construction timelineStart of construction: December 2015Planned launch: FY2018 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2018)
Design & constructionKYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd.
MaintenanceKYOCERA Solar Corporation
Company Overview
Company nameKyocera TCL Solar LLC
LocationChiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
ShareholdersCentury Tokyo Leasing Corporation (81%)
Kyocera Corporation (19%)
EstablishedAugust 2012
Business outlineTo sell power produced from solar power generation

YouTube: 17 Apr 2015 –  Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced today that Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture established by the two companies, has completed construction of two floating mega-solar power plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The plants, inaugurated in late March, will generate an estimated 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year in total — enough electricity to power approximately 920 typical households*.
Features 1. Floating solar power generating systems typically generate more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water.
Features 2. They reduce reservoir water evaporation and algae growth by shading the water.
Features 3. Floating platforms are 100% recyclable, utilizing high-density polyethylene, which can withstand ultraviolet rays and resists corrosion.
Features 4. The floating platforms are designed and engineered to withstand extreme physical stress, including typhoon conditions.
* Based on average annual use of 3,600kWh per household. Source: Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.
The largest floating PV power plant in Japan: 13,744 kWp Installed on a water retention reservoir, Yamakura Dam, in Chiba prefecture. Project developed by Kyocera TCL Solar LLC Hydrelio® floating system provided by Ciel & Terre® International company.

Press Release March 27, 2018:

Completion ceremony for plant on Yamakura Dam reservoir attended by governor of Chiba Prefecture:
Press Release:
Press Photo_1:
Press Photo_2:

KYOCERA Completion ceremony at the project site
Offgrid Living Posts

How much rainwater can your home collect for locations USA/UK/AU

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Easy to Remember Formula: 1″ of rain x 1 sq. ft. = 0.623 gallons

Rainfall data
US :
UK :
Australia :

Rainwater Collection Calculator:


Rainwater Harvesting Advantages

Drought Mitigation

Many parts of the United States are in (or are about to enter) a drought period, facing possible water restrictions. In February 2009, the Governor of California ordered that mandatory water rationing and mandatory reductions in water use may be introduced.

Rain tanks, or rain barrels, collect fresh rain water from the home roof and store it for times of drought. Modern rain tanks are sealed from light, animals and vegetable matter so the water stays clean for months.

Proponents of global warming warn that weather patterns are already changing and traditional rainfall levels are expected to drop in many areas.

Green Living

Green living is now becoming a way of life for a majority of Americans. People are conscious of their ‘carbon footprint’ and are seeking methods to reduce the future impact on the environment and climate. 20% of California’s power consumption is used to collect, transport and treat water.

In areas of major urbanization the environment is suffering from increased run-off that cannot soak naturally into the ground. As a result, aquifers are not filling at a rate fast enough to restore their pre-urban levels.

Saving Drinking Water

Water is a limited resource and the cost of its supply is certain to rise in the next few years. Most major water collection and distribution projects in California were completed over fifty years ago and no new major rainwater catchment projects are planned. Water restrictions are nothing new in California, but since the last major drought in the early 1990s, the state’s population has grown by 9 million to a total of 38 million.

In a press conference on March 12, 2009 the governor plainly stated that, with increased demand and limited supply, Californians can expect to pay more for water in the future.

But why use good drinking water on the garden or to flush toilets? Over 40% of water supplied to most suburban households is used on the garden. This is not the best use of a product processed for human consumption. Besides, most plants enjoy the slightly acidic and soft qualities of rainwater.

Bushman rainwater harvesting tanks maintain a high quality of rain water with gutter guards, insect filters and first flush devices that divert the first rains of the season to the drain. All tanks are opaque and do not allow the growth of algae. Tanks are made or lined with food grade quality polyethylene.

Last edited on January 26, 2022.


Offgrid Living

Living off the land means you survive only by the resources that can be harvested from the land you own. So, think food, water, and power.

Offgrid living by Masai family

The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities. People who adopt this lifestyle are called off-gridders.

Further reading

Further readings
(1) Case-study:
(2) Documentary:
(3) Reference:

Off-the-grid or off-grid is a characteristic of buildings and a lifestyle designed in an independent manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

The term “off-the-grid” traditionally refers to not being connected to the electrical grid, but can also include other utilities like water, gas, and sewer systems, and can scale from residential homes to small communities.

Off-the-grid living allows for buildings and people to be self-sufficient, which is advantageous in isolated locations where normal utilities cannot reach and is attractive to those who want to reduce environmental impact and cost of living.

Generally, an off-grid building must be able to supply energy and potable water for itself, as well as manage food, waste and wastewater.

Last updated on 15-Jan-2022.


The Different Components of a Rainwater System

The Different Components of a Rainwater System.

Basic components of rainwater system: Regardless of the complexity of the system, the domestic rainwater harvesting system comprises six basic components:
#1 Catchment surface: the collection surface from which rainfall runs off
#2 Gutters and downspouts: channel water from the roof to the tank
#3 Leaf screens, first-flush diverters, and roof washers: components which remove debris and dust from the captured rainwater before it goes to the tank
#4 One or more storage tanks, also called cisterns
#5 Delivery system: gravity-fed or pumped to the end use
#6 Treatment/purification: for potable systems, filters and other methods to make the water safe to drink.
Refer Chapter2 of The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting >>

Chapter 2 – Rainwater Harvesting System Components…. 5
Topic 2.0 Basic Components …………………………………. 5
Topic 2.1 The Catchment Surface………………………………5
Topic 2.2 Gutters and Downspouts…………………………… 6
Topic 2.3 Leaf Screens………………………………………… 7
Topic 2.4 First-Flush Diverters …………………………………8
Topic 2.5 Roof Washers…………………………………………10
Topic 2.6 Storage Tanks…………………………………………10
Topic 2.7 Pressure Tanks and Pumps……………………………16
Topic 2.8 Treatment and Disinfection Equipment……………… 17

Centre for Disease Control & Prevention: Rainwater Collection:
Cisterns can provide safe water for many uses, but do not assume rainwater is safe to drink >>

Download The Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting from my website

Rainwater Collection – Basic Components of a Rainwater Storage System :

UK Shopping :
US Shopping:

Last updated on 17-Dec-2021.


Damning analysis discovers US tap water is a ‘cocktail of chemicals’

Tap water across the US is riddled with chemical contaminants and even radioactive material, a new study has shown, with the situation complicated by outdated safety standards.

The worrying state of American tap water was highlighted in recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that has maintained a database of drinking-water contaminants across the country since 2014.

Hazardous chemicals, including pesticides and radioactive materials, are “often found in drinking water at potentially unsafe levels, particularly in low-income and underserved communities,” it said in a press release.

“When some Americans drink a glass of tap water, they’re also potentially getting a dose of industrial or agricultural contaminants linked to cancer, brain and nervous system damage, fertility problems, hormone disruption, and other health harms.”

For too many Americans, turning on their faucets for a glass of water is like pouring a cocktail of chemicals.

More than 50 new pollutants have been identified in water supplies, with the main culprits behind the increase being perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. This class of substances, commonly referred to as ‘forever chemicals,’ due to their stability and slow breakdown process, are widely used across multiple industries.

For more information on “Damning analysis discovers US tap water is a ‘cocktail of chemicals’” visit site


Rainwater System RainWaterSystem.Blog

Rainwater harvesting systems capture rainwater by directing it from large surfaces (e.g. roofs) to an underground or over-ground holding tank. The harvested rainwater is filtered and then pumped directly to the appliances or to a header tank. For more information visit &