How to: Rain-water catchment with IBC Totes (see pictures below):
Our set-up is pretty unsophisticated: Rain gutter to down-spout, directed via flexible down-spout to the entry-point filter (one of those really thin plastic pots retailers sell plants in – it fits the top opening of the IBC Tote perfectly).
The filter receiving adapter, is a plastic cookie bottle that we cut to size with a box-knife, for the flexible down-spout to enter. The top of the cookie bottle then fits into the plastic pot – top down. Under the cookie bottle top (but above the bottom of the plastic pot), is a piece of common, plastic screening. This catches all the bugs, leaves and other debris carried from the roof, preventing it from entering the IBC Tote. This works better than any of the “pre-filters” you might find on the internet and it’s way, way cheaper to fabricate (like, $5.00 including the cookies). After a rain or two, just disconnect it and “bang” the bugs out.
The picture of the bottom of the IBC Totes shows how we set up the plumbing. The goal was to allow filling one tote or both and to allow using the water from either one or both of the totes at the same time. Both hose connections are quick connect/disconnect type.
After that, wait for your first good rain, attach your garden hose a couple of days later, and water some wildflowers.
Finally, know that the IBC Totes we are using are the 275 gallon capacity ones, so we are collecting a total of 550 gallons at a time. The fact that they are “caged” would allow a one-on-top-of-the-other configuration, which would significantly increase the pressure when they are both full – as well as keep the foot-print of the whole thing to that of one tote. A design detail to consider.
The real “finally” is that when winter rolls around, you are going to want to drain your totes to about half full or less. We empty ours completely. This protects them from freezing the plumbing pieces parts.
Let us know how your project goes. It can be one of those things that if one person does it, shows it off to a few others, then, all of a sudden, you’ve got a change in “the norm” going on in your neighborhood, your world. Pretty exciting.
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