Rain Water Pre-Planning
I live in Wisconsin, so we have been lucky not to experience the type of draught the west has endured these past couple of years. That does not mean it can’t happen here.
I was thinking about installing a rain water system, but where do you start? There are a lot on the market, many that you can do yourself and some that look great and others that look downright ugly.
First and foremost: Know your municipality’s rainwater rules (or your state). Looks are not what is important though. You need to know if it is allowed in your municipality. Yes, believe it or not, some places don’t want you to use rain catchment systems, even if they are totally hidden. Apparently (just my thoughts) they can’t get as much sewer and water taxes from me if I use one.
You system needs a filter. Not everything in the clouds is clean, nor are your gutters. You can have a Berkey water filtration system that you can run it through if you are going to drink it, or you boil it or add bleach. Just think about filtering the water before you use it.
Note: How to purify water without Berkey filter: http://www.theprepperproject.com/make-purified-water/
Uses for Rainwater
- washing car
- Pet baths
What you have on your roof will determine if it is even feasible to do a rain catchment system. The best roofing would be gravel or asphalt shingles as they shed less heavy metals. Again, filtering the water will help this.
Screen your barrels
You never know what might be flying by your barrels. So be sure to get a screen what won’t let flies and other debris into your containers. The screen should be about 1mm so even mosquitoes won’t get in.
Know How Much You Might Collect
You need to know what the precipitation is in the area you live so you have the right size containers. If you are not in a rainy area, you don’t need a 2,000 gallon container! You also don’t want to spend more on containers than you need. If your household only goes through 500 gallons of water a year, and precipitation is 250 gallons, buy the smaller set of containers.
Use a Diverter
When you begin to catch the rain, be it the first time or the 99th time, the first few gallons are picking up anything in the gutters and on the roof. Why waste the filter by bringing this into the mix?
A diverter will take the first few gallons and draw it into another chamber with a float. Once the chamber is full, the float pushes up and closes the chamber so the rest of the water will run into the main container.
These steps take time, but if allowed in your area, it is easy to set up.