Saving rainwater

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Here in So. Calif, we have had drought conditions for several years, so now that we are having some rain, am saving every drop of rainwater I can. I now have a large barrel full, and more may be on the way - I hope!
Question: How long can I "safely" keep the barrel full of H2O? Without breeding mosquitos, worst case, or..?
Is it necessary to put some chlorine in, and if so, how much would be safe for the plants.
This may all be overkill; if we just don't get any more rain, it will get used up fast. Have been curious about this for some time, so turning to Your Wisdom <g>
Persephone
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I had two 500 gallon holding tanks for rain water. They were fiberglass and I could see the water turning lovely shades of green as the summer progressed. Didn't hurt a thing. You're only using it to water your plants, right? I did toss in a few feeder gold fish every year as soon as the temp was above 50. They are excellent, non toxic skeeter control. I never fed the fish and they thrived until I emptied the tanks in the fall before the hard freeze.
BTW, if you are looking for a very inexpensive holding tank check out septic tank companies. I got two 500 gallon septic tanks for $20 each. They had been cracked when delivered to this company so couldn't be used for the intended purpose but I just got a patch kit and fixed the cracks when I got them home. Worked great.
Val

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wrote:

What kind of patch kit? Must be strong to resist that water pressure.
and fixed the cracks when I got them home. Worked great.

Wow - not too shabby! May I ask your area? Sounds like a place with a real winter. I am in So. Cal coastal...usually not much winter.
I assume you had to pick them up? to pick them up?
Persephone

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snipped-for-privacy@NoSpam.com wrote:

Not specially. A small tank only has a head of water of one or two metres. Compare (say) with a quite modest irrigation pump that gives a head of 40m, big systems can be much more.
David
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I was in the nw corner of Montana, Purcell Mtns, alt.5,700. It was very hot during the day in the summer and very long, cold winters. I made two trips getting the tanks home. One just fit in the bed of the pick-up. Had good grunt labor (my hunting buddies) waiting to unload and reposition the tanks. They weighed a couple hundred pounds each. I used a solar powered stock tank pump when I used the water. I had one tank collecting water off 'the shed' which was an old barn/garage building and one collected from the house. We didn't get much rain in the summer but when we did it would really pour and filled the tanks in a very short time but there was a lot of roof surface collecting water. In all the time I was there I only used the well to water my gardens a very few times. However I didn't use a sprinkler, it just wastes too much water. I also didn't water grass. All of my veggie beds where raised and the I covered the soil with black plastic and planted through it. That and keeping the gardens well supplied with compost every spring they really didn't need as much water as most. I also buried gallon milk jugs with a hole punched in the bottom next to tomatoes, peppers and squash so I watered deep and less often. The roots stayed deep and water didn't evaporate.
I just used a fiberglass patch kit from the hardware store. It wasn't pretty but worked well ;)
Google 'fiberglass septic tank' and you'll see lots of places. I'm sure you'll find one near you if you decide to check this out.
Val
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That keyed my interest in looking at some old digital photos of my 3 stage septic tank being installed here a few years ago. It was on a specialized truck with motorized winch. Entire septic tank is coated in concrete with flat top. Although small in relative size as far as septic tanks go, it was pretty big at 1500 gallons total.
I'm guessing you meant the company that made a septic tank from those individual tanks is where you got those 2 tanks.
--
Dave

CDOs are how we got here.
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"Dioclese" <NONE> wrote in message

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wrote:
[..]

I did email one company, but they didn't have any unsaleable ones for low price.
Maybe after Pres.Day I will call/email a few more. Or maybe cheaper just to get a few more trash barrels. Or maybe the whole thing will be moot because we won't get any more rain. But some more coming up next week; yay!
Persephone
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"Dioclese" <NONE> wrote in message

They were two individual tanks, not even close to matching. Doubt if they were even made by the same company by the looks of them. These come in many shapes and sizes. No concrete is involved. I got them from a company that installed septic systems, not manufacture tanks. Do a little perusing of fiberglass septic tanks and it may become more clear to you.
Val
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Don't really need fiberglass septic tanks for collecting rain water for irrigation.
http://www.watertanks.com /
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to find water tanks for the price I paid for the fiberglass septic tanks ;)
Val
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of course not, but a damaged fiberglass septic tank is a hell of a lot cheaper than a poly tank! lee
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wrote:

