In this Badge Bit, you will build a simple rainwater harvesting system. Need a bit of water and have a roof handy? Let's collect some of it!
To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- create a simple way to collect rainwater and make it usable
- plan for overflow
- more than 20 gallons
- it does not need a diverter or first flush system
To show you've completed this Badge Bit, provide proof of the following as pics or video (less than two minutes):
- the location before you start
- the parts you'll be turning into a rain barrel
- the construction underway
- the finished rain water collection system
A while back I build a greenhouse onto the end of my small pole barn. I had initially tried to set up a rainwater collection system utilizing an old stock tank that had some cracks in it. After much effort I determined that I was just not going to be able to stop the tank from constantly leaking and generally being unsuitable. So this year I've started over, getting two 55 gallon food safe barrels to use for the water collection. Below are the images documenting my install of the simple system. It is gathering water coming off the metal roof of the pole barn, bringing it into the greenhouse, and then taking the overflow back outside. I did not put in a diverter or first flush system on this, but as I read the BB requirements this is not required for this particular BB.
Given where the overflow drain is located I would estimate that my system will hold approximately 100 gallons. It filled up rather quickly with the rain and has been working well so far.
I was fortunate to be able to utilize mostly salvage or left over pipe parts from other projects, only needing to purchase a couple elbows and the Uniseal inserts to do this, along with the barrels themselves.
I needed to do a little work to get the base level.
Here are the parts I used for a simple overflow.
I keep the bottom valve open so the green hose is the overflow. The black hose has a separate valve. The overflow has a y-adapter into an open top container so that it can siphon at max level, but break siphon once the level drops.
This is my first system ever and it seems to fall half way in between the simple and sophisticated by the definitions so I am going to place it here.
Two IBC tanks in line for 2000L capacity that will fill up with around 2-3" of rain. You can see in the first image, I installed this off our house's existing gutter with a gutter diverter. After that, the gutter runs along the side of the deck to the first flush diverter with the leaf eater attachment.
After the first flush fills up the water starts kicking over to the tank. I've installed an overflow, a secure valve for backfilling during dry spells that will keep bugs out while filling, and a tank level gauge.
This is about 9ft above out garden and gets decent flow. We anticipate using installed irrigation from here (which is why I put the backfill valve in) in the future and are also considering setting up a "water tower" IBC tank locally downhill that this would all feed to.