Saving rainwater

Page 2 of 3  
On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 00:35:58 GMT, "brooklyn1"

I don't know when you were in Morocco and where -- the cities or the boonies -- Arab country or Berber?
I just came back from a two-week trip based around the Four Imperial Cities, plus some others. Long bus rides in between, broken by numerous interesting stops.
Sorry to disappoint you, but I never saw anyone relieve themselves in the streets. Although our tour stayed in pretty nice -- some very nice -- hotels, even the little curio shops or restaurants/coffee shops along the highways had clean restrooms, with soap and TP and all the usual amenities.
I speak French, so interacted with local people freely. Nobody stank from not bathing.
You certainly have a, shall we say, one-sided view of the country. Any more exact details to back up your contentions? Time? Place? Extent of contact?
Persephone
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 15, 9:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@NoSpam.com wrote:

Did you spend any time in the Atlas Mountains? They are mid way on my Bucket List.
cheers
oz
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 11:11:54 -0800 (PST), MajorOz

Unfortunately, our tour only drove through the High Atlas, stopping en route at little shops/cafes. What vistas! What jagged peaks and steep valleys! Our excellent guide explained that the French put through the first road over the High Atlas, for political reasons -- to be able to control the tough, independent Berbers. Designed by French engineers, but built by local labor.
I would LOVE to go back with a car and a friend to wander around the mountains; see more scenery; have more contact with the Berbers. I have since done a lot of reading, notably "The Conquest of Morocco", which told about the endless battles between the Arabs and the Berbers, and between the French and everybody else, with the Germans and British trying to get in on the act.
Sigh - so many places...so little time...not to mention $$.
Persephone
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
brooklyn1 wrote:

I haven't been to Morocco but we do actual have indoor plumbing in Australia, at least since grandpa fell down the pit and grandma couldn't pull him out without getting the tractor.
But don't knock the thunder box, some people used to have two-holers or even more seats. It allows for converstion and somebody to hand you the catalogue the travelling salesman leaves when you cannot reach it. Did you know that was the reason that people prefered matt paper and glossy printed catalogues didn't really take off?
David
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Take off? TAKE OFF ???
Good one, David.
cheers
oz, remembering the stripes on the walls of the infrequent public restrooms in the USSR
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
brooklyn1 wrote:

1000 gallons US is about 4000l. Say you have a modest vege garden, 20 square metres (22sq yards) which would provide quite a lot for a family, such a tank will allow you put on 25mm (an inch) once a week for 8 weeks which keeps your veges growing. Or you could water say 5 fruit trees for 16 weeks and keep them alive until it rains. In my original post where 1000 gallons was mentioned I actually said 1000 plus and suggested a ground tank (dam) might be better. Clearly the sums are different for each garden but this doesn't mean you can generalise and say it is fruitless or that it cannot be done.

Perfectly serious. Not every house in the world has mains water. I don't. You jumped at the "no hose bib" part and didn't notice the "connected to mains supply" part. This was not intended to trap you at all but does illustrate your thinking is a little narrow.

I am not talking about gardening in a desert but a place with erratic or seasonal rainfall where a water tank or dam may be a great help. In a desert I would give up on veges and fruit trees (as well as lawn) unless I had a source of water not rainfall dependent.

I am using "what if" to try to get you to think about situations that you haven't thought about. To suggest what I am describing is unreal or irrelevant only shows you are making unwarranted assumptions. You should stop being so parochial and not assume that the whole world is like your back yard. This is an international forum.
David
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A great topic! I am very dependent on rain water. My well water is too hard, the soft water still not good for vegi gardens (Ok for flowers) and the R.O. drinking water is way to expensive for a my 70 x 100 ft vegi garden plus the almost same size area flower garden around the house. A 1000 gallon tank would work out great for the August dry spells. Currently I use 5 - 80 gallon rain barrels, just not enough for those temporary days in Michigan.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Dan L." wrote:

No way will 1000 gallons water 14,000 sq ft of garden, and certainly not during dry spells when the ground will suck up water like a new sponge... and during hot dry spells how will that 1000 gallon vat get filled before you need to do it all over again two days later? And then you'll need to hump all that water to where you need it, not so simple a task. Even if you have a natural source (pond/stream) it's not so easy to bring water to the plants. I happen to have a good sized deep pond on my property fed by a natural spring but it's some 1,200 feet from my vegetable garden and 1,400 feet from the plantings around my house... the pond is down hill and there's no electric there, so even if I wanted to transfer water to a small holding tank there really is no practical way other than scoop/schlep/pour... early on I tried that hauling 55 gallon drums in a cart with my tractor, never again. Fortunately I decided to place my vegetable garden alongside a small stream, which naturally keeps the ground in my garden just moist enough during the hottest driest times.
My pond would supply plenty of water but is much too far:
http://i43.tinypic.com/wvej5k.jpg
I've got a decent sized stream too, but also much too far to schlep or pump:
http://i42.tinypic.com/10sc0gi.jpg
Runnning water right along side my garden, much better than schlepping:
http://i42.tinypic.com/21oy4d5.jpg

