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Collecting rain water

 
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This year, I've been trying to do gardening using only recycled water (water from my shower, cooking, etc) and it was pretty hard. Yesterday there was rain (woohoo!) and I moved quickly and put a bucket under the gutter to collect the rain water. This is my first time collecting rainwater and the water is absolutely yucky.

Can I just put a lid and leave it until I need to use it? What can I do to improve? (picture uploaded as attachments, not sure how to upload images)
rainwater.jpg
yucky rainwater
yucky rainwater
 
pollinator
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This is why many roof water systems have what is called a "first flush diverter." That first rush of water off the roof contains leaves, bird droppings, dirt, and all the other stuff that collects on roofs. That water should be just fine to be used on plants, however.

After a few days it might start to stink because of all the stuff that's in it. Over time the debris and contaminants will settle out and you can dip the cleaner water off the top if you want to. Probably better to use a lid if you can because you don't want mosquitoes and such.
 
chi kim
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Lauren Ritz wrote:This is why many roof water systems have what is called a "first flush diverter." That first rush of water off the roof contains leaves, bird droppings, dirt, and all the other stuff that collects on roofs. That water should be just fine to be used on plants, however.

After a few days it might start to stink because of all the stuff that's in it. Over time the debris and contaminants will settle out and you can dip the cleaner water off the top if you want to. Probably better to use a lid if you can because you don't want mosquitoes and such.



Thank you Lauren, I'll put a lid on it and see what happens. I just scooped up a jar of water from the bucket and I gotta tell ya, definitely the most disgusting water I have ever seen in my life!
 
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We are also in a drought and capturing all the water we can. My rain barrels have a lid cut out with screen in them, which filters out rocks, detritus, etc. We have serious mosquito problems here so that also stops them from laying eggs.
When we have heavy rain, I have large closed containers (20L) that I fill from the rain barrel. All of this water is later used on plants or to make manure tea, etc.

Water that is captured from shower/dishwashing/etc (in-house use, not rain) we keep in buckets and use within 24 hours, because it rapidly gets stinky (much worse than the rainwater, which mostly stays clean). We have a "cascade" system in which anything with soap, bleach, shampoo etc gets used to wash dishes or clothes (if possible) first and then flush the toilet, while anything that is free from this stuff goes out the plants. It's a lot of hauling buckets, to be sure, but we've cut our water usage in half over the past few months.
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