capturing roof rainwater to water plants

I pay water and sewer fees on every single gallon of water I use for my plants. I recently planted a hedge of blueberry plants, and noticed that the house has 2 downspouts on that end, roughly 25 feet apart.
I've never actually had rain barrels, though I did experiment with 5 gallon buckets a few years back. (a neighbor complained that he felt I was the source of mosquitoes in the area, and he may have been right) I'm not sure that I would have enough room to use an actual rain barrel, since the plants are only a bit over 2' from the foundation, and there is a chain link fence close to one end of the hedge.
I'd love to build an underground cistern that would hold 2,000 gallons of rainwater, but I think that is probably out of the question as well, due solely to financial concerns.
Can anyone suggest a solution that might let me capture the rainwater and use it for irrigation? Keep in mind that the row of plants is about 25' long, the plants are between 2' and 2.5' from the foundation, and there is a downspout at both ends of the hedge row. I was kind of hoping I'd find solutions for this at some of the big stores near here, in the garden sections, but so far I haven't.
Years ago, I seem to remember seeing some sort of plastic/rubber device you could fasten to your downspout. It would inflate with water when it rained, and then slowly release the water over a couple of days. You could simply unroll it, like a huge hose, and put it near the base of the plants you wanted watered. As long as the land was relatively flat, it would work fine. I never bought one, but I think something like that might work well. Just can't seem to think of what it was called, and there is no guarantee they still make anything like that, I guess.
Thanks!
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You could buy an inflatable swimming pool, if you get rain for a few days, each month during the summer. The problem with that would be mosquitos.
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Ohioguy wrote:

Instead of capturing the water why not just distribute it better, eg a plastic drain pipe from the downpipes along the row with holes in it. It's cheap and doesn't make mosquito ponds.
David
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On Wed, 26 May 2010 15:13:01 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

It won't be so cheap when it can't dispel water quickly enough to prevent water from backing up in the gutters, either the excessive weight tearing them from the eaves and/or the water backing up into the soffits destroying the house.
Buy a large plastic vat (not all that costly) or dig a pond. Why does anyone need to capture rain water in Ohio, it certainly rains there on a regular enough basis to keep plants watered... Ohio isn't in Death Valley last I looked.
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brooklyn1 wrote:

You are assuming that this arrangement will impede the flow of water more than the open end of the pipe and that there is weight hanging off the downpipes. There would be many cases where a suitable design can be found which doesn't have these problems. Whether this is a good solution or not depends on the details of the situation which we cannot see. I just wanted to throw up the idea that if retaining water is a problem then there is the option to not retain it.
David
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"Ohioguy" wrote

If you want to go back the rain barrel, just add a thin layer of vegetable oil to the top. Kills the mosquitoes and won't hurt the yard.
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Bob F wrote:

This is standard practice on both inlet and overflow where roof-water tanks are common.
David
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I bought a cheap plastic garbage can and wrapped the top with window screen. Drilled a hole in the bottom and added a spigot and hose. I have it elevated with a few cinder blocks. There is not enough pressure to use a sprinkler but I can attach a short piece of soaker hose and water small segments; most of the time I use a can to carry the water to the plants.
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In article

Just don't try this in Colorado, where capturing rainwater is illegal. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/mar/18/nation/na-contested-rainwater18
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Billy wrote:

We have a similar accounting system where various people have rights to different amounts of water in different situations and many of these rights can be bought and sold. The difference here is that built into the system is the concept of harvestable right. Every landholder has the inallienable right to harvest 10% of the water that falls on their land. You might think that this is very hard to determine but in practice it is managed by setting limits on how large the container may be that holds it. So I am allowed to have a tank up to 2.3 megalitres (about 600,000 gal US). In addition you have the right to pump water from rivers and other permanent water for domestic purposes which includes vegetable gardens and orchards that are not commercial.
On the whole this seems a fair compromise between the rights of the individual and giving certainty to commercial operations, the Colorado law does not.
David
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The good people of Cochabamba, Bolivia agree with you. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/bolivia.html <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTKn17uZRAE

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wrote:

Good Lord! How absolutely ridiculous!
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FarmI wrote:

Isn't it interesting that the nation that superficially champions freedom of the individual, the society of limitless opportunity, the home of the brave etc, has so many domestic quirks where those freedoms are abrogated by law and hosts so many powerful groups whose main aim is to make everybody live their way and no other.
David
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Ah, so you noticed the disconnect between the chauvinistic posturing of national policy, and the reality of its application in daily life too.
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wrote:

:-))) Well how can one avoid it? Don't get me started on US Foreign policy or Trade policy because I'll say very, very rude things about the thuggish and bullying nature of the home of the free. That might upset a few people who live there but who aren't actually on the receiving end of them or haven't spent more than a few seconds thinking about them. ;-))
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Agreed. It is raining very hard here right now, and I'm looking around at all the downspouts, watching perhaps hundreds of gallons shooting out into people's yards off of their roofs.
My Grandmother told me that when she was young, most of the folks had cisterns to hold 500 or 1000 gallons. Now, most folks are paying water & sewer fees on every gallon they use, when they could be using completely free rainwater instead.
That includes me, but I'd like to change that.
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Billy wrote:

When my father was alive and in better health, he lived to be frugal. In florida it's not very difficult with a thunderstorm most every day. He carried buckets of water inside to flush the toilet with and had plenty extra for all his outside plants. I'm sure his water bill was zero more than once.
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