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Old 02-12-2010, 05:21 PM
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Default Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

I've always wanted one. I was reading Family Handyman and they have a rain barrel project which is what got me thinking about it. So, anyone have one? Like it?
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Philadelphia has a program where they give out free rain barrels:

Rain Barrel Workshops | Office of Watersheds

It keeps storm overflow out of the antiquated combined sewer system (That's right: no storm sewers except in the newest sections of the city) and reduces water demand for lawn watering and such.

This is an old idea: my first house had a brick cistern from the 19th century to collect and disperse run-off.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Cool. Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:26 PM
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A rain 'barrel'?
Wouldn't it be more prudent to put in a rainwater tank, something that has a larger storage capacity than what I have seen and currently envisage similar to a largish wine barrel at the end of a roof down pipe?
We are encouraged over here to install them, in fact in bush fire prone areas, it is mandatory for a minimum 5000 litre tank full of water and an attached electric but preferred petrol or diesel fire pump connected.
As youngsters, we always used captured rainwater as a good source of drinking water but now they claim that it is unsafe for drinking. Where has the world gone today?


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Old 02-12-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nissanneill View Post
A rain 'barrel'?
Neill,

I was thinking the same thing. 55 gallons of water is only 10 - 20 flushes of the toilet. When I vacationed in Belize, they had HUGE tanks that caught the water off of their roofs. Since they are not washing their cars or watering the lawn - it was probably enough to get a family by for three months. I always thought of the health/sanitary problems with that, but hey... when in Rome...
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Um, Neill, a 500 gal tank might be a bit problematic in the suburbs....
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les View Post
Neill,

I was thinking the same thing. 55 gallons of water is only 10 - 20 flushes of the toilet. When I vacationed in Belize, they had HUGE tanks that caught the water off of their roofs. Since they are not washing their cars or watering the lawn - it was probably enough to get a family by for three months. I always thought of the health/sanitary problems with that, but hey... when in Rome...
We're talking more yard/suburban duty. But you can link them and make as many as you need. The garbage can design Family Handyman had used 2 cans and could be expanded even more.

Here in Alabama linked barrels could make sense. But in Australia? I dunno, I'm not sure you'd have enough rainfall for that to work.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

It wouldn't work here either Arch - I'm in the high desert. What we get in the winter would freeze - what little we get in the summer would evaporate. The only way we can exist here is the Sierra Nevada mountains, a pretty impressive water tank.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

Yes, four barrels actually. Two 55 gallon barrels are on downspouts on my shop building and are connected together via a syphon and one of the two is plumbed to a 5500 gallon rainwater storage tank with a float controlled pump. This was primarily for fire protection prior to our getting water on island last year. We now have a hydrant at the corner of our property. This water in this tank is near potable and with RO system is still "back up" to our well. We haven't yet connected to city water.

The other two are off downspouts on our home. One is plumbed to one garden/orchard and will eventually be pumped to our pond. The other is for around the house plant watering.

When installing the 5500 gallon tank I asked of our local fire department and was given both a valve and fitting to connect to the firetrucks/pumpers. The trucks could then refill from my tank instead of going off island in the event of an emergency. Fortunately this capability has never been needed.

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Old 02-13-2010, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Anyone Have a Rain Barrel?

You can look into stock tanks. They are widely used in the solar energy business, as well as for hot tubs. If you are in an agricultural area they should be available locally. They come in plastic as well as galvanized. Here's a link to a 700 gallon one for $290.
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