About these septic tanks... When set up are these placed underground like a cistern, or left above ground for their beauty and all the neighbors to enjoy?
I am fortunate to have a spring-fed pond (about 7,000 gallons) that contantly runs into an underground overflow that spills into a small stream. It never gets stagnant and has thousands of fish that take care of the mosquitoes (read somewhere that a fish pond actually decreases mosquito populations). Typically we get July-August droughts and I take water from the pond to water the gardens. Since there is no way to easily separate the fish from the pond water, the plants get fed some fish along with the water. Maybe some day I'll install a hand pump in the vegetable garden.
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down an old tractor shed. My closest neighbors were about 4 miles away so their yapping dogs, leaf blowers, music blasting from shitty outdoor speakers duct taped to their trailer and any comments on my 'projects' weren't really an issue. The tanks were on the backside of the barn and the back corner of the house and wasn't seen from windows or during casual meanderings about the 'estate' so I wasn't really worried about aesthetics. I also built a sort of lean-to roof over them so they wouldn't get the sun beating down on them. That was suggested by the guy I bought them from to keep them from breaking down from UVs or whatever. I drained them completely before winter set in since we had weather cold enough to freeze lakes thick enough to park a camper on while ice fishing. When I set them up I just drilled a hole at the bottom corner and put in a spigot. I just used a hole saw and seated the spigot with silicone. The tank was set so it was about 4 inches lower at the spigot end.
Here's just a thought. Since you have a good water source with the pond, albeit somewhat inconvenient, maybe you could pump from the pond when you need it to a water barrel placed a bit above ground level right in your garden. If you put a water barrel on a platform, had a hose attached to the bottom of the barrel you could water by gravity feed. The barrels sold as water barrels already have a spigot attached just for this purpose. If you don't have an electrical source for a pump a solar pump http://www.solarpumps.com/ could bring the water from the pond to the barrel. A wire cage at the suction end of the pump hose would keep the fish out. You also might want to check with the local authorities to see if it's legal to pump from that pond if you decide to do something like this. There's all kinds of regulations about that, depending on where you live, even if the pond is on private property.
Val
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"enigma" wrote

Punctured tires are a hell of a lot cheaper too. But service stations sell hardly used repaired tires regularly for nearly the price of new. My neighbor got a flat last week on a trip back from Montreal and decided to buy a repaired hardly used tire on a rim to replace the stupid donut.... still paid $70 for a repaired tire and rim when it would have cost $70 for a new tire with no rim. She now has two repaired tires and no stupid donut... and she got lucky that the service station in the middle of the Adirondacks had a rim with repaired tire to fit. She did the smart thing, I wouldn't drive a car with a donut for a spare.
I doubt there is a ready supply of cracked fiberglass tanks for free. Just because someone claims to have acquired a couple in no way means everyone can. And actually fiberglass vessels are produced by layering fiberglasss cloth and resin over a form ... so anyone dealing in that market would repair a cracked tank better than new and sell it as new, because unless it were used to contain some sort of contaminants that couldn't be removed in fact it would be new, better than new. Brand new fiberglass hulled water craft accidently fracture in transport all the time, they are easily repaired and sold as new, a fiberglass patch, like a weld, is stronger than new. Corvette automobile bodies are very often damaged in transit, they are easily repaired and the patch is stronger than new. I have a very difficult time believing that a seller of fiberglass septic tanks would give them away rather than repair the cracks. Just because someone happened to be in the right place at the right time and got lucky doesn't mean everyone can rely on glomming onto cracked fiberglass tanks.
And I don't know why anyone would need more than 100 gallon tank to collect rain water for watering some plants around ones abode, and that's more of a head trip than a real money saver. Anyone who lives where they can keep say a 1000 gallon tank filled with rain water doesn't really need to be collecting rain water if it rains that much. This entire concept of collecting rain water in huge tanks where it hardly rains is really pretty silly... the point of diminishing returns is reached at about 100 gallons, probably more like a 55 gallon drum... begins to cost more to transfer and haul than to turn on the hose bib. When there's a need for large quantities of water for commercial purposes in arid climes they drill a well. No one is going to maintain a lawn in say Las Vegas with collected rain water no matter a 5,000 gallon tank, a lawn will drink up water in the desert faster than it rains.
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Yet another book.
<http://www.oasisdesign.net/water/storage/
<(Amazon.com product link shortened) 363/ref=sr_11_1?ie=UTF8&qid34714756&sr-1>
Last URL has some reviews.
Bill who has plenty of water however our aquifer is being tapped and major super waste sites are all about.
--
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA






