This is one of those jobs that falls into my husband's area of responsibility - still waiting for him to make a move.
tbird, it is unlikely I will use mine to water the garden, I pretty much expect things to make it on their own. But I would like a backup source for the livestock and us in the event I can't use the well (I may be on overkill - our well pump is electric, I have two generators in case we lose power, but I'd like a third backup which we could use in the event I can't get gas for the generators!!)
And I say to myself, it's a wonderful world ~Louis Armstrong~
I read through all of the attached articles in Karen's link and I see no hard data (numbers) to tell me that collecting rainwater from a shingle roof is bad. It is mostly supposition and opinion, no actual test results. The one article from New York even stated that they found no contaminants in the water that they collected.
Several of them mentioned contaminants from the air landing on the roof and being collected in the rainwater but don't you suppose that those same contaminants from the air are also landing on our garden soil and plants? There is no reason that there would be more airborne contaminants on the roof than on the soil.
Bacteria is also mentioned and I suppose that some bacteria could grow in a rain barrel but lots of bacteria, fungi and molds grow in compost piles and we love to use compost.
I soak my rain barrel with a Clorox solution at both the beginning and the end of the season to kill algae and then I allow the solution to run off away from the garden. So my first fill of the season gets run off as well as the last fill of the season and then the barrel is stored dry over the winter which prevents bacteria from growing. They do not grow on a dry surface.
Then there is dry Utah..... We get some storms in the winter, mostly snow, summertime, rain is scarce. If you had to depend on rain to grow veggies, you would not have much. In this area some years back a reservoir and canal system was built. The reservoir collects winter water for use during growing season. I bought some water rights in the system, so my water comes from the reservoir, down the canal then into a pipeline, and I have pressure irrigation. For the field out back I have 4 inch 40 foot long aluminum pipes with a rainbird on each one. I set the line up and turn it on and let it run for 12 hours. This will put out a little over an inch of water over the whole area. Once a week it gets this watering. For around the house I put in underground sprinkler systems. Just turn a valve and the little pop-up birdies come up and water. This is canal water too. We do not use the culinary water for irrigating lawns or gardens. This spring we had three weeks of rain, so haven't needed irrigation much up to this point. Been so cool nothing wants to grow..... Looks like its going to be hot and dry now though. Clear skies and supposed to get in the 90's
I should have mentioned that our culinary comes from some wells and springs. The city maintains the system and there is a water line in each street and hookups are metered. You pay for what you use. Yes, this water is used for livestock watering and a bit if irrigation, though irrigation with the culinary water is discouraged.
I keep the tote in place at the corner of my house all year but the rainspout is not connected to it during the winter and I empty the tote and screw the lid on top in the fall after letting the tote dry completely to prevent algae from growing. My tote is made of food grade plastic. Be sure to check this because totes may have been formerly used to contain toxic chemicals. I paid $80 for my tote.
Bumping so that I can show hubby.
Gardening like I'm gonna live forever, right here in central Iowa. Posting since 2008.
We started out with one rainbarrel, then went to three because we extended the garden. We had a couple of very dry summers so we added to the rainbarrel collection. Now at 6. Then we had two very wet years. I hate having to empty out that much water in the fall because we haven't had to use it. However, in times like we had this year with scorching hot, record temps and no rain for a couple of months, those barrels were sorely needed. Four of them are connected from the main roof, having one without a lid or screen as an overflow. We often keep goldfish in the open one to egg mosquito larva. The other barrel is connected to the eavetrough on the deck roof.
Time to collect rain water again... It's shaping up to be a very dry year here. Only about 7 inches thus far for the entire season, and with none in sight. We only get rain in the winter, and rain after April is uncommon. We have city water and it's dependable (when we dont have to ration in serious droughts) but it's totally horrible. Our water district gets our water from reservoirs, wells, and the state water system. When a high percent of water is from wells, as it often is, it's especially bad because we are along the ocean. And lots of chlorine is used.
So I'm back to collecting rain. I'm only planning on using the rainwater for seedlings and young plants however. This past year using tap water, some seedlings literally withered/melted as if from fertilizer burn. But I wasn't using any fertilizer.
All 4 of the downspouts have been modified for easy collection. Over the years I;ve been able to harvest thousands of gallons (mainly for the blueberries), but that is just too much work for this old bat. I'm currently collecting in trash cans - nice sturdy ones that hold 30 gallons of water with no difficulty at all. And lids on the cans. I currently have about 15 filled (about 450 gallons), and a few more that could be filled. One more good storm would be good. I also have an in-ground old concrete spa/fish pond (ca 300 gallons), and a 100 gallon stock tank. A few years ago I had other large containers too, but they became too much of a bother so they are now gone. I move the water around to where it will be used with a sump pump into a larger container, and then distributed with watering cans.
Anyone else collecting rain water this year?
Coastal Southern California, zone 10, avocado belt, still in a drought.
I use a plastic 55-gallon barrel in which I installed a hose bibb a few inches above the bottom of the barrel. At one time it caught water from the chicken house roof but I moved it to the garden last year. Because I don't really want to fool with removing and modifying the downspouts on the house, I use basically anything that will catch rain water and transfer it to the barrel. We have a few small wading pools that my daughter outgrew and use them to catch rainwater. Not ideal but it works. I had a second barrel I used for an overflow at the chicken house that I'll likely attach a faucet to this year as well so I can double the capacity.
it's a way of life here. I have 6 stock tanks (125 gallons each) 1 clay pot (about 80 gallons) and a plastic rain barrel (65 gallons) so about 900 gallons with a modest rain. It's amazing what comes off a roof. Right now they are all full from the dustings to 2" snows we have gotten. We had a little over 6" total precipitation for 2020- about half of normal. So far in 2021 we are behind with 1/10 inch total so far- normal for this point is about 7/10.
This past year using tap water, some seedlings literally withered/melted as if from fertilizer burn.
do you think it's from chlorine? When I lived in town I got a de-chlorinator filter for the outdoor faucet that worked well. We're on a well here and the water is delicious!
My stock tanks have a little faucet near the bottom that I can attach a hose to. And I also scoop water out with a galvanized 2 gallon watering can. Great strength building exercise!! Good for the bones!
Northern New Mexico Zone 6b (formerly Zone 5) Posting since 2005
Post by pondgardener on Feb 11, 2021 20:52:40 GMT -5
What applies to aquariums and fish should be applicable to plants. When I lived in a different area, our water was treated with chlorine, I let water sit in separate tanks for a few days for the chlorine to dissipate. But when I moved to where I live now, I couldn't do that as chloramine is used as a water treatment. So according to the link below, if you have to use water treated with chlorine, let it sit for 4 or 5 days so the chlorine can be released, or if you use it in smaller amounts, say for house plants, boil it according to the article and then let it cool before you use it. I do a lot of my irrigating by using water from partial water changes of the ponds that have been treated to remove chloramine so it doesn't harm the fish. But for things like corn, I just use whatever comes out of the hose bibb.
Our house in Kerrville has a rainwater collection system that is the water source for the house. We have a 45,000 gallon collection tank, a 5000 gallon holding tank, two sand filters, another fiber filter, and ozonator, and a UV light filter. Then an RO unit for drinking water in the house. The well is used only for backup as it is iffy on production. I understand water collection being a way of life. When we lived at the ranch we got roughly 10 inches of rain a year so a collection system wouldn't have been of much use.
Currently I am in the process of drilling a water well on our property here because the community water system is unreliable at best. Seems all my life I have either had too much water or not enough. Goldilocks doesn't live here.