I finally got around to setting up the rain barrel I bought last year. The wet season only lasts a couple more months, but hopefully I’ll be able to harvest some water to help keep my cherry tree watered during the dry months. In any case, I’ll tell this story with pictures, so… here we go!
Bits and pieces. Let’s hope I have everything!
Putting up the gutters. I intentionally hung them low so that snow would slide off without snagging them. I may eventually put rails on the roof to keep the snow there so that I can collect more water as it melts. I’ll need to assess whether the additional load on the roof will cause problems. I also set these up on the south side so that exposure to the sun willl hopefully keep things from freezing too badly.
Gutters and downspout all finished. Part way down the downspout is the RainReserve rain diverter. Instead of diverting everything, it captures water that falls along the interior sides of the downspout, while allowing bigger pieces of debris (like leaves) to fall through. Or so the theory goes…
Building a platform for the rain barrel, using the only flat surface within a half-mile radius.
Setting up the base. One side sits on cement blocks, while the other side sits on ice and rocks. It’s what we call MGEP (Mostly Good Enough, Probably) — the impeccable standard to which things are built on Serenity Valley. Actually, I’m not entirely confident it’ll support the weight of a full 300gal tank (2400lb). I guess we’ll find out!
Close-up of the rain diverter and tank hookup. The green hose is the overflow, which could also be hooked up to a second tank.
Not sure if my last comment went through, so repeating:
Looks good! If you have any problems, either with not enough water or with snow knocking off the gutters, I’m happy to share tips. We’ve used rainwater for all our water needs for almost 10 years, even in winter.
Looks like the diverter is almost too low for the height of your rain barrel. Was that planned? 😉
BTW, glad to see you posting again.
I agree that the diverter is too low and the hose needs to NOT be the flex line hose since this hose will hold water in between the flexes and the water will become polluted.
Thanks for the comment. Oddly enough, the flex hose is what came with the diverter kit. Also, for barrels with no overflow, they recommend installing the diverter to be level with the top of the barrel so that overflow will back up through the diverter and out the downspout (my barrel has an overflow outlet, so that doesn’t apply to my particular setup). I guess we’ll see how the current setup works, but it’s entirely possible I’ll have to change things around.
always enjoy your posts
Another nice setup. If the platform proves to be to unstable, You can always put in directly on the ground if you use a bit of sand. Not as easy to carry and the timber, but still. I hope this works out well for you. Good to see you again.
I think your platform will be plenty stable. I have a 250 gal set up that sits on a much more unstable looking base than the one in your picture. I am currently using water pumped from our creek for our off grid homestead. We are researching methods for catching roof water. Thanks for the step by step instructions. Keep us informed of how well it works.
Neat blog! Thanks for sharing your adventures. As a techie about to leave for the woods for a while it’s nice to see kindred spirits.
I was thinking about your food + water issues and you may want to consider goats. A couple of nanny goats would be able to provide for a lot of your caloric needs and won’t need much suplimental water. You could also eat the kids. They’d need a shelter, but you could probably do without a fence as long as you fenced your garden in.
Just had eaves troughing done on my house in Ontario, found a plastic barrel at the dump and set it underneath it. It will need a screen on top to keep animals out. Won’t black make your water to hot for your cherry tree? Enjoyed reading your posts. C4N
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