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 Post subject: Water Storage: Rain Barrels
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Harvesting Rainwater with Rain Barrels, an Old Idea with a New Following
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Collecting rainwater for use during dry months in rain barrels or other depositories is an ancient and traditional practice. Historical records show that rainwater was collected in simple clay containers as far back as 2,000 years ago in Thailand, and throughout other areas of the world after that. With the rising price of municipal water and drought restrictions now facing much of the United States during the summer months, more and more homeowners in our own modern society are turning to the harvesting of rainwater to save money and protect this precious natural resource.

It is a common belief in many parts of the world that water is an infinite resource to exploit as needed, but as the saying goes, "you don’t know the value of water until the well is running dry." This is especially true in arid parts of the U.S. where most of the municipal water comes from overstressed underground aquifers. Whereas rainwater is considered a renewable natural resource, many aquifers are being "mined," that is, communities are drawing out more water than the aquifer naturally receives to recharge it.

As drought and aquifer mining begin to call attention to an increasing water crisis, people are seeking ways minimize impact on their municipal water supplies. Rain barrels can be part of the solution. Just look outside your window the next time it rains and imagine all the water that’s running down your driveway being put to beneficial use in your home and garden!

The Freshwater Facts
To illustrate how important and how limited a resource freshwater is in our world, consider the following. More than 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water, but only 2.5% of this supply is considered fresh water. The rest is found in the form of salt water in the oceans. Of the fresh water that exists, most is locked up in glaciers and ice caps. Water can also be found in the form of clouds and humidity in the soil. That leaves us 3/10 of 1 percent found in the form of lakes, rivers and streams. Unfortunately, much of this small amount of freshwater is in danger of drying up through desertification or becoming so contaminated that it cannot be used for human consumption. Changing our habits of water use can help to abate this growing problem. For more information on world water consumption, you can review this government website.

Why Harvest Rainwater with Rain Barrels?
Besides helping the environment, an obvious reason for harvesting rainwater is to save money. Depending on the size of your house and the amount of rainfall in your area, you can collect a substantial amount of rainwater with a simple system. This extra water can have a significant impact on your water bill. The use of rainwater combined with the domestic use of grey water can further increase your savings. Even if you live in a rural area and have your own well, the fact that rainwater is a naturally soft water may be enough to justify harvesting rainwater. (Keep reading for information on how to calculate the potential volume of rainwater you can collect.)

Rainwater stored in rain barrels has many uses. Some people find it mostly useful for watering their landscapes and gardens. Others find uses within the house as well. Rainwater can also be used for drinking but requires special treatment with a filtration system. Note that many cities require the filtration system for drinking water to be certified and the water to be tested on a regular basis. You do not need a filtration system for landscape uses. You can use it directly from your rain barrel on your garden.

If you’re harvesting rainwater with rain barrels to use for watering your landscaping, the rainwater can help to improve the health of your gardens, lawns, and trees. Rain is a naturally soft water and devoid of minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals. For this reason, plants respond very well to rainwater. After all, it’s what plants in the wild thrive on!

Rainwater from Rain Barrels Makes Your Garden Smile
Since the rain water is usually collected from the roofs of houses, it picks up very little contamination when it falls. You’ll of course want to keep your roof clean of debris and potential contaminants to maximize purity. The material your roof is made of is also important in how much contamination the water will carry (see Safe Rainwater Harvesting Catchments). The chemicals and hard water from many of our municipal water systems can produce an imbalance in the soil of your garden. Chemical fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides, and drought can also disrupt the balance and harmony of the soil. This imbalance causes trees and plants to weaken and makes them more susceptible to disease.

Trees and plants have an efficient immune system that allows them to fend off diseases and other invaders as long as they have a healthy soil environment and aren't stressed by other factors such as drought. Trees and plants rely on fungus, bacteria, and nematodes to help them absorb the minerals and nutrients they need. Trees and plants depend on a fungal root system called mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae attaches itself to tree and plant root hairs and extends the root hair system.

Mycorrhizae uses some of the plant's energy, but provides the plant with minerals it can't otherwise absorb. In healthy soil, the mycorrhizae of one tree connects with mycorrhizae of other similar trees. When you look at your garden, visualize it as a vast interconnected community of trees, plants and tiny critters that live in the soil, all interacting and affecting each other. Thus, the type of water you use in your garden will affect the health of this intricate community.

