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Old 04-21-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Storing water for landscape/lawn use ?


I know the water rates are going to keep going up. Between that fact and the guilt I feel using city water to water our lawn and landscaping, I am trying to convince my wife to let me invest in rain water storage.... Not working too well so far....

Anyone else using rainwater to help water landscape/lawns ?

Last edited by Jeeps; 04-21-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:09 AM   #2
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Rain barrels have become popular and are easy to install- hook up to a downspout and attach a hose and you have a gravity-fed water source. You could also get a concrete or plastic septic tank and bury with a pump and pvc irrigation lines. This would involve a lot more work, but you would also have a larger volume of water available. I think you have a great idea and should give it a try. Standard irrigation systems are a big waste of water, especially for lawns.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply. We have a lot of money in our two lawns and landscaping, as we have made our back yard our "staycation" place.

The thought of losing it all because of city water restrictions during drought conditions always concerns me plus, I like the idea of using non-chlorinated water on our foilage...

My wife nor I, really like thought of having a "rainbarrel" sitting under our downspouts as we live in a subdivision with each neighbors home 20 ft on either side of us. . So me being a 40 year veteran of a lot of building trades and a licensed electrician, I have a plan to build a rainwater distribution system but, it will not be cheap. ...

Really in dry or drought conditions, only having a few hundred gallons of water stored will not last long. I am thinking in terms of maybe 6 -250 gallon industrial food grade plastic barrels with intricate piping interconnect/discharge pump, possibly hooked to underground zoned lawn irrigation later on. ..

Concealing the barrels and getting the house gutter water to them will be a challenge as they need to sit behind our garden shed, which is 30 feet behind the house. So that makes me need a gutter water collection tank at the house, with a float switch pump that would pump the water back to the storage barrels. ..

The pickle is the costs for the materials needed. It is just a matter of convincing the Mrs. that a $ 1200.00 + rainwater distribution system will have a payback in what time we have left to enjoy our lawn. That will be a project in itself.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeeps View Post
thanks for the reply. We have a lot of money in our two lawns and landscaping, as we have made our back yard our "staycation" place.

The thought of losing it all because of city water restrictions during drought conditions always concerns me plus, I like the idea of using non-chlorinated water on our foilage...

My wife nor I, really like thought of having a "rainbarrel" sitting under our downspouts as we live in a subdivision with each neighbors home 20 ft on either side of us. . So me being a 40 year veteran of a lot of building trades and a licensed electrician, I have a plan to build a rainwater distribution system but, it will not be cheap. ...



Really in dry or drought conditions, only having a few hundred gallons of water stored will not last long. I am thinking in terms of maybe 6 -250 gallon industrial food grade plastic barrels with intricate piping interconnect/discharge pump, possibly hooked to underground zoned lawn irrigation later on. ..

Concealing the barrels and getting the house gutter water to them will be a challenge as they need to sit behind our garden shed, which is 30 feet behind the house. So that makes me need a gutter water collection tank at the house, with a float switch pump that would pump the water back to the storage barrels. ..

The pickle is the costs for the materials needed. It is just a matter of convincing the Mrs. that a $ 1200.00 + rainwater distribution system will have a payback in what time we have left to enjoy our lawn. That will be a project in itself.
There is a guy where I live (in a nice subdivision w/ $250K + homes) that has a large, I'm guessing, 500 gallon or better tank behind his garage use for rainwater collection. It takes up a footprint of about 8x8 so he just has a nice, but small fence surrounding it. You'd never know it without looking into his back yard. Very concealed, and 500 gallons would go quite a ways.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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You should check with your local laws on the collection/ diversion of rain water.
Believe it or not,it is actually illegal in some states to do so with a permit.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #6
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with a permit ?
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:29 PM   #7
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Will all of this plus the constant use of electric for your pumps offset the cost of city water? You will pay to pump it to your tanks and depending on your elevation etc pay to pump it to your distribution system or just use city water that is always under pressure.

I love the idea of rain barrells etc. Just dont like the idea of paying to pump it. You can always get a hand pump for your system
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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Will all of this plus the constant use of electric for your pumps offset the cost of city water? You will pay to pump it to your tanks and depending on your elevation etc pay to pump it to your distribution system or just use city water that is always under pressure.

I love the idea of rain barrells etc. Just dont like the idea of paying to pump it. You can always get a hand pump for your system
This is why many choose the elevate the storage containers, so as to eliminate the need for pumps and use gravity. You lack a lot of pressure, but for water plants, shrubs, trees, it can be effective.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:15 AM   #9
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I have a modest collection setup that is used for watering plants and cleaning yard tools. A setup that would be sufficient for my entire lawn, back and front, was something I just didn't want to undertake. I'm sure I could come up with a workable system to tie into my underground irrigation, but there are many other projects around the home that are higher up on the to-do list. Whatever you eventually do, it might make things easier in the long run if you consider making some changes to your yard so that you don't need to build a 1500 gallon system of cisterns. Maybe put in a hardscape feature that would reduce the amount of turf you need to water thereby bringing down the size of your rainwater harvesting setup.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
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This is why many choose the elevate the storage containers, so as to eliminate the need for pumps and use gravity. You lack a lot of pressure, but for water plants, shrubs, trees, it can be effective.
Drip irrigation will not help with the lawn areas. But it draws in gallons per hour and not gallons per minute like lawn sprinklers. It also requires minimal water pressure so a gravity fed system, with perhaps a small output booster pump, could work well.

Think about cutting back your turf area and replacing with groundcovers and other plants. I have nothing against turf and used to manage it but the typical residence has much more than needed and it demands the most water of any landscape planting.
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