I’ve tried for 2 years to be successful with a deck garden and it’s just too hot on my deck so I’m moving my focus to harvesting rainwater for drip irrigation on my deck garden. I’m going to move my deck contatiner garden off of my deck where the Summer temperaturs remain in the 90’s and move it down to ground level. I’m going to prototype a system for harvesting rainwater and then using that rainwater coleection system to feed my drip irrigation system. It has been several years of very dry weather in Texas and I’m following the lead of a lot of people I know who are harvesting rainwater for their personal comsumption. I’m not ready to go that far yet, but I expect to learn a lot about harvesting rainwater through this season.
Rainwater Harvesting Parts & Pieces
Harvesting rainwater is pretty simple. You need a roof to collect it from, some pipes to control the flow of the rainwater and a container to collect and store the rainwater. Most commercial systems are 10,000 gallons or more and since I’m prototyping, I’m using a smaller 1,000 gallon container and a small portion of my roof for harvesting rainwater.
Location of Tank for Harvesting Rainwater
It is important that the rainwater collection containers be on level ground that is stable. I’ve created small pads using crushed granite that I purchased from a nearby soils dealer. I’ve seen other systems for harvesting rainwater that used pea gravel for the based pad of the rainwater collection tank. I’ve also located my rainwater collection underneath my deck so that it is not easily visible beyond the boundaries of my property and so that the water stays as cool as possible. My deck has the capacity to hide as many as 5 of these 1,000 gallon rainwater collection tanks in my overall system for harvesting rainwater.
Rainwater Collection Schematic
I’m using a simple system of 4″ PVC pipe to channel the rainwater from the gutter downspouts to the rainwater collection tank. Since this is my first attempt at harvesting rainwater, I’ve taken the extra step of laying out the parts and pieces on the ground in the shape that I want to install them for my rainwater harvesting system.
Installation of Rainwater Collection Pipes
I’ve connected my 2 gutter downspouts to the 4″ PVC rainwater collectors and joined them together to create a single inflow to my rainwater harvesting system. The 4″ PVC fit my gutter downspouts perfectly and a street T allowed me to easily join the two inflows into one. The next step in harvesting rainwater is a wash system that will prevent leaves and dirt from the roof and gutter from flowing into the rainwater collection tank.
Supervision Needed for Harvesting Rainwater
My rainwater harvesting system project was bigger than a one-man-job so I asked my Dad to help me and supervise. He has already installed a 10,000 gallon system for harvesting rainwater for his personal use at his home. Like all good supervisors, he combines verbal commands and pointing very very well.
Summary of Initial Installation for Harvesting Rainwater
I have two years of experience trying to grow a container garden on my deck so I’m moving on the prototype a system for harvesting rainwater. The temperatures during the Summer are just too hat. So, I’m going to move my container garden to ground level and implement a system for harvesting rainwater to feed my drip irrigation system. I’ve installed the rainwater collection tank by building a level pad and then installed 4″ PVC to begin the rainwater collection process from my gutter downspouts. Next, I’ll implement the “washing” system and connect the rainwater harvesting pipes to the rainwater collection tank and that will complete my system for harvesting rainwater.