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Rain barrels

 
Posts: 85
Location: Limestone, TN
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I have a 1100 square foot roof.  4 downspouts.  We are designated as rainforest.  I have a problem area of bogginess.  The front yard is large gentle bowl.  If I had rain barrels for the two downspouts,  in the vicinity?  Would this help at all?  I have smartweed everywhere which is helping.  Have some native shrubs lined up which can handle wet.  I want to believe rain barrels will mitigate.  And I know I can connect barrels and maximize.  Yet, looking at budget wise now, two 65 gallon barrels
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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It certainly seems it would, especially if you run the drain from the water barrels to another area entirely with a garden hose.

You may want to check local breweries for rain barrels.  I get 55 gal food grade barrels that had different flavored syrups in them for a brewery for $5.00 each.
 
Jane Southall
Posts: 85
Location: Limestone, TN
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Great idea Todd, on brewery.  Thank you!
 
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You might wish to...CALCULATE amount of run-off (per square feet...collection--per measurement of...rainfalls:  amounts, and, occasions) before getting HOPES UP for those rain barrels doing the job, entirely?  Todd's...right--good post--about drainage (might require MORE THAN a garden hose, depending), if that's possible?  All sorts of...possibilities, likely, ones?  Berming--before water settles in one area--as is a technique within...permaculture for getting water "caught" to where it's desired...being (e.g. watering some trees, etc.)  There's... drain pipe (in-ground), etc.?  Also...?  "Swamp"...plants:  wetland's varieties...desirable, actually?
 
David Ulrich
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The...OTHER direction--a small POND or pool "creation", actually? (Research "steps" for...itself, naturally?)  Fish pond...aquaponics, maybe?
 
gardener
Posts: 2363
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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More explanation needed. If its just holding the water, it seems severely undersized.  And must be drained after every rain to catch the next rain. Which means its going back out as if it was never there.

If its being piped away from low spot, a big pipe with no barrel may be better option(if budget doesn't allow both).

Your description of a rainforest has me thinking almost daily rain.
 
Posts: 307
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
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I would think, since you are in Tenn., that draught and needing irrigation is not a problem most of the time. So, if most of the time you don't need to "store" water, what are the rain barrels accomplishing? Your described use sounds like the proposed catch barrels are really just acting as mini catch basins that just catch the immediate rush of rain water, and then have to be regularly drained before a next rain. ...So, you really haven't solved any problem and you've created an additional maintenance issue.
Therefore, despite not seeing any pictures and with lack of really knowing everything about your situation, I would think another possible, perhaps more useful, solution might be to either dig out the front yard a bit to create a pond, or simply add buried drain pipes to carry the excess rain water away to another less bothersome location on your property.

P.S. If you do go the rain barrel route, ---If you never completely empty the rain barrels, you could consider adding a gold fish or two to each barrel to control mosquitoes. This old time trick, that I learned from the Amish, also works well for animal water troughs. I keep fish in the water tanks year around with no ill effect on the fish or cattle. Around here gold fish only cost $.25 ea. at Pet Smart.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Olney, Maryland
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David Ulrich wrote:Berming--before water settles in one area--as is a technique within...permaculture for getting water "caught" to where it's desired...being (e.g. watering some trees, etc.)  There's... drain pipe (in-ground), etc.?  Also...?  "Swamp"...plants:  wetland's varieties...desirable, actually?



David Ulrich has the right idea to use "rain garden" techniques with plants that thrive and tend to help manage the water in specifically designed areas. They most often use native plants. it helps to excavate a depression and help things along by adding gravel and other aggregate to help accumulated water soak in. High water runoff areas such as impermeable surfaces such as roofs and patios can have "rain gardens" statically placed immediately down stream from the drain off areas. Rain Garden Network here is an example of a link with info, one of many.

 
Posts: 113
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We have a 10 x 5' rain garden that receives the runoff from our front roof.  Basically they excavated the clay down to 3 feet and replaced it with sand covered w/ topsoil, created a berm and planted appropriate plants that we chose. During torrential downpours the swale fills up but never overflows and drains out quickly.
 
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