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Collecting rainwater for an urban yard  RSS feed

 
Geoffrey Haynes
Posts: 15
Location: Kimberley, BC (East Kootenays), Zone 3b
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Hi...

I am currently doing some permaculture in a friend's yard, in the southern interior of BC (Canada), where the summers can be hot and dry. (It has been 30C/nearly 90F everyday for 3 weeks and only rained once or twice). The soil is bone dry, and I am really thinking about a rainwater collection system, but here's the catch. Nobody around here uses eavestroughs (or rain gutters, depending where you live), because they get damaged with the load of winter snowfall. So I probably have to collect water as runoff from the ground.

Would you recommend laying down a gravel bed, in sort of a trough, where the rain falls from the roof, and channelling it down towards a swale? I could even get some piping if I wanted to channel it further away from the area into some garden beds? Any ideas? Right now there is just plastic laid down, which probably is just increasing evaporation, so it wouldn't be hard to improve on the situation.

Any suggestions appreciated!

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I recommend "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2" by Brad Lancaster. If you don't want to buy a book about rain harvesting in the soil, he's got some helpful videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iQ-FBAmvBw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWQmDr1iKU

and a bunch more if you search under "Brad Lancaster"


More ideas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfqfmFiTlMw

search under "Permaculture Artisans" for more
 
Geoffrey Haynes
Posts: 15
Location: Kimberley, BC (East Kootenays), Zone 3b
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Thanks Tyler.

The second video was interesting... (Here is an irrigation pipe, and over here is another pipe draining leading away from the water fountain - what's wrong with this picture?)


I am thinking of a combination of a gravel bed, surrounded by vegetation to help store the water. I'll post some pictures if I make some progress on this.
 
Allan Babb
Posts: 63
Location: Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I recommend "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2" by Brad Lancaster. If you don't want to buy a book about rain harvesting in the soil, he's got some helpful videos:



I'll second that book. Even though my climate isn't exactly drylands(he lives in Arizona), I still found both volume I and II useful. You can even buy it directly from the author(it was cheaper than amazon at the time).
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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In Australia we do the following: buy one of these plasic tanks. Put some gravel down, level, hose it in. But: put a weed mat underneath and some boards around that is simply tidyer. Don't chimp on the tank size get as much as you can get in your space. It's easy.
 
Federico Mena Quintero
Posts: 1
Location: Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
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In Germany, houses with pitched roofs sometimes have "snow fences" in addition to rainwater gutters. I found theses picture:
http://www.arcat.com/photos/trasnow/130048.jpg
http://www.hobotraveler.com/149germany/0013.JPG
http://www.hobotraveler.com/149germany/0014.JPG

The snow piles up on the roof, the fence holds it steady, and this prevents damage to the gutters.

I don't know how much snow you get or how strong the fence needs to be, but this seems like it could be a good solution.
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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Snow fences are not made to protect the gutters but the person underneath. When all the snow falls down at once you even can die.
 
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