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Utilising stormwater  RSS feed

 
Jeremy Stocks
Posts: 42
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I'm throwing an idea out there and would love some answers.

My home and garden is located north of the European Alps. Obtaining moisture is really not a problem but we do get extreme summer thunder storms. When they come. the power of the running water is considerable. I have rainwater butts collecting at the bottom of all spouts, but has anyone any idea how I might "catch and store energy" which I know is one of the principles of Pc. I'm thinking about growing comfrey in the garden then laying overflow pipes from the rain barrels to divert the comfrey-laden water to my hedge.

Any better ideas?
 
Rob Sigg
Posts: 715
Location: PA-Zone 6
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Correct me if Im wrong but it sounds like you want to take your storm water and turn it into a nutrient drink downstream? I think it’s a good idea since its free fertilizer but I don’t know if the water will pick up enough nutrients by just running through it, and I don’t know if having that many nutrients over the course of a growing season is healthy. My gut instinct would be to still catch that water and integrate it with the comfrey’s of the world and hold it there so you can regulate the flow to your other plants. I would be interested to see if that works for you since I am planning on planting alfalfa and yarrow together in the middle of my suntraps. The idea is that it wont be wasted space and I can step on it with no issues. When it gets too tall I can mow it down and throw the goods right on my plants since they will be within reach of everything I grow. Your idea and mine are trying to achieve the same goal I think.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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i have witnessed nettles improve downstream plants on many occasions. one spot it was about a hundred feet of beautiful lush growth, then a large nettle patch and everything above that point was dead and or dying in the summer heat.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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Bigger barrels, more barrels, and even cisterns can allow you to store more of this water.  The slope of your land and the height of fall will determine how much energy you can get out of the flowing water. 
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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There is a school of thought that water is best stored in soil, and a close second is storage in decomposing organic matter that soon will become soil.

Piling coarse organic matter in long windrows on contour, and maybe covering these with soil, will speed infiltration, although of course this is best done where vegetation is thick and deep-rooted enough to hold all that extra weight onto the slope...I'm not a hydrologist or soil engineer, and take no responsibility for resulting mudslides.

Such earthworks might also help whatever you plant on/near them, with careful design.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22339
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I wonder ....

My first thought was "I should move this to the homesteading forum - or maybe the organic forum ..."  but then I remembered that the big black book does do a little with rain catchment. 

I just always thought of permaculture as a technique to use instead of rain catchment.  To do something so that you needed zero irrigation.

And there are already threads about doing stuff with zero irrigation, so I guess I should let this go. 

I wonder about something where there might be an uphill pond that gets filled.  That seems like it would be of greater use.



 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3381
Location: woodland, washington
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if you don't have much slope, elevating your water butts could allow you to generate electricity, if that's the sort of thing you're thinking of.  regardless of your terrain, running that water through a turbine or a simple Pelton wheel before it gets stored in soil or a pond seems like a good way to get some extra energy out of it.

there's also the option of mechanical energy.  using a water-driven setup to lift a large mass to store energy is one idea that comes to mind.

none of this would preclude the use of that same water downstream for the ideas mentioned by others.
 
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