Rain Barrel Filled with Ground Water?

Page 1 of 2  
I know its winter. But being retired and with idle thoughts I am looking at my neighbor's rain barrel that during the summer collects rain runoff from his roof to water his plants. Our houses in the development have basements with sump pumps. My own sump pump goes off more regularly than it rains around here in the summer. Since the sump collects clean ground water, is it okay to divert that water to a rain barrel? Seems a better idea than dumping and wasting that water into the storm sewers.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My first thought was "damned good idea" because we, too plan save rain water for watering starting this spring.
My second thought was about the amount of insecticide we had sprayed under and around the basement foundation before the poured the floors and back-filled (termite treatment) a couple of years ago. Not sure I would want to touch that water until it has had a few more years to dilute the chemicals.
Ronb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/5/2011 11:56 AM, Edge wrote:

Where I live it is illegal to drain a sump pump into the sewer system; it *must* be discharged somewhere on the property. So yes, people do pump it out onto their lawns or gardens. For that matter, people with lakeshore property frequently water with water pumped from the lake, and that's for sure going to have more collected runoff in it than whatever you collect just from your property.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As long as you have regular sewers for your house, and not a septic tank, that water should be ok. Where we have septic tanks and wells in the rural areas around here, the well is usually in the front yard and the septic system is in the back yard. I guess the assumption is that the septic system water goes straight down from the drain field and does not migrate sideways under the house foundation and get into the well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some of the replies raised the possiblities of contamination in reusing the ground water from the sump well. If there are any oils or fluids from leaks in cars parked in the driveway, they will be washed away from the foundation of the house. I suspect that most of the water in the sump during our dry summers was from water that percolated down to the drain tiles from watering plants near the house. So reusing that water to water those plants again, or the lawn, seems okay.
However it does raise a point. How contaiminate free is rain water that has washed off roofs. I have cedar shingles. Don't they treat them with fire retardants? I suppose rain water might be fine for plants or lawns, but if you have a vegetable garden use virgin water and not rain water or ground water.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

well theres natural bacteria that eats motor oil, and worn tires too.
which is why the road berms dont have piles of tire dust along them.
so a litte oil or transmission fluid might not really matter, although probably not a good idea to water vegies with contaminated water
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

And why not? You _do_ wash them off before use?
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I wash the outsides but I tend to have trouble getting the water out of the *inside* of the vegetables.
There are interweb references that state the plants can absorb up to 7% of the lead in contaminated soil.
While the following site is speaking specifically about E .coli, I can see reasons to follow the same precautions for any type of contaminated water.
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09369.html
"It is important to prevent direct contact of potentially contaminated water with the fruits or vegetables you plan to harvest. The type of plant affects how you water. If the edible portion of the crop is located above the soil, it is better to water with a drip system or a furrow or flood system than with sprinklers. This will limit direct contact between the water and the crop. If you have a limited drinking water supply, save the best water for the period just prior to harvest. Avoid using potentially contaminated water within 30 days of harvest."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Edge wrote:

With the first rain, 95% of whatever that is ever coming off, er, comes off. After that first rain, any amount of fire retardant or chemical preservative that washes off will be so small as to be undetectable.
During the interval between rains, however, an amazing amount of airborne junk will settle on the roof - mostly in the form of dust (and a few bird droppings). Again, after the first few gallons of the next rain, subsequent water should be almost as pure as if it had been distilled.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I am always amazed every fall when I clean the gutters. There will always be at least a 1/4" of "mud" in the bottom of them. That all comes out of the sky. In the olden times there was a diverter that was used to bypass the rain barrel during the start of a rain storm to get rid of the "dirty" water.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
harry wrote:

Yep. You don't see a ribbon of rubber dust alongside the road.
Applying the theory that "everything has to be somewhere," if the rubber dust is not on the side of the road, it's got to be somewhere else.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Don't know about where you are, but MOST of the black crap in my eaves troughs is composted vegetation - leaves and such that come off the nearby trees. The rest of what is in the trough is the loose grit from the shingles - but that's not black.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Ah, but you may live in a hideaway, back in the forest, at the dead end of a gravel road.
Those of us in urban settings have to confront all manner of muck.
In fact the Vatican (and the city of Rome) have roaming pressure-washer crews (pardon the pun) that blow the caked-on mung from precious works of art.
Imagine the victory statue of Marcus Aurelius, astride his mighty steed, celebrating his victory over the Gauls.
Now imagine the largest flock of pigeons possible...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Definitely not a "hideaway". corner lot on the bus-route in the middle of suburbia.But on a windy day we might still be getting wind-born dust off the farmer's fields a few miles away.

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

Have you considered the possibility that the "mud" that you say comes out of the sky is actually rotten leaves and other types of vegetation that has composted in the gutter?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes I have. Leaves and other types of vegetation does not change to 'mud' over one season, especially in an arid climate such as mine.
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 6 Jan 2011 20:57:20 -0800 (PST), Harry K

Turns to mud in a couple months here.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

No, the reasoning is that by the time any thing has seeped through the ground for 100 ft (that used to be the minimum separation) it has been "purified".
Harry K
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 1/5/2011 4:04 PM, hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

There are often, if not mostly, 2 very different types of sewers to consider. Most any city, town,... prohibits groundwater from a sump pump to be discharged into a sanitary sewer (that's the one that is anything BUT sanitary). All the extra water stresses the septic plants that treat the water and in heavy rains can cause it to release untreated septic (toilet) water straight into creeks, lakes, rivers...
Then there are the "storm sewers". They just take rainwater downhill to get it out of the way. Quite often they drain into creeks and lakes, no problem. Many areas allow sump discharge in the storm sewer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Used to you could always spot a brit car because of the oil patch it left behind. Don't even get started on their automotive elecrical systems.
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.