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Rainwater Collection Options
cwm_nm
#1 Posted : Saturday, July 01, 2006 10:36:16 PM
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hi JAK, i live in New Mexico, in the high desert country. Even here in a place that may only get 6-10 inchs of rain a year., collecting rain water is a very viable alternative. at least for personal and household water use. its a different matter when it comes to watering gardens, animals, orchards, and especially grass. Here, wells are expensive and most of the ground water is very hard and needs to be filtered or distilled for drinking. Storing water can be a problem with tank cost, and keeping it in good condition. collecting -it can be a problem in that it has to be dealt with. ideally you may need to be there when it rains to divert your water to different tanks. in between rains here, sometimes up to 6 months, the roof collects a lot of dust, dirt, bird droppings etc. so the first bit of rain goes to washing the roof off. we collect that for plants., then divert to the main tank after the roof is clean ... relatively. Texas is a state that is actively supporting rain water collection, especially in the Austin area. They have some good information in online booklets., especially on building low cost storage tanks out of ferro cement. we have bought a few 1500 gal poly tanks but they are expensive at about $750 ea. Its possible to build a 10,000 gallon tank for that amount, if you have help and dont mind some work using ferro cement. we are also working on a big collection pond idea., one can definitely catch a lot of water, but here, if you dont have a lined pond, it will all be gone in a few days. so it also needs to be moved to some kind of tank, or every form of life out here will be in it. bugs, birds, snakes, rabbits, field mice, and mostly cows. most of New Mexico is open range, its your responsibility to fence cows out. but if a cow is thirsty they can and will go right through a 5 strand barb wire fence to get to water., and their hoofs will go right through a liner and ruin it. other issues are wells now need to be permitted by the state, and water flow metered. in other words the gov will take your money for using ground water. but so far ''they'' have not figured out a way to tax the rain.!!!.. but just give them time. after all its America, the land of the FEE !!!!-Clay
shinsan
#2 Posted : Sunday, July 02, 2006 1:36:20 PM
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Clay, In Aust. the govt. decided on a rainwater tax for properties over 25 acres, based on the average annual rainfall for the particular area. If the Govt. here can find any way to suck money out of its citizens, it will.
cwm_nm
#3 Posted : Monday, July 03, 2006 7:11:20 AM
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hi, WOW.. i have to say, that is the most outrageous thing i''ve ever heard. I thought things were bad here in ''America, the land of the FEE''. but taxing the rain.. geez.. whats next ? taxing the sun that shines on your land ? or the wind that blows through your windmill ?
JAK
#4 Posted : Monday, July 03, 2006 2:21:35 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Thanks for the info. Plastic tanks are more expensive up here at $1/gallon in the large sizes around 1000gallons, and $2/gallon for smaller sizes. I think ferrocemnt is the way to go for the do it yourselfer. I think I would like to have a cold water cistern and hot water cistern. Can ferrocement be used for hot water? How hot?

