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Rainwater Catchment Design Considerations  RSS feed

 
Nick Didomenico
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I am in the process of designing a rainwater collection system for my homestead. We have potential for freezing temperatures for about 5 months out of the year. Can we collect snowmelt during these times? Plastic tanks or something else? can the tanks stay full and freeze during the winter without problems? Above ground tanks vs Below Ground? Any advice or design considerations would be greatly appreciated.
 
Stephen Correia
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I'm in Virginia and I use plastic 55 gal drums with no issues. They stay full all winter and do freeze but the barrels handle it. I did crack the spigot once because I used a brass one but that has been the only real downside.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Nick Didomenico : Location, location, location : Your local Fossil fuel Delivery ''$ervice" will share with you the 'Degree Day' forecast for your region on a

computed average -usually on a week by week schedule. Your local daily temperature and wind direction is part of the information available from your

local airport to Local Pilots wishing to follow ( Basic ) Visual Fight Regulations - 'VFR Flight' Your local conditions /wind and temperature can very wildly 1/2

a mile away!Given a Southern exposure to your water storage , there is a tremendous amount of difference between a primarily eastern exposure and a

western exposure Also, you locations elevation, and whether or not you are in rain shadow of local mountains is all important to give you a locally accurate

Precipitation Map !

So - irrregardless of everything else shared here; the best place to store water is in Your soil ! Much of the information needed above is needed to help

improve the way your local soils hold water ! For the Good of the craft ! Big AL
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 155
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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Hi Nick,
what is your general location?
I supply all my household needs with rainwater collection in Alaska (though in a mild area) we can get freezing temps potentially 9 months a year, but usually there are frosts during 6-7 months. we do get snow melt to fill our tanks, but sometimes the snow clogs the gutters up and the meltwater flows over. some buildings in this area have special metal features (short triangular fences) screwed onto the roofs that hold the snow in place until it melts. If your average winter temp is above freezing tanks are unlikely to freeze but still could during a cold spell, and again it all depends on location. I have seen and heard here of people letting the expensive polyethylene tanks freeze solid up to about 2/3 full with no problems. I have been using 2 tanks, about 300 gallons each i made out of 2'x4' welded wire fencing, tar paper, and 6 mil polyethylene. the basic tank takes a few hours to build and about 35 dollars worth of materials, but with all the details including lid it can take a day or more. I started using bituthene instead of tar paper as the tar paper can degrade fairly quickly if it is exposed to the elements. these tanks are very flexible and can definitely take a freeze. they can also be scaled up. max size would be about 5 feet deep by 9 feet diameter. (depends on your budget whether to build your own or buy a nice plastic tank.) Not only do i use rainwater, I have also designed and implemented a fully potable system for one client and am in the process of implementing 2 more designs for other clients. I would be happy to share what i've learned (free of course) if you have any more specific questions.
 
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