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nice yard, almost like mine. You must have a nice $6,000 lawn mower and brush hog for the tractor also. My lawn mower is worth more than my truck. Like me, lots of land - small home?
I would only water the vegi garden 7,000 sq ft with the rain water with a pump hooked up the the 1000 gal tank. I could possibly get a bigger tank. During the spring, it rains hard enough to fill up my 5 rain barrels in 30 minutes or less, so a large tank would be fine. The flowers can get the soft line or just suffer. I have a pond also, 250 x 250 ft and 20 ft deep in the center. Mine is over 2,000 feet away, I too tried the 55 gallon drums - what a pain the ***, I gave up also. The vegi garden is close to my home for hoses to reach about 150ft with enough pressure to do the job. Since the dry season is only about a month, I have thought about getting an outside portable R.O. system for the outside line. I have seen one for $400 + filter cost, but wonder on hard it is on the well.
In the past I have used the soft line, but the plants just do not grow as well as the rain barrels. The hard line the plants do not grow well at all.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Makes no sense to pour RO filtered water on the ground, that undoes any filtering... and even a commercial RO at best can produce like 20 gallons of filtered water per 24 hours, which will produce some 80 gallons of grey water. The typical home owner RO produces like 3 gallons of filtered water per 24 hours, with about 10 gallons of grey water.
Of course it makes no sense to use softened water to irrigate crops either, for pretty much the same reasons, pouring softened water on the ground unsoftens it.

I honestly do not understand what you're saying about not using your well water to water crops in the ground... didn't that water just come straight from the same ground?
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
brooklyn1 wrote:

I have the same situation with my river. My solution is a petrol pump at the bottom and a 10000l (2500gal US) header tank at the top with a buried feeder line in between. You may see this as expensive but I designed it into the cost of house and garden from the start. Without it I would see thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of time blow away in a dry spell. It was that or no garden except for hardy native trees and shrubs, and a high attrition rate during establishment.
If you are wondering about my discussion of rainwater filling tanks when I have access to a river it's because the river stops in dry periods and is not recommended for drinking. I have a 45,000 litre (11,000US gal) drinking water system. And a small dam of 2.3 Ml (550,000 US gal) for backup if all else fails. The dam collected about 200,000 gal in a day this week.

You live in a very different world. My prvious last useful rain was 2 months ago, searing winds and 30-40C (112F) days since then. If I didn't water during that time 50 fruit trees and the whole vege and ornamental gardens would be stone dead. In the last week I got 233mm (9inches) of rain. I hope the lurkers take this in and understand the different origins of our points of view.

Nice.
Is that after rain or does it run like that all the time?

I have one of those right now. It will vanish 2 days after the rain stops.
David
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, I realize that folks in different circumstances have different points of view, and therefore different philosophies. Myself I'm a realist, after passing my 50th birthday I realized that I'd best have a realistic outlook towards what I'd be capable of in the future, and also of what my needs would be. Even now I have no use for about 90 % of what crops I produce, so what I can't use I try to give away, not always easy. Also being bent on gardening I'd not choose a spot where water was a major problem, or I'd cut way down on how much gardening, or I'd simply find different endeavers for investing my time and energies that don't rely on water, perhaps take up sculpting and knitting. But it's been rare that I needed to carry water because of dry spell, and only because I put in some new saplings too far for dragging a hose. Where I live as a rule there is too much water, there are periods when it is too wet to mow without the tractor making tire ruts, so I don't mow the wet areas until the ground drys out.

During dry spells that stream can shrink down to a damp spot although it mostly runs, but during heavy rains and from snow melt it can easily become a raging torrent overflowing its banks and then erosion becomes a problem... last year I had to have an excavator come in to reshape and riprap that stream. There is such a thing as too much water.

The little trickle running alongside my garden is spring fed so it runs all year, in fact it continues out around my barn, crosses through woods and fields, and fills my pond. During dry perids there is no visable water flow but it's always damp and were I to dig down a few inches with a shovel the hole would fill right up, the deer and other critters scrape small depressions and get water that way.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan L. wrote:

Whoopee we are back on topic BTW! Rainwater is as soft as you can get.

