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IBC tote and large funnels?

 
master pollinator
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I have a couple of IBC totes I was saving in hopes of taking water off of a high tunnel. The tunnel is on hold. In the meantime, I thought about building a large squared funnel about the size of the top of the IBC as a way to catch water. Has anyone done anything similar? I don't want to tap off of the roof because it is asphalt shingle and rollout. If things go well the next few months, the tunnel might come back to the forefront but I'm looking at options. Anyone?
 
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My understanding of IBC's is that the frame is quite strong. I would use that and build a "roof" of 2x4's sturdily enough that you could use 2 pieces of corrugated metal roofing on it in a mild "V" shape with a piece of eaves trough in the middle to catch the rain off both pieces of roof and have an eaves trough fitting right over the hole in the IBC. So the edges of the roof would be higher than the middle. If you built the roof up higher with supports off the IBC, you might be able to have  some sort of a filter between the eaves trough down spout and the IBC that was easy enough to put in and out that it would be practical. Then you'd need to decide if its worth attaching the two totes together so you only need enough roofing for one, or you make a roof for each.

If you don't have 2x4's but have some ~ 3" diameter round wood posts, they'd do also. I'm not sure my bamboo would be strong enough, although it might be if I used enough of it.
 
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Got a spare IBC to make a funnel out of? Because the floors of those have a built in drainage channel so all the liquid is directed to the valve. So if you took a spare one and cut off the top to your desired height of funnel, you could set that on top of your full sized reservoir IBC. Then with a bit of hose or some pcv elbows, direct the funnel outlet valve into a hole in the top of the reservoir tank below it.

Wouldn't flow as fast as a big hole funnel draining in to the big hole in the top of an IBC, but makes the build simpler. And super secure since those things are built to stack.
 
echo minarosa
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I love the ease of that plan but I only have the two and have them both already figured into the water needs. I'm going to look around though.

It occurs to me I might need a way to block further water input when the tote is full. I know that has been worked out with downspout systems, has anyone seen something used for a system like the one discussed here?
 
Matt Todd
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echo minarosa wrote:I love the ease of that plan but I only have the two and have them both already figured into the water needs. I'm going to look around though.

It occurs to me I might need a way to block further water input when the tote is full. I know that has been worked out with downspout systems, has anyone seen something used for a system like the one discussed here?



I'd hook you up with all you want if you were closer! We have to give away a box truck full of them weekly at work.

I have never seen any setup that blocks input when full. Instead they usually have an overflow tube plumbed in so you can control where the excess flows instead of it haphazardly spilling everywhere.

This guy has a really sophisticated system, including a way to get rid of the first x-number of gallons of dirty water that first washes off the roof. Looking at your roof as the funnel is another approach.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNKd4ZRjY9UPu2wTpXbPCrQ
66efcc5dcdaaf3d806a7511be7caea2b.jpg
Overflow
Overflow
 
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echo minarosa wrote:I have a couple of IBC totes I was saving in hopes of taking water off of a high tunnel. The tunnel is on hold. In the meantime, I thought about building a large squared funnel about the size of the top of the IBC as a way to catch water.


A typical IBC tote has a length and width of about 45 inches. If the funnel is the size of the IBC tote, that means you'll collect 2025 cubic inches of water for every inch of rain that falls, about 8.5 gallons. That's not a lot of water, so I'd suggest focusing on getting the high tunnel up rather than building a big funnel.
 
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Perhaps you could rig something up with a tarp, or other plastic sheeting, as your funnel. It should be easy enough to do, has the potential to catch rain from a large area, and should be easy to disassemble and re-use the materials once you have your tunnel working.
 
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something like this ,though it might be a big kite in the wind
4faa031eac24b3def12f6d5a337e6980.jpg
funnel
funnel
 
echo minarosa
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tony uljee wrote:something like this ,though it might be a big kite in the wind



Thanks! I see that was a commercial product. I like the simplicity and increase in capture area. I wonder how long our hot sun would take to destroy the funnel. The company seems to be out of business as their domain (https://www.rainsaucers.com/) is for sale.
 
Jay Angler
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echo minarosa wrote:

I wonder how long our hot sun would take to destroy the funnel.

This is why I originally suggested metal roofing - I'm getting more and more concerned about the micro-plastics in our environment which are the result of plastics/artificial tarps solar degrading into dust which doesn't actually ever completely degrade. One thing I try to make sure is that I catch materials I've used in the past *before* they start to feel powdery on the surface and remove them from service, but I've failed enough times, that I'm trying to move to materials that are safer.

The suggestion that you put the effort into the original project - the greenhouse - makes sense, but I'm well aware of how often that's simply not possible. The fastest cheapest option might be to salvage a couple of stacks of pallets and stack them a little taller than the IBC. At the top layer, put a 4x4 under one edge, so that the top skids are on a slope. Look for cheap or salvaged eaves trough for the lower edge, then cover the top of the stack with either sheet metal or even pond liner (the rubber stuff - expensive but copes with sun way better than tarps do.) At least when you do get the greenhouse built, you can reuse the materials I've suggested for other jobs. I've been using pallets for some compost bins I made, and also some raised beds, or they end up as firewood. I'm very careful to only take pallets that say "HT" which stands for "heat treated" as some pallets are treated with nasty stuff.
 
echo minarosa
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John Wolfram wrote:

echo minarosa wrote:I have a couple of IBC totes I was saving in hopes of taking water off of a high tunnel. The tunnel is on hold. In the meantime, I thought about building a large squared funnel about the size of the top of the IBC as a way to catch water.


A typical IBC tote has a length and width of about 45 inches. If the funnel is the size of the IBC tote, that means you'll collect 2025 cubic inches of water for every inch of rain that falls, about 8.5 gallons. That's not a lot of water, so I'd suggest focusing on getting the high tunnel up rather than building a big funnel.



There are several priorities requiring high tunnel be on the backburner. I'll be making the decision as soon as they are resolved.

You're correct, that isn't a lot of rain collection. But right now, nothing is hooked up so any collection would help. They are not in the location I'm hoping to use for their final spot. Given other things that may happen priority-wise on this small property, portability would help as well.
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