Storing Rain Water
Storing rain water is a great way to recycle water and keep your landscape healthy. There are plenty of eco-friendly ways to store your rain water. The concept of capturing and storing rain water for use is well-documented. A study of history shows that it has been in use since the pre-Roman times. However, the practice has largely died away since the introduction of mains-supplied water. However, demand on water systems and ever increasing pressure on the current water supplies have raised the demand for rain water storage.
You can easily start storing rain water by building your own rain water collection system. To do so, you will start by cutting the top off a five gallon food safe bucket. Keep the top aside as it will be used later to secure a paint strainer which will prevent large objects and mosquitoes from getting into the barrel and contaminating your water supply. Using a power drill, place a hole on the side of the bucket. Drill another hole in the top of the drum.
Join the top of the five gallon bucket to a 55 gallon drum; the two should fit snugly against each other. Proceed to add a gutter extension. To do so, simply use the existing downspout from your gutters and add an extension that runs down into the collection barrel. You can get your extension from any hardware store as most tend to carry a variety of extensions and fittings.
To prevent organic matter and large debris from working its way into your storage system, you may need to place a gutter strain in the gutter on your roof. You will need to regularly clean this type of strainer to ensure that it does not get clogged.
This method of storing rain water not only saves water, it is also a fun little project that you can teach your kids about conservation. There are a number of other ways to store rain water. If you would like to store a large supply of water you can buy plastic tanks that can be used both above and below ground. They can be ordered at your local hardware store or found on the internet. One good rain can produce an enormous amount of water to fill your tanks.
Rainwater collected through either of these methods is not contaminated but may not be safe to drink right away. As such, be sure to filter or boil the water before you use it for drinking. This will kill any pathogens present within the water. However, it can of course be used for watering the yard or garden and for toilets or washing straight from the tanks. One great thing about storing rain water is that if there ever is some type of emergency or disaster that compromises your water supply, you will be have safe water for as long as you need it.