JAK
#5 Posted : Monday, July 03, 2006 2:48:40 PM
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Thinking on it some more, I think I would like one very large tank and perhaps one or two smaller ones. The very large one might be cold rainwater storage in summer and for hot water storage in winter. One small tank would be for cold drinking water and one small tank would be the final stage hot water tank for showers. Sometime around September I could start heating up the large tank using solar and perhaps some heat recovered from other sources. I would keep it hot during the winter mostly with wood heat, and use it for showers and laundry and to heat the house passively. I think I would store it under a sauna, that would be a cold room in summer. I have a 1400 sqft home on a slab with no basement and a 6''x10'' furnace room in the middle which I would to convert to this sauna / coldroom. The bottom 2'' could be the large water tank. 2''x6''x10'' = 120 ft3 = 936 gallons. Of course with rainwater it wouldn''t always be full so perhaps I do need two large tanks after all, or just one bigger one.
drill doctor
#6 Posted : Sunday, July 09, 2006 8:59:30 AM
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We used a wooden rain barrel for water, but it is just for fun. If you need water you can just sit around and wait for it to rain to get some. Also to get enough water and lots of it you will have to construct a exspensive roof and gutter system to catch water. that can cost much more than a small portable drilling rig and very much more than building your own drilling rig from plans for 450.00 or less. How much roof and gutters will 400.00 buy. If you already have a large roof you may be in luck. Your hear about well water not clean. i have lived 47 yrs, so far i have never know anyone who has died from well water. But i have has cousins that have dieds from mesqitos, and a rain barrel breeds mesquito larva like crazy , or in the counrty we call wiggle worms. the old timers talked of just strain them though your teeth, then spit them out. People buy water filters and make people rich. there is not a better water filter than the earth.12 inches of sand cleans better that 1200- 10 micro water filters made in china with bleached paper. wake up. the simple things still work best, the earth, and it does not need and help. If you need to know use your brain, don''t belive the first propaganda the TV puts out.
For the Rig plans for a cheap 20 bucks or so go to
www.drillingfab.com
cwm_nm
#7 Posted : Sunday, July 09, 2006 10:52:21 AM
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#13;#10;This last message is SPAM, but i''m not a moderator, so, if MEN allows commercial advertising in the forum i''ll be surprised.#13;#10;#13;#10; i personally know 3 people who have tried little toy drill rigs, and maybe they work in places you could hand dig a well, but they dont work here. a waste of LOTS of time,work, and plenty of money, and the rig was junk - used up, after attempting the 3rd well. I''m talking about a nationally, and ''well'' advertised product.#13;#10;#13;#10; none of the holes, ever got close to water. wells are typically 300-400 ft deep here and many times, the water is so hard you usually cannot even drink it or filter it. clean distilled water falls free from the sky. why not catch it ?#13;#10;#13;#10;if you use your brain, i bet you can figure out how to keep mosquitos out of your water collection system. a few suggestions. close the lid, put screen over openings.,if ''they''
are in there wiggling around,, drop in a few minnows.#13;#10;#13;#10;my recommendation is spend your money on a roof, instead., but ... to each his own .....#13;#10;or, if you want to drill a well, at least get a cable tool rig and an operator who know''s how to use it. #13;#10;#13;#10;#13;#10;#13;#10;
drill doctor
#8 Posted : Sunday, July 09, 2006 1:15:19 PM
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Cable tool rigs only work in rock. anywhere else they are useless. they work on percussion. it would be like try to use a jackhammer in the swamp. you have to have soild formations all the way down to use percussion cable tool rig. Your right the deeper water is hard, who said you had to go 400 ft. Facts are 90% of the worlds water is 100 ft or less. Rain barrels are only large enough to hold 30 minites worth of water. Underground auquafiers have so much water , some formations reach from wyoming to south texas, anyone have a rain barrel that large. I realize rain water is good, but get real. We have a 2 acre garden, 12 cows, 2 washing machines, and 3 teen age boys. what size rain catcher and rain barrel would it take. I would need the astrodome to cover things.Also where we are at we have 3 coal powered electric plants in a 40 mile area. all have 24hr a day 7 day aweek smoke stacks going. who want to drink rain water after it cleans the sky. rain water may work some places, but dont try to fit it every where. we still try to use wisdom when we can.
cwm_nm
#9 Posted : Sunday, July 09, 2006 1:28:04 PM
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#13;#10;Different areas have different needs. what''s a ''fact'' in one area, is simply not true in another.#13;#10;catching rain works well in some areas and not others, same with wells. there is no one right answer for everyone. folks will just have to do what fits their own circumstances. but this is a thread about collecting rain., not drilling wells., so what type of rig is best, is like everything a matter of opinion, and off topic here, so i''ll drop it.#13;#10;#13;#10;
wannabe
#10 Posted : Thursday, July 13, 2006 4:14:02 AM
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What''s with the "#13;#10" business? Just curious.

JAK
#11 Posted : Monday, July 17, 2006 7:06:45 PM
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I suspect it as something to do with Carriage Return, Line Feed.
I wonder what operating system and internet browser she is using.
cwm_nm
#12 Posted : Monday, July 17, 2006 7:13:09 PM
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JAK, I''m a ''he'' using Firefox on a Mac, OSX. tried editing them out, they keep coming back ??
JAK
#13 Posted : Monday, July 17, 2006 11:48:00 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Sorry about that buddy. I am a ''he'' also.

I thought it might be a Mac. I was systems manager at a small daily newspaper and I remember problems like that. Nothing wrong with Macs, they are just different. There was a lot I liked about them and still do. I have moved on though so I am way out of date. I remember compatibility problems with Unix also, but that was at the end of files.

