Rainwater Collection .What are some ingenious uses for this?

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TheyCallMeDave
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm
Location: Northern Florida

Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Other than watering the grass, what are some other good uses for collecting rain water ?

http://www.plastic-mart.com/class.php?item=3161

Thanks.


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flcruising
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Florida Panhandle

Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:45 pm

Flushing toilets.

If you pump/filter it, and collect enough of it, you could shower with it and do laudry too.
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]

TheyCallMeDave
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm
Location: Northern Florida

Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:22 pm

flcruising wrote:Flushing toilets.

If you pump/filter it, and collect enough of it, you could shower with it and do laudry too.
If i was on expensive City Water id more inclind to do that, but, im on Well water . I installed an oversized Well tank so the Pump doesnt run much at all. I considered pumping collected rainwater to the roof where it would feed into sprinklers (or CPVC piping with holes all along) that would saturate the roof to reduce heat gain which would reduce a/c operating costs (somewhat) . I may try it .

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flcruising
Posts: 606
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:18 pm
Location: Florida Panhandle

Fri Jun 19, 2009 7:27 pm

Yea, me too.

I take it you've been looking here? -

http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimenta ... ooling.htm
[color=blue]Aaron[/color]

Johanna Bruns
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:20 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:12 pm

I was given estimates for drilling a well ranging from $13 - 15 thousand dollars! And even when they get the water, the iron has to be removed before it's usable. Seriously.

I decided that I could harvest rainwater, build the system pay-as-you-go, and I have a source of trucked-in potable water uintil the reservoir gets built up. The water has to be filtered in several ways to be considered drinkable, but till that's set up, there's always the bottle filling machines. It only has to be filtered for general particulates before washing, bathing, toilet flushing. And, laundry washed in rainwater is supposed to come out very soft.
I have the space and inclination to see what my imagination can help me build...


TheyCallMeDave
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm
Location: Northern Florida

Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:06 am

flcruising wrote:Yea, me too.

I take it you've been looking here? -

http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimenta ... ooling.htm
No...didnt know there was a section in the site on this. Guess i better go thru the whole site very carefully. Thanks. Instead of using well water for the roof sprinklers, id be using stored Rainwater with a 12 v. Pump run off of 2 RV deepcell Batteries that i have left over , recharging them (hopefully) only once per week. Ive found a 12 v. pump that will handle an 11 ' head. (This will be my 3rd project down the road).

TheyCallMeDave
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 6:37 pm
Location: Northern Florida

Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:06 am

flcruising wrote:Yea, me too.

I take it you've been looking here? -

http://www.builditsolar.com/Experimenta ... ooling.htm
No...didnt know there was a section in the site on this. Guess i better go thru the whole site very carefully. Thanks. Instead of using well water for the roof sprinklers, id be using stored Rainwater with a 12 v. Pump run off of 2 RV deepcell Batteries that i have left over , recharging them (hopefully) only once per week. Ive found a 12 v. pump that will handle an 11 ' head. (This will be my 3rd project down the road).

heraldhamster
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:18 pm
Location: Custer, WA

Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:00 pm

TheyCallMeDave wrote:... I considered pumping collected rainwater to the roof where it would feed into sprinklers (or CPVC piping with holes all along) that would saturate the roof to reduce heat gain which would reduce a/c operating costs (somewhat) . I may try it .
my father-in-law calls that his Swedish A/C. he does it every summer over their kitchen (stick-built home) with just a lawn sprinkler and a garden hose. seems to work for them. didn't seem to for us in the MH... no idea why. the principle makes sense.

heraldhamster
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:18 pm
Location: Custer, WA

Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:23 pm

Johanna Bruns wrote:I decided that I could harvest rainwater, build the system pay-as-you-go, and I have a source of trucked-in potable water uintil the reservoir gets built up. The water has to be filtered in several ways to be considered drinkable, but till that's set up, there's always the bottle filling machines. It only has to be filtered for general particulates before washing, bathing, toilet flushing. And, laundry washed in rainwater is supposed to come out very soft.
Johanna, I did just that when I lived outside Tulsa. it can be done but most, if not all, bureaucrats don't like you doing it. the main concern, as you mentioned is water quality. I built from scratch a four-stage filtration system that got it clean down to .02 microns. and I stored my collected water (1,550 gallons in one poly tank) "dirty." that being unfiltered but screened in a partially chlorinated state and then removed it all before it entered the house. I was about to experiment with UV irradiation for 'cleaning' the water but never got around to it. it doesn't actually filter anything just kills all the 'bugs'.

