#11  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:31 AM
egalecki's Avatar
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

My dad made my mom several rain barrels last year out of the biggest heavy-duty garbage cans he could find. They're attached to his downspouts and have a valve on them at the bottom to attach a hose so she can water the garden with them. Since they're in Eastern NC, they have to be elevated a bit to be able to get any water to flow to the garden (flatter than a pancake there). It takes a while to hand water her raised beds, but as she says, she's "retired and can take all day to water if she wants".

They do work really well, and it doesn't take that much rain to fill them up. I am going to try it myself this summer if I can get the time, but I KNOW I'll need a pump to get the water to my gardens. Wilson has an extra pump he was going to use to chill his wort- (don't ask, it's a hideously complicated contraption he built) maybe I'll swipe it and figure out how to make it work.

I saw a very well-thought out design a couple of years ago in Mother Earth Magazine- I bet it's still available on their website. Check it out and see how it compares to the one you have.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2010, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Elizabeth,
Years ago when we first bought our property and still lived in town the first thing we did was plant the orchard. As we didn't have a well we hauled water for the trees in 55 gallon barrels in the back of a pickup. To actually water the trees I used a inexpensive 12 volt marine bilge pump and connected a garden hose to the outflow of the pump and the leads to long wires which connected by alligator clips to the battery of the truck. Simplicity itself, drop the bilge pump in the barrel and connect the leads and start watering. No holes in the barrel and changing from one barrel to another was as simple as lifting the pump out of the barrel by the hose and leads and dropping into the next.

Here's a link to the type of pump I mean. The ones we used had smaller outlets and one simply cut the female end off a hose and held it on by hose clamps. This one being 3/4 inch might need a short section of plastic pipe glued inside the outlet to reduce the diameter so it would easily fit a garden hose. The link:
Amazon.com: Rule 24 Marine Rule 360 Marine Bilge Pump (360-GPH, 12-Volt): Sports & Outdoors

For power a simple battery charger will work in place of a battery.

Hope this helps
Wiley
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2010, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archena View Post
Um, Neill, a 500 gal tank might be a bit problematic in the suburbs....
We have 5 of these tanks and we live in the burbs, they fit just about anywhere and the mozzies cant breed in them..

We have all the tanks connected together and use the water to do the laundry, flush the toilet, wash the vehicles and for the garden..

Last edited by brickie in oz; 02-13-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-13-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Now I know I live in the land of crazies. In my county in the "Evergreen State" ( Washington). I have been informed that I cannot trap or contain any of the rainwater that lands on my roof because it does not belong to me It seems that the county officials are afraid that catching rainwater keeps it from being absorbed into the ground.

Heck, the 2 month delay from the rainy season to the "dry" (when I water the garden with it) might cause horrific environmental damage !!!!

Bruce
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Washington: the only state in which catching raindrops requires property rights...
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Yep, I know that in the huge Colorado River watershed rain barrels are illegal because ownership every drop of rainfall is assigned by legislation, agreements, and litigation.

AFAIK, who owns the rain is not a topic for discussion here on the east coast.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

No, we usually just debate river flow. Mostly because Atlanta hasn't come up with a solution that doesn't involve draining the Chattahoochee or making spurious claims to the Tennessee (which isn't even in Georgia!)


BC, I think they changed it: Rainwater Collection in Washington State
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  #18  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Archena, good link!

I built mine when it was "illegal to collect rainwater" that also was before there was much in the way of "on island" storage of water for fire protection and so I went the "fire protection route". Even then I had to get a official building permit which in itself was a lesson in patience. Ended up having to get an approval by licensed professional engineer as my tank was/is "homemade". Were they now to complain I would protest that I'm "grandfathered use".

Bests,
Wiley
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