I don''t know why I do this but I arbitrariy decide very early whether a poster is a he or a she based on very little evidence and it is hard for me to shake that first impression. I think I base it entirely on the user name. I am sure where I got a ''she'' out of cwm_nm. They say when we see a new person one of the first things our brain does is determine gender. It is so ingrained that we tend to do it with animals and plants and even inaminate objects and ideas. To me for some reason all cats are ''she'' until I get to know them, and all dogs are ''he''. Usually if a female dog has just had puppies though I get a sense that they are a ''she'', just because they have that maternal glow about them. Anyhow, now that I think about it cwm_nm is a very masculine username. Keep on truck''n. :)
cwm_nm
#14 Posted : Tuesday, July 18, 2006 12:07:45 AM
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Posts: 134,494
JAK, no problem, this new form of ''virtual'' communication makes things like gender #13;#10;tricky at times. I''ve been online since the beginning and before that active on the old BBS dial up systems. I''ve found that 95% of it is guys online, but this forum is probably unique to most that i use., and does have quite a few women members.#13;#10;Just so you know,, the new Mac OS is now UNIX based., and i suspect the M.E.N. uses a windows server. after all these years you would think stuff like this would be more compatible.#13;#10;... so if this is full of #13''s, talk to microsoft.#13;#10;Clay, my user name here is my initials cwm _ nm....and state abbreviation.
samibeez
#15 Posted : Wednesday, July 19, 2006 8:50:40 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Hi everyone,

I came upon this forum looking for information on building an under-house cistern. I had seen a home for sale that had a 15000 gal one.

I have an 80-acre horse ranch in N. Az and we haul ALL of our water from the nearby town. Everyone does.

Whoever it is talking about "getting real" about drilling a well instead of catching rain - wow! I would LOVE to have a well. The water table here is 1200 to 1600 ft. deep through basalt and then limestone. Just for fun I got three estimates from nearby well drillers a few weeks ago. The lowest bid was $97,480. Now I don''t know about you, but that''s a lot of money to me (and alot of horse feed). So you get real and maybe except the fact that not every place is like where you live. You need to do some traveling :-)!

Anyway, back to topic, when I bought the ranch, it had a small "cabin" (actually a travel trailer with two rooms and a roof added on) and the gutters were set up to deliver the water into rain cisterns that are about 1000 gallons each, completely closed at the top, and what look like typical hose bibs at the bottom that feed into a gravity, or pressure driven irrigation system for the front "yard" of this place. I have looked and looked on the web for something like this for my new home on the north pasture, but I go from 100 gallon "rain barrels" to 1500 gallon water storage tanks. Anybody know where to find a cistern like the one I''m describing?

Thanks!
Tenngarden
#16 Posted : Wednesday, July 19, 2006 11:43:20 PM
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Posts: 134,494
http://www.usplastic.com/ They have a lot of tanks on here.
AnArKey
#17 Posted : Friday, September 01, 2006 9:12:07 PM
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Posts: 134,494
An idea to "amplify" rainwater collection I came up with.

Your collection in gallons should be:

((rainfall in inches)/12)*(sq/ft of roof)*7.481

Why use your roof? It will be covered with crap and dust. It''s also pretty small.

Rather, if you have a large open area available, buy a 100x100 tarp. That''s 10,000 sq/ft of rainwater collection area. Keep it rolled up. Unroll it before a rain storm. Have it held up at all four corners, with a 1'' hole in the very middle, with your cistern directly under the hole.

1" of rainfall would be 6234 gallons of water. Crazy eh?
cwm_nm
#18 Posted : Saturday, September 02, 2006 12:05:27 AM
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#13;#10;hi AnArKey#13;#10;#13;#10;Actually its not a crazy idea at all, and i''m considering something similar. it may not work all the time, because a lot of our storms are accompanied by high winds. but sometimes. it can rain for hours nice and softly and is no different than filling a big rain water pond. Sailors have also long used their sails at sea to gather drinking water... naturally distilled. ! If you need water, and dont have a well, makes good sense to me.#13;#10;#13;#10;#13;#10;#13;#10;
Anonymous
#19 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:04:32 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Rain water collection looks like its a religon. I know ift works for some people, who only have small shack and one little dog. But anyone who have a few cows, horses, and chickens to eat, need more water. One cow needs 35 gallons per day per head in warm weather.  Animals need water daily, if it does not rain you cant spend 100 bucks on gas driving like a ambulance to town to get water daily, especially when your already standing on a auquafier below, its just down a few feet here 95ft to be exact.. We installed a surflow solar D/C water pump and we used a used free solar panel we got the idea from drillingfab.com/solarpanels they had a good idea, and it worked. The solar water pump pump 2100 gallons per day. we use a storage tank, and have plenty even in the night or cloudy days.

mrgreenjeans
#20 Posted : Thursday, May 21, 2009 3:14:22 AM
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Posts: 134,494

the real problem with rain catchment i had was it was a never ending expense to either make or buy tanks or cisterns.you just never have enough. when you trap more water you plant a little more in the garden , get another critter, its always something. i still have the stuff but i gave up on it as a primary water source.

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