Do your sums first on collection, storage and distribution. Poly tanks are more cost effective (gallons per dollar) when larger (aroung here 23000l to 36000l are popular for house tanks) especially when you add the capital cost of a small pump (and polypipe reticulation system if required). You can do the installation yourself as it is low pressure but remember to protect polypipe by buying or running on/under fences and to clamp bayonet joints.
If trying to fill it from existing roof plumbing consider that on a large roof the gutters don't often flow to a single down pipe, some may run the wrong way and have to be changed. Too few down pipes and the gutter will overflow in a heavy shower wasting water and possibly causing damage. Sheds and other outbuildings can be profitably employed too depending on location.
David
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I will more than likely go the large tank route. About two years ago I saw a Victory Garden show that had several small tanks hooked up each gutter and sump pumps that transfered water near the home to larger tanks near the garden. Sounds expensive at first, but should pay off in time. The tank at the garden end would need power also? Perhaps solar pumps? Hand pumps? Do I want run power 150 feet out?
The R.O. system I was looking at is at http://www.charleysgreenhouse.com "6430 3-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System with Storage Tank". Max is 75 gallons per day ?????
Just weighing the cost and ease of each.
I would say my 5 rain barrels does the job two out every three years. Last summer was a very dry summer and the vegi garden really suffered.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan L. wrote:

Easier to put the tank near the power and run delivery pipe instead of wire. My header tank and distribution pump are right next to the house, the poly lines run out to the gardens and orchards.
Perhaps

Solar won't give much head but might do for drippers unless it is up hill.
David
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have time to think about, I'm in no rush. Septic tanks on east side of home, propane tank west side, well cap and nice lawn on north side, a deck on the south side .... hmmm, put the tank or tanks under 4ft deck ..., accessibility, will it stink?
I was thinking the over flow from rain barrels would lead to large tank out by the garden. A large 6" inch flex pipe under ground from connected rain barrels. still ... I want to consider esthetics and functionality.
I have lots of time to think. Doing my taxes today ... so I will be in miserable mood for the day :) Always around winter break.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

If you live where there's enough precipitation to fill the volume facility you're talking about and keep it filled then you don't need to collect water. Anyway Michigan is essentially an island surrounded by the Great Lakes, if anything Michigan gets too much precipitation... aside from spring rains in torrents there's enough snow melt to keep your ground too wet into mid June. Drought in Michigan is rare, on the few occasions you need to water, an hour with a garden hose from your well will suffice. And it's counter productive to over water, with watering plants less is more. It's better economics and less laborious to amend your garden soil with moisture retaining organic matter and mulch than to invest in vats, piping, and pumps.... and all your neighbors will be laughing at you hysterically when they see you out in your yard doing a rain dance hoping to fill your tanks. It will be less expensive to upgrade your well with a more powerful pump and larger pressure tank. If you're real serious about mega gardening it's not all that costly to have a shallow well installed just for irrigation. Also consider an artesian well, they are common in Michigan.
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An excellent description of Michigan. I live in the boondocks, my nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile down the road, the only one I know. My other neighbor is the Gas Company. They have no gas wells nearby and they are the largest land owner. So no one will laugh.
Like I said before the wells in my area are very very hard - TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is 2500. It is very heavy in salts. So even drilling a second well would not due. I admit I only need the extra water at most one or two months every other year. My well water seems to harm the plants, not help. No way drinkable without the R.O. under sink purification system. The soft line also goes through sediment filters which is not as bad. The good part of my well is that it has never gone dry, provides large volumes and sufficient pressure. The rain here is very consistent during spring and fall, rain is good for the garden. If I win the lottery, I will get a house hold R.O. system.
One plus to $400 portable R.O. is that I dream of getting a small 10x12 green house. It would be a nice addition... someday. The tanks are a little cheaper. The R.O. for outside hard line is small and might be more practical.
Like many people today am not sure about the economy and feel the need to save more for the rainy days instead of spending for the not so rainy days. Taxes are done, I will not receive enough for that nice green house :(
Still Dreaming ... Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Check out artesian wells, I'm serious, they're gravity pressure wells, free, pure, clean filtered water with no pump, no fuel.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-artesian-well.htm
Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmmm ... Lots of questions on the site no answers? Sounds expensive.
Lots of reading and thinking.
Thanks Dan
--
Garden in Zone 5 South East Michigan.

Add pictures here
✖
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.