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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the straw badge in Plumbing.

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!

Here's one:


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
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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Approved BB submission
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.
rain-barrel-project1.JPG
This is the location with the barrels set where they will be. The other parts are in the foreground.
This is the location with the barrels set where they will be. The other parts are in the foreground.
rain-barrel-project2.JPG
This is the location as seen from the outside. I was diverting rainwater away from the building in this shot after the previous failure..
This is the location as seen from the outside. I was diverting rainwater away from the building in this shot after the previous failure..
rain-barrel-project3.JPG
Using the hole saw to drill the first hole for the Uniseal rubber insert.
Using the hole saw to drill the first hole for the Uniseal rubber insert.
rain-barrel-project4.JPG
Drilling more holes for the 2" pipes.
Drilling more holes for the 2" pipes.
rain-barrel-project5.JPG
The 2" holes with the Uniseal inserts intalled.
The 2" holes with the Uniseal inserts intalled.
rain-barrel-project6.JPG
The ends of the pipes were beveled prior to insertion into the Uniseal gaskets. It would be nearly impossible to insert them otherwise.
The ends of the pipes were beveled prior to insertion into the Uniseal gaskets. It would be nearly impossible to insert them otherwise.
rain-barrel-project7.JPG
Insertion of the overflow pipe. Dish soap was used as a lubricant to make insertion much easier.
Insertion of the overflow pipe. Dish soap was used as a lubricant to make insertion much easier.
rain-barrel-project8.JPG
The pipe connecting the two barrels is put in (that was the most difficult), and the outlet where the faucets will be attached.
The pipe connecting the two barrels is put in (that was the most difficult), and the outlet where the faucets will be attached.
rain-barrel-project9.JPG
This is the inlet that will go in the barrel top and make the transition to the downspout gutter. To seal the joints I am using silicone tape so parts can be removed and reused later if need be.
This is the inlet that will go in the barrel top and make the transition to the downspout gutter. To seal the joints I am using silicone tape so parts can be removed and reused later if need be.
rain-barrel-project10.JPG
The inlet installed in place.
The inlet installed in place.
rain-barrel-project11.JPG
This shot shows the overflow pipe going out the back wall.
This shot shows the overflow pipe going out the back wall.
rain-barrel-project12.JPG
Here is the final installation as seen from the outside where the inlet and overflow outlets are.
Here is the final installation as seen from the outside where the inlet and overflow outlets are.
rain-barrel-project13.JPG
Here is the final installation as seen from the inside with the dual faucets. (My salvage parts already had the dual faucets. That's why I have two.)
Here is the final installation as seen from the inside with the dual faucets. (My salvage parts already had the dual faucets. That's why I have two.)
rain-barrel-project14.JPG
Now that it's fully functional and filled with rainwater I can fill a watering can.
Now that it's fully functional and filled with rainwater I can fill a watering can.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
pollinator
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Approved BB submission
This is my old rain barrel.


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.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.
Note: I'm glad you mentioned the siphon break detail!

 
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