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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: http://www.rwh.in/howto.html

Complete rain barrel construction kit: https://gardenwatersaver.com/product/rain-barrel-kit-3×4/

Last updated on 23-May-2022.

Categories
Offgrid Living Posts

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

Copyright & Source: https://bushmanusa.com/

Easy to Remember Formula: 1″ of rain x 1 sq. ft. x 0.9 = 0.5607 gallons

Assumptions: Assume that the rainwater collection system has an 0.9 yield — meaning that you’d only catch 90% of actual rainwater.
It has been assumed that 0.1 yield of captured water which has “washed” the roof. Once the roof washer has filled, the rest of the water flows to the cistern.

Copyright & Source: http://www.rwh.in/
The first flush is diverted downwards into a holding barrel. An overflow hose from the top of the cistern also empties into this barrel. Post-flush water enters the cistern via the roof washer’s side port through a screened cistern entry hole. The barrel overflow is directed to a swale in the middle of our back yard.

Rainfall data
US : https://www.usclimatedata.com/
UK : https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data
Australia : http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/cdo/about/cdo-rainfall-feature.shtml

Bushman Rainwater Collection Calculator: https://bushmanusa.com/rainwater-collection-calculator
Bushman Resources: https://bushmanusa.com/resources
Bushman Products: https://bushmanusa.com/products
RWH Sitemap: http://www.rwh.in/sitemap.htm
Harvesting Rainwater: https://www.roofwaterharvesting.org/


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.

StateAverage Rainfall (in inches)
Alabama56″
Alaska31″
Arizona22″
Arkansas50″
California22″
Colorado17″
Connecticut50″
Delaware45″
Florida50″
Georgia48″
Hawaii49″
Idaho18″
Illinois41″41″
Indiana42″42″
Iowa32″32″
Kansas33″
Kentucky47″47″
Louisiana60″
Maine40″
Maryland44″
Massachusetts43″
Michigan34″
Minnesota32″
Mississippi57″
Missouri41″
Montana15″
Nebraska27″
Nevada10″
New Hampshire46″
New Jersey45″
New Mexico13″
New York37″
North Carolina48″
North Dakota17″
Ohio40″
Oklahoma36″
Oregon75″
Pennsylvania43″
Rhode Island44″
South Carolina48″
South Dakota23″
Tennessee52″
Texas27″
Utah17″
Vermont43″
Virginia44″
Washington73″
West Virginia45″
Wisconsin34″
Wyoming11″
Average rainfall is 38″.

Last edited on November 16, 2022.