Rainwater Catchment goes BIG!

by Ben N on July 1, 2013

I was over at my friend, Rob’s, when I got a phone call from my Dad, asking if I had any more of those 275-gallon water totes. He already had one from me we used last summer to setup rainwater collection on his barn, and he just got another from Rob, when we took down his hoop-house.

Sure, I had one more. So, yesterday morning, on my way in to work, I decided to throw it in the back of my truck and drop it off on my way.

When I got to my parent’s place, I could see what my Dad was already up to. A remodeler by trade, he was building a solid deck off the barn, just the right size for three of these water containers. Of course it has to be sturdy! My minimal engineering skills tell me that water is about 8 lbs. per gallon times 275 gallons times 3, means over three TONS of water weight. The material was mostly recycled 2×6’s, with 4×4 posts cemented into the ground.

The water-holding area deck was designed both to tie in with stairs up to the building AND to be high enough to make some water pressure to reach the raised beds and new fruit trees.

I had to scoot off to work, but I stopped back in at the end of the day to see what else he got done. By then, all three containers were up on the deck, spaced out, and using pallets as spacers between them. The plan for the plumbing is to connect all three tanks in parallel with a 2″ PVC manifold. Then, the tanks will be boxed in with some 2×6’s for strength, and the exterior will be added to match the existing building.

One of the containers (the one used last year) was a bit deformed from water weight, as it never had a steel cage on it the way many IBC containers do. To fix it, my father used air power! He already has a fitting he uses to blow the water out of the pipes that run to the outbuildings, for winter freeze protection. It threads right onto a garden hose connector. I already made a fitting to go from garden hose to the 2″ connection of the IBC. So, he simply connected them up, ran it to the air compressor, and pumped the container right back to original shape! I wish I had been there to see it!

So, it looks like the rainwater system is going to be a bit bigger this year. The wood structure will support the containers and make them hold their shape, and the finished exterior will keep light from getting in to the water, to prevent algae growth.

I’m not sure when the rest of the work on the project is happening, but even if I can’t help out, I’ll at least get over there to take some photos to share, and let you know how well the project works!


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Ben's IBC Rainwater collection - Page 3 - EcoRenovator
July 1, 2013 at 8:45 am

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1 Faisal Khan July 16, 2013 at 3:24 am

I always enjoy seeing ingenious ways of using your reconditioned IBC’s. I have something similar in my garden. Great stuff.

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