I also had a custom tandem axle 10' trailer fabbed to haul a 550 gallon poly tank to & from the fire dept. to fill my 1,550 tank before the system got finished & 'charged'. I used a 3/4 HP well jet pump w/auto on-off at preset pressures, and a 30 gallon (I think, might've been 50) bladder tank to maintain water pressure in the house so the pump didn't run every time we opened a tap or faucet.

my main goal, though, was to get rid of my flush toilets. I bought a composting SunMar N.E. model so I wasn't wasting so much water just putting it down the drain. some localities don't allow for this, btw. it worked wonders, I loved it and still have it. just bought a "new" house and will install it (the SunMar) soon.

problem was, all this rainwater harvesting was 15 years ago, and completely unheard of in OK. (so was TREX decking, which I was trying futilely to find & buy) anytime I would tell anyone what I was doing, they looked at me funny and basically said, "why ya want to do all that fer, sonny? just get a well. or hooked up to the water district."

I wanted to prove it can be done as good as or better than the "utilities" can do it and be a LOT more self sufficient. well, all that and saving some vital resources.

...jm.

Johanna Bruns
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:20 pm
Location: Texas Hill Country

Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:55 pm

My 1500 gallon tank is the very next thing on my list.

15 years later, nobody raises an eyebrow at the idea of rainwater harvesting, except for once this summer when I got a "What rain?" reply. To be fair, we've had drought conditions going on for a long time...

Austin, TX even sells low-cost rainwater barrels and pays rebates for part of the cost of rainwater systems and water-saving appliances.

I'm getting the first good rain this year over the past three days, and I'm looking at the runoff, thinking, "that sure would look good in my tank..."
I have the space and inclination to see what my imagination can help me build...

katzdad
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:27 pm

Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:19 pm

I started collecting rainwater about forty years ago when I was raising tropical fish. They need to have a percentage of the water changed frequently to grow fast, as the urine and such that build up stunt their growth (NOT the size of the tank). Well or city water contains a lot of natural and man-added chemicals, so the 'pure' H20 did wonders, and I had to do partial changes much less often. Since retiring, I've spent some time raising a few aquarium catfish, and set up a HomeDepot storage bin to catch run-off from my patio cover; the 40 gallon (?) bin has now lasted through 5 winters, freezing all the way through, but never cracking or breaking. Then I talked with a couple of our local Master Gardeners, who swear that chlorine and chemicals in city water are not nearly as good for plants and veggies, and can even affect the taste, so rainwater is pretty much all I use for them now. Recently, I invested in a 305 gallon above ground poly tank (http://www.plastic-mart.com/class.php?item=56), and am installing it during my current remodel. Since I live in Oregon, keeping it full with run-off from my patio cover and part of my roof will be no problem, and I'll have enough for the plants all summer. I also prefer rainwater for topping off batteries, in steam irons, and any other use where calcium build ups are likely. And, in case you've never heard of it or tried it, wash your hair with rainwater and see what you think-it'll be soft as a baby's in just one wash! I suspect that it might have a positive effect for doing the laundry, but haven't tried that, yet. Oh, and since it get's sterilized by the heat in a drip coffee maker, once in a while I'll go to the trouble of making my coffee with it, and there's a definite taste difference there, too. One more thing, a few of my neighbors raised eyebrows when I explained what the small bin was for, but when our park's water system went south a couple of years ago, there was no hesitation in people asking for some of my 'cistern' water to flush toilets!

Later,
Max

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