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brooklyn1 wrote:

Some people have gardens rather than a few plants.
Anyone who lives

Not true, you haven't thought this through. There are places where annual rainfall is quite high but very seasonal or very erratic. You need to save when it rains to water when it doesn't.
This entire concept of collecting rain water in huge tanks

What if there is no hose bib connected to mains supply? What if due to drought watering gardens from the mains supply is forbidden?
Consider the cost and time of replacing a garden that has turned to dust compared the cost of a watering system. Of course if you live in an area where it hardly rains you would have to consider if you can grow a "normal" garden at all before installing water tanks that will never fill.
When there's a need for large

What if you are not in an area that has subterranean water?
No one is going to maintain a lawn in say Las Vegas with

Watering lawns will indeed require huge investment in a desert, I for one would not attempt to grow a lawn in a desert.
David
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That's true of most any area, no one can accurately predict weather. But no matter how much it rains in any one period if it hasn't rained in awhile adn likely won't rain anytime soon then you couldn't collect water at the rate it needs to used for any but container gardening. Watering the ground where it rains sporadically will literally be fruitless.

Now I know you're not serious.

Nor should one attempt to grow a garden in a dessert, not unless they have a constant piped in water source... like the Colorado River.
With all your theoretical "what-ifs" you ought not to be gardening period.
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Not if you are running greenhouses and would have to have a retention pond, if you did not store the water. Many malls now have retention ponds and use the water from it to water the grounds of the mall. The rain runs off the parking lots and into the pond - there is pump in the pond to move the water into a separate watering system to water the grounds.

I am sure in the area you live and work in you are absolutely correct - this is silly, and that you may even have been in enough other areas to have built a general rule for why you think this is silly however...
In some areas there are now code requirements that prohibit a hose bib from being installed on new construction. I just reviewed the new code for one community in Australia, it was in that code. I have looked at codes for Morocco and for other cities and seen similar restrictions. The drier the area, the more likely the restriction is either in place or being considered. Even Los Angeles and Los Vegas have considered this in their building codes. So far they have not put it in - but if water stays tight - they may be forced to if only to control swimming pool top ups and yard watering.
There are parts of the world, where cisterns for rain water are very common - in many cases a single home might have 1000 or more gallons - it is not so much for watering as for living - I have been to houses in Arizona with cisterns and tanks connected to the whole roof area - to capture as much rain water as possible.

I have a good friend in Vegas who runs a hobby green house (mostly a shade house, there is little need for glass most of the year) and he and his wife has an extensive rain collection system - every time it rains an inch - they put about 2500 gallons in their tanks - this is not only roof run off, but run off from the road behind and above their house...surprising how much water can be collected off a hard surface.
The rules in the US and Canada - even in Europe are not the rules the world over - I have done work in more than 40 countries and am constantly surprised by things that I would take for granted at home, that I can not elsewhere - I am a pretty good traveler and read the travel customs, but I have learned they only scratch the surface of the things you need to know to work on conservation and energy efficiency in most countries.
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Anustrailia, Morocco... you're not serious... they don't even have indoor plumbing. I've been to Morocco, they relieve themselves directly into the street... the raw effluence runs downhill to who knows where. And Morrocans never heard of TP, and they go from birth to grave never having bathed either.
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