Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

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Thomzo
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Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258783 Thomzo
Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:42 am

Hi All

Firstly a huge thank you to everybody who responded to my survey request and gave their comments:
http://www.selfsufficientish.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=25641&hilit=rainwater+harvesting

I'm now working towards the next stage of my assignment which is to carry out research into the viability of producing a product in my relevant area.

From reading the results of the survey and your responses, it would appear that installation issues are the biggest barrier to people installing systems. I'm looking to design a system that would allow a water butt to be filled, even if it was a long way away from a suitable downpipe.

Any comments, ideas or suggestions would be really helpful. Do you think people would be more inclined to install a system or extend an existing system if such a device existed?

Thanks
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258823 battybird
Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:08 pm

Depends on so much...money, diy ability what is there already...money!! We would extend the system on the outhouse and ut new one on main house!
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258847 Millymollymandy
Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:41 am

Yes, in a way. Half my problem is that I don't want ugly IBCs or even lots of water butts up against the house walls. I waste loads of rain water coming off the main roof of the house as I only have one water butt off another smaller house roof (and that's just the back bit of the roof!), and another coming off the garage roof. These two look OK up against the back and side walls of the house, but any more would detract from the attractiveness of my house. (That sounds odd, to explain - my house has 3 different roofs!).

The IBCs and other water butt are against the metal barn and chook and duck sheds, which don't matter aesthetically.

However I don't want to dig holes under the entire garden.

So you have your work cut out, Zoe! :iconbiggrin:

By the way, we have a replacement IBC tap on order, coming from England. The postage is a ridiculous amount for something light and plastic but it's the size which is a problem. :roll: So it's costing about £40 in all for a replacement tap and relevant washers. My OH managed eventually to get the tap off with the help of a neighbour and a good hard whack with a wrench! Just wish it would hurry up and arrive whilst we are still getting some rain!
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258855 Big Al
Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:35 am

From my perspective I'd say yes it would be a good idea to have a system that can be added to and extended so you don't need "ugly IBC's all over the wall" :iconbiggrin: (I love IBC's by the way).

However.... you may need to think about how you will get this water back from the hiding place to a useable point in the garden. I have buts and barrels all over the place all connected but as those down the bottom of the garden are the lowest point they remain full up the longest and are often the ones that overflow the first, although this is into a pond it's wasting water so every now and then I have to rig up a pond pump to get some of the water back up the garden to use. This is no hardship for me but if you are looking at lazy joe public then this might be an issue.

The best system in my oppinion would be to get the local water companies to finance [on a long loan type set up added to the monthly water bill to be repayed] a deep garden tank for rainwater in private properties. I spprosched my local company and they laughed, literally laughed. Once I made myself clear that I was not a stand up comedian they basically said whilst water was still so cheap then it was not in their interest to offer such a scheme.

I am also in the process of having a green roof installed on my garage roof to save rainwater.


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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258865 greenorelse
Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:36 am

If you were building a new house, it would make sense to incorporate rainwater collection and filtration in the house itself. There are a number of obstacles and objections, all of which could be overcome.

For instance, it would have to be a bigger house, obviously.

Secondly, if it's a two-storey house, it makes sense to have the water storage on the upper floor, therefore there is some serious structural reinforcement required.

In thinking this out in my mind, I could see the upper north-east and north-west corners of the house being given over to rainwater collection/filtration/insulation and delivery, with the house having a hip roof.

As I say, it's probably achievable but pretty ambitious. Plus you'd need planning for that bigger house. The regs probably don't allow for such a 'radical' (as if; apart from the practical considerations, rainwater capture should not be radical) idea.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258866 greenorelse
Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:39 am

IBCs can be housed, you don't have to look at them. Trellis with stuff growing up it, for instance.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258902 Thomzo
Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:52 pm

Hmmm, some food for thought here.

Greenoreise, I've often thought about having a rainwater tank somewhere in the house to feed the downstairs toilet. As you say, in a new build, this is easy to accommodate. Most rainwater harvesting systems store the water underground and use a pump to push it back up to where it's needed but this removes the environmental benefit. Most houses have sections under the roof which can't be used, even if the loft has been converted into a room. This would supply plenty of space for water storage. But, as you say, reinforcement would be needed.

Big Al, maybe a community solution is what's needed. Especially in situations where you have a terrace of houses sharing a single downpipe.

Thanks all.

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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258906 baldybloke
Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:38 pm

The trouble with storage in the roof would be that the guttering would be lower than the tank and a pump of some description would be required.
On the Thames and Severn Canal, the Lock Keepers houses had an inverted roof, similar in shape to a funnel which collected rainwater. There is an example just outside Lechlade. On a new build, this could be an option but the house would have to be of a very sturdy construction to take the extreme weight.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258915 seasidegirl
Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:05 am

In our 1930s semi the rainwater downpipe runs down the side of the house where we only have a narrow walkway and no room for butts. We could put a diverter and then a hosepipe along the side of the wall I suppose (also for bathwater which is on same wall) if only to save more water for garden. Only trouble is my butts are full at the moment from the shed rooves and current heavy showers so unless I had more storage capacity I don't think it's worth the trouble. Especially as there is an old but useful lean-to roof in the way over the passageway.

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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258932 greenorelse
Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:49 am

baldybloke wrote:The trouble with storage in the roof would be that the guttering would be lower than the tank and a pump of some description would be required.


That's right. In the picture in my mind, the tank(s) would be in rooms on the upper storey, thus (just) below gutter level, these rooms being big enough so you can walk round the tank and inspect it, change filters etc. A huge advantage would be that the water would be protected from freezing, though they would be sited in the coldest points of the house (NE/NW corners or even just one tank against the north wall in the middle).

Ho hum, not going to happen to this person in this lifetime; it's nice to think about these things though.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258941 tizzy
Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:27 am

We have a collection system on our hen house and run using an IBC tank. It is currently used to replenish a duck pond made with a corner bath. The duck pondwater, in turn, will be used as fertlised water for the plants in the forest garden and polytunnel.
063.jpg
Harvesting rainwater from hen house and run
063.jpg (97.29 KiB) Viewed 2103 times


This will explain the duck pond which is also a water harvesting system in itself
http://theroundhouse.freeforums.org/duc ... t1444.html

Tim; there is a tap thingy you can buy that will fit the IBC tanks, they had some on ebay.

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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #258965 oldfella
Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:03 am

A friend of mine, hired a mini digger, dug a hole big enough to hold 2 IBCs connected them to together, covered them with a plastic sheet with a suction pipe sticking up with a tap on. filled the hole around tank with sand covered it with earth and now has a the Herb garden on top.
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #265353 Thomzo
Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:55 am

bump
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #265393 Skippy
Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:04 pm

Being basically mean I've considered the using of rainwater to flush the upstairs toilet but having to pump water up there was seeming to defeat the object and probably the enviormental saving would also be miniscule too. So in my head at least I've been designing a wind powered pump working on the old archimedes screw principal. The idea came from watching a kids science game show and if I ever get the time I'll try to make it work.
Now if you could work a non energy using pump into your systems you may just get those people interested who don't want their gardens dispoiled with huge great IBCs.
Only a thought.


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Thomzo
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Re: Rainwater harvesting project - next steps

Post: #265395 Thomzo
Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi Skippy
Solar pumps are readily available but during my research I came across a report by the environment agency that showed that any rwh system with a pump was both more expensive and worse environmentally to run than using treated water. The main reason being that the pumps don't last long enough to pay back so it's not just the energy use that's a problem.

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