And speaking of community, one of the best reasons to start harvesting rainwater with rain barrels is that if you teach and encourage others to do the same, you will help to spread the culture of rainwater collection and in turn help your larger community and the environment. It is always important to remember that every living thing on the planet needs water to survive so we as humans must expand our idea of community to the plants and animals that surround us.

Source: http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/


Last edited by Readymom on Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: How to Build and Install a Rain barrel
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
From Center for Watershed Protection, Maryland --- They have 3 great pdf publications for use of a rain barrell system.

How to Build and Install a Rain Barrell
http://www.cwp.org/images/stories/RainBarrelGarden.pdf

AND

How to Manage Storm Water-Rain Barrels
http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=182095

AND

Maintaining Home Stormwater Systems
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/343724

What is a Rain Barrel? A rain barrel collets and stores rainwater from your rooftop to use later for things like lawn and garden watering. Water collected in a rain barrel would normally flow through your downspout, onto a paved surface and eventually into a storm drain.

Supplies needed:
    * One 55-gallon drum
    * One 5' section vinyl garden hose (3/4" OD x 5/8" ID)
    * One 4" diameter atrium grate (basekt used in garden ponds and pool skimmers)
    * One 1/2" PVC male adapter
    * One 2/4" x 1/2" PVC make adapter
    * One 5' section of drain hose, drain line, or sump pump line (1-1/4")
    * One 1-1/4" female barbed fitting and one 1-1/4" male threaded coupling
    * One vinyl gutter elbow
    * Drill (Or a hole saw)
    * Router, jig saw or coping saw
    * Measuring tape

    optional
    * Waterproof sealant (Silicone caulk, PVC glue)
    * Teflon tape
    * Fiberglass window screen material or mosquito netting
    * Cinder blocks or wooden crateeded:

For complete directions please go to the link provided above.


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 Post subject: Water From Roof Runoff: Don't Drink This Water!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
DO NOT DRINK THIS WATER! As posted by newguy at Fluwiki, it is dangerous!
http://www.fluwikie2.com/index.php?n=Fo ... RoofRunoff

Excerpts from this discussion:

Quote:
Water from roof runoff is dangerous because toxic chemicals can leach out of the tars and roofing materials.
I once worked on a construction site where the dogs drank from drip pans used to collect leaking water. All the dogs but one very obnoxious and apparantlhy discriminating on drank the water and died.


:arrow: (BroncoBoncoBillBull)
Runoff from the roof of your house may not be potable, but can be used for flushing toilets and other necessary things…

:arrow: (Denniscra)
[snip] beware of wood shingles as well since they can be treated with copper and arsenic compounds.


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 Post subject: Harvested Rainwater
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
This site discusses types of roofs, how long to let the roof ‘wash’ before starting to collect water, ways to collect it, treat it, etc.

Intro states:
In this section, Harvested Rainwater is rainwater that is captured from the roofs of buildings on residential property. Harvested rainwater can be used for indoor needs at a residence, irrigation, or both, in whole or in part.

Go to: http://www.greenbuilder.com/sourcebook/Rainwater.html


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 Post subject: Where To Purchase Rain Barrels
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Bay Tec Containers
http://www.bayteccontainers.com/30galrawkit.html
30 GAL RAIN BARREL WITH DOWNSPOUT KIT
30 GAL FOODGRADE JUICE BARREL WITH INSTALLED BULKHEAD FITTING, 3/4" FAUCET AND GUTTER DOWNSPOUT KIT.

AS LOW AS $39.99 FOR 10 OR MORE

EHP.org has NO Affiliation with this company!


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 Post subject: More discussion on Rainbarrels
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
The Lore of the Rain Barrel.

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http://www.singtomeohmuse.com/viewtopic ... sc&start=0

Original post by (S-2 Flu):
Quote:
One sees rain barrels mentioned in passing fairly often as a backup water source by posters on this forum.The basic idea is simplicity itself but, like many old fashioned things that have fallen into disuse,there must be a forgotten body of knowledge concerning their use.I am starting this thread to share what little I know,learn about the rest that I don`t,and encourage others to seek out those old enough to remember them.
          ....continued at link above ....


