Rainwater-Homeowners forum: What about rainwater harvesting?

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Feb 26, 2010 4:54 PM CST
Member to member communication about rainwater harvesting, specifically for the homeowner.
Mar 12, 2010 3:11 PM CST
Name: BirdieBlue
Piedmont N.C.
Today is a gift from God, Use it we
I would love to know how to make my own collection system. The couple hundred that even the most economically priced ones are is still more than I have.
And ...Oh boy do the misquitoes get bad here in NC...so I'm a bit hesitant on that level. Ihave thought about keeping some plain old guppies in the barrell though in the spring thru fall months as they would love to dine on the mosquitoe larvae. After all, they used to be called mosquitoe fish (I think!)

Birdieblue wing waves to everyone from Sheri Rolling my eyes.

Remember; Each day is a gift from God. Use it wisely!
Jan 26, 2011 8:06 AM CST
Name: bit
Eastern VA and NC
Zone 7b/8a
Hi Birdie,

I'm pretty new to cubits, but I can talk to you about the homebuilt rainwater system I have. I only use mine for watering the vegetables, so the water is not treated in any way to make it drinkable.

My first rain barrel came from a kit and cost about $80. It holds around 50 gallons. I didn't like the fact that it only diverts a portion of the water, so I modified it by putting the downspout over a hole in the lid rather than using the included "diverter". I covered the hole with a piece of windowscreen to keep leaves and other debris out of the barrel. This means that excess rain overflows from the top of the barrel rather than going out a downspout, but I have the barrel on a patio, so there's no erosion problem.

My second barrel was made from a trash can (about 30 gallons), and is connected to the first with a length of PVC pipe. The spout on it is a hose spigot sealed in with large rubber washers (came from the hardware store, but I don't recall their actual purpose). It cost about $30 to make.

My third barrel is on another corner of the house, and is connected directly to the downspout, like the first. It was built from a large barrel that cost $1 at a yard sale, with hardware similar to the second barrel. It probably cost $15 or so and holds more than the others, maybe 80 gallons or so.

All three barrels will fill in about ten minutes of hard rain. I don't know the exact area that drains into them, but it is close to 1000 square feet. The all sit on brick or cinderblock stands so that they're high enough to put a watering can under.

For mosquitoes, I use a product called Mosquito Bits. They're small pieces of corn cob, I think, but the important thing is that they're covered in a bacterium which attacks mosquito larvae. You only need a tiny amount because of the small surface area of most rain barrels, but you need to use them frequently - every two weeks or when they've been flushed out by a heavy rain. You just sprinkle them on the water surface, and they're good to go.

If you're interested, I can try to post some photos later. It's rainy today - good for filling the barrels, not for taking photos outside.

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Rainwater Harvesting

The resurgence of rainwater harvesting has grown exponentially in recent years. A necessity for early farmers and ranchers has now become of great importance in the urban landscape. Building on the experience of others is the best way to learn and improve

Cubit owner: Rainman