Passive rain water collection for the green house

NoFlyZone

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#1
I finally got started on the water collection system for the green house.
Since I wanted to feed the water inside at a specific elevation, I had to elevate the rain barrel to make the gravity feed work.
The first hurdle was how to support a barrel with 400 plus pounds of water in it.
Enter steel reinforced masonry!
IMG_20190402_161213.jpg

I drilled in #4 rebar into the concrete slab and laid the blocks. There are 1\4" steel ties that connect one column to the other. I filled all the cells of the blocks with concrete.

The two columns were necessary so the bungs on the barrel would be exposed underneath. With the barrel upside down, the water will run out of the one of the bungs and into the green house. The other bung has the drain for Winterization.

Filling the barrel is done by a downspout coming off of the gutter.
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The downspout goes through the lid of a one gallon bucket that has about 60 1\4" holes drilled into it. I used a one gallon paint filter inside the bucket to filter out the little stuff that made it past the gutter guards. I was trying to avoid clogged valves later on.
Holes were cut through the steel cap and the bottom of the barrel for the bucket to sit flush.

Now that I had the barrel elevated and a way to get rain water into it, I had to come up with a way to keep it there during storms or when the system has been drained for the Winter.
IMG_20190402_162040.jpg
Notice the green cap on top of the barrel. That started as the steel lid from a 55 gallon barrel. With hammer and anvil, I reformed it into, what looks like a family sized bottle cap.
Steel straps, fabricated from banding material, were riveted onto the bottle cap and then fastened with masonry anchors to the concrete filled columns.

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Plumbing from one of the bungs brings the water inside where is is piped down the wall.
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A little pipe and a couple of spigots later, I have a viable rainwater collection and distribution system in the green house.

it's supposed to rain in the next few days, so I'll get to see if the system actually works as designed.
 
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NoFlyZone

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#6
How many square feet on the roof drain into that barrel? It can add up fast in a heavy rain.
There is 192 square feet of surface area on the roof, but there are two down spouts in the gutter. Only one of them feeds the green house. The other one is for a future out door shower.
That gives me 96 square feet dedicated to plant watering duties.
A 1/4" rain over that 96 square feet will yield about 15 gallons of collected rain water.
A 1/2" rain over the same area would yield almost thirty gallons.
A one inch rain means a proof of concept test for the overflow.
 
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240Geezer

Old dude with a ‘tude
Gold Subscriber
#7
There is 192 square feet of surface area on the roof, but there are two down spouts in the gutter. Only one of them feeds the green house. The other one is for a future out door shower.
That gives me 96 square feet dedicated to plant watering duties.
A 1\4" rain over that 96 square feet will yield about 15 gallons of collected rain water.
A 1\2" rain over the same area would yield almost thirty gallons.
Check
 

NoFlyZone

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#8
You could fit a tube from that over-flow pipe into the barrel next to it. Catch an extra barrel. Then you could hand or electric pump it up into the elevated barrel. Just a quick couple-dollar way to double your catch capacity. (y)
I had considered slaving a couple of barrels together and I may do that later on. But I needed to get this system up and running, then move on to other projects, like a water capture system for the chicken yard.
 

NoFlyZone

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#13
Gonna get my engineering and plumbing skills put to the test today.
Thunderstorms and gusty winds moving in right now.
3/4" of rain should fill the rain barrel and make me all giggly.
Any additional rain should exit the barrel via the overflow or go down the down spout on the other end of the green house.

i can hear the water tink tink tinkling into the barrel right now.
 

NoFlyZone

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#14
We had a good rain during the night and I check the system this morning.
The barrel was filled to capacity and the overflow worked as expected.
Filtered rain water now flows in the green house and I watered the tomatoes and peppers with it this morning.

Three things were noticed that will need to be improved upon.
#!. Filling the plastic barrel to capacity caused it to bulge slightly, thereby decreasing the height.
This made the anchor straps loose. They will need to be repositioned with the barrel full so they will remain taught.
#2. The food grade garden hose that I connected to the plumbing inside is somewhat rigid and difficult to manipulate with the
short length. I will probably replace the hose with a smaller diameter, more flexible, tubing of some sort.
#3. The barrel is an opaque blue plastic, which is good for reducing algae causing sunlight in the water. However, it also eliminates the ability to see how much water is actually inside the barrel. Perhaps an external water sight glass would have been a good option.


Other than that, this project is a wrap!
 
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Optimist

Antifa is a worse plague than Covid 19
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#16
Next iteration, you may want to use bungee straps instead of iron strapping. Self adjusts for the bulge and loss of height. I do b likin' your cinder block pedestal. Nice way of controlling elevation in 8 inch increments. A trick I use for cinder block is painting the tops and bottoms with tar pookie roofing paint to get 'em to hold together while I prepare the concrete for pouring to fill 'em....
 
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NoFlyZone

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#17
These blocks were dry stacked.
I figured with 300 square inches (roughly) of adhesion surface inside the cells of each block versus 75 inches (roughly) of adhesion surface on the perimeter area of the block, it will probably be OK until I got them poured.
Although they did leak a little gravy.
 

Optimist

Antifa is a worse plague than Covid 19
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#18
Did a wall years back for a structure that had to be air-tight. Used pookie to join the blocks, and painted pookie on inside and outside surfaces. Used gravel fill in the blocks, because there was some ground shifting to contend with. Tar will allow shift and still hold air. It was a trick that I've used for several projects since.
 

Optimist

Antifa is a worse plague than Covid 19
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#20
tar roofing paint. Nasty stuff to get off your blue jeans, but does a fine job catching house trailer roof leaks. Some of the better grades had an aluminum that would come to the surface after painting. Helped to keep the heat down in a West Texas summer sun.
For sealing block, I used the cheap stuff. You do want a strong fan blowing air into the doorway while you're sealing the inside walls.
 
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