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 Post subject: York County Conservation District - Rain Barrel Workshop
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:05 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Pennsylvania
York County Conservation District - Rain Barrel Workshop

http://www.yorkccd.org/xmisc/Newrainbarrel.pdf


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 Post subject: Cumberland County Conservation District Rain Barrel Project
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:05 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Pennsylvania
Rain Barrel Project

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Cumberland County Conservation District Rain Barrel Project

Each year the Conservation District partners with Cedar Cliff students to construct 50 rain barrels made from reused food grade barrels. The barrels are sold on a first come, first served basis. The Conservation District applies for a grant which we use to reduce the cost of the rain barrel to recipients. Usually in early April, we send out brochures to our rain barrel mailing list and the first 50 people who return the order form with their payment receive a rain barrel. We distribute the barrels in May at Cedar Cliff High School.

The barrels are black pickle barrels, approximately 55 gallons, with lids that screw on, and have screen on them to keep mosquitos out. There is a drain on the bottom where a hose can be hooked up, and a standard spigot up high enough that a bucket fits under it. There is also an overflow hose to control extra water when the barrel is full. ---CONTINUED at LINKS, BELOW ---

Includes:

Cumberland County Conservation District Rain Barrel Project -Description
http://www.cumberlandcd.com/rainbarrel.html

Water Harvesting with Rain Barrels: Why & How
http://www.cumberlandcd.com/rainbarrel/CCCD%20Rain%20Barrels%20How%20and%20Why.pdf

Cumberland County Conservation District Rain Barrel Parts List
http://www.cumberlandcd.com/rainbarrel/Rain%20Barrel%20Parts%20List%20130417.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Water Storage: Rain Barrels
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Rain Barrels-General Information

Rain Barrel Guide
http://www.rainbarrelguide.com/collecting-water-rain-barrels/

Comprehensive Guide. Includes:

  • Where do I Start? Collecting Water with Rain Barrels
  • Why Harvest Rainwater with Rain Barrels?
  • Harvesting Rainwater with Rain Barrels
  • Where do I Start? Collecting Water with Rain Barrels
  • Benefits of Rainwater from Rain Barrels
  • Types of Rainwater Harvesting Systems
  • How Much Municipal Water Do I Already Use Without a Rain Barrel?
  • How Much Water Can You Collect in Rain Barrels During a Rainfall
  • Where to buy Rain Barrels
  • How to Assemble a Rain Barrel

    • How to Assemble a Rainbarrel USA Rain Barrel
    • How to Assemble an Octagon Rain Barrel
    • How to Assemble a Recycled Food Barrel Rain Barrel
  • How to set up and install a rain barrel
  • Safe Rainwater Harvesting Catchments
  • Other Safety and Maintenance Concerns


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 Post subject: Re: Water Storage: Rain Barrels
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Rain Barrel-How to Guide

Rain Barrel How-To
http://www.gardeners.com/Rain-Barrel-How-To/5497,default,pg.html

Image Learn how to harvest the rain — right from your roof
By Kathy LaLiberte

Collecting rainwater for your garden is a smart idea, no matter what your motivation. Plants like rainwater, because it's naturally soft, and free of chlorine and other chemicals. If drought is a problem where you live, collecting rainwater is a good way to deal with watering restrictions. If you're on a municipal water system, you stand to save a considerable amount of money. You may also find, as I do, that having a rain barrel is a handy alternative to the garden hose.

If you get about 10-inches of rain over the course of the spring and summer, an average, 1,360-square-foot roof would yield 8,160 gallons of rainwater. You have to admit that whether you're in a drought situation or not, it's hard to pass up that much of a free thing.

When you look at the numbers, it's surprising how much water you can collect every time it rains. Just a half inch of rain falling on a 1,000-square-foot roof will yield 300 gallons of water. To get an idea how much water the roof of your own house might yield, use the Rainfall Harvest Calculator.

Here's what you need to set up your own rain-harvesting system: --- CONTINUED at LINK, above ---


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 Post subject: Re: Water Storage: Rain Barrels
PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:42 pm
Posts: 2449
Rain Barrel-Do’s and Don’ts of Building

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Your First Rain Barrel
http://www.survivallife.com/2013/05/20/how-to-build-maintain-and-care-for-your-first-rain-barrel/

Image Rain barrels are a great way to control run off and conserve water. It lacks chlorine and fluoride that is found in many municipal water supplies. Natural rain water is softer and easier on your garden plants. My grandmother always washed her hair every Saturday night with water from her rain barrel. If you happen to have a good water filter such as a Berkey, you can use rain barrel water for drinking water in case of emergencies.

-SNIP-

:!: Note: Rainwater collection is prohibited in some areas and encouraged in others. Please check this list of State Rainwater Harvesting and Graywater Laws and Programs to find out if it is allowed in your area. --- CONTINUED at LINK, above ---


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