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Project Water Reservoir

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Project by MsDebbieP posted 736 days ago 1554 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

July 26/12

Storing water for my gardens has been an ongoing project since I started “serious” gardening efforts.

At first it was just to reduce the use of our well water and the need to drag out the garden hose. The past couple of years, which has brought a very dry month of July, takes the desire to store water to a whole new level. No longer is it just a matter of convenience or an additional “green” strategy – it is potentially a matter of survival, if only for that of the plants. With the goal of growing my own food, however, the “survival” of my family increasingly relies on water storage.

Over the years I have gathered several rain barrels and this has been very helpful, regarding watering the gardens but after several weeks of dry weather and the rain barrels emptying it is clear that there is a danger that what I have set up is not enough.

Last year I created a “grey water” system that collects the water from daily showers, providing a lot of water for garden use. This has been a blessing in the past week or so as everything un-watered was gasping the last breath. But… because of the location of the grey water barrels in relation to the plants that are a high priority for watering, there is a lot of bucket carrying and, being a lazy gardener, this isn’t very efficient. So—thinking cap on!

Checking out ideas at LeeValley.com I found a plastic reservoir that stores 95 US Gallons of water. It can be set up 70 feet from a downspout. At first I thought that I’d make a little trailer for the reservoir and then, using the lawn tractor, haul it around the yard and water plants as needed.

Then, after contemplating the 70’ idea, I thought that perhaps I could set up the reservoir at my blueberries and bury the hose underground so that it wouldn’t be in the way of the lawnmower. I would then connect the reservoir to a dripline system set up in the blueberry area. This should work. A bonus would be that I’d have a seating area in that part of the yard. Nice.

So, the reservoir was purchased and arrived this morning.
And then Rick had a thought: ”Would the soapy water clog up the dripline holes?”

I think he is right. So the plan has changed.

 

The Current Plan
  • set up the reservoir, as a bench, by the blueberries (and tomatoes)
  • connect it to a downspout
  • if it works really well I can add a second reservoir
  • the “grey water” would be used for plants close by and maybe I can still rig up a “trailer” idea for plants far from the house

We now have to build a bench to hold the reservoir and dig a little trench to the house, to bury the hose.

Updates to the Project
August 13/12
We now have the reservoir set up and full of water. (Of course we are now getting lots of rain and I won’t need it but next year it will be a treasure)

Picture 2: the rainwater diverter on a downspout at the house. Water is diverted to a rainbarrel.
Picture 3: water is directed through the rainbarrel and out the garden hose at the bottom. Once the reservoir is full the hose can be shut off and the rainbarrel filled.
Picture 4: the reservoir “bench
Picture 5: although you can’t really see it because of the plants, the bottom tubes are the connections to the incoming garden hose on one side and to the driplines. On the top, the white hose, is the overflow. When the reservoir is full the water must drain out as fast as it is going in or the the plastic bladder will explode apparently.
Picture 6: The reservoir, full of water. 65 gallons of water.

I haven’t set up the driplines because I would just have to take it all apart to store it for the winter, without having needed it. So that will have to wait until next year.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

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15 comments so far

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

882 posts in 1674 days
hardiness zone 4a

posted 736 days ago

Yeah! for additional water storage – soon this will not even be a good idea but as you said, a critical necessity if summers keep going like this – well, the predictions are that this is just the beginning and it will get worse and worse for decades to come even if we were to totally eliminate all emissions today

but Boo! for more plastic!

Out with the big guns against plastic – watch these:
http://plasticshoresfilm.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMCkir9PSpw&feature=fvwrel

What are the alternatives?
Recycled food barrels
Wood barrels
Wood storage tanks
Concrete/stone cisterns – like the Romans

-- Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. - Thoreau

View mmh's profile

mmh

332 posts in 2105 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 736 days ago

You could use a tub of coarse sand or gravel as a filter to catch the sediment from your grey water. Use an old laundry tub supported on some cinder blocks, then half fill with gravel (put a screen/mesh to keep drain unclogged and filter material in place.) then the water can drip down into a hose or other water container for storage/use.

-- A weed is a plant that is growing where it was not purposefully placed by human hands.

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2206 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 736 days ago

A great idea, mmh. Grey water is okay for plants. I am worried about hair gel or the conditioner that my wife uses. Me, I just use a little bit of shampoo every second day. .... not much residue there other than hair falling out …. and there is not much of that left either. LOL

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 735 days ago

a good idea Mmh.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 735 days ago

I found this video. I should be able to rig something up using the rainbarrel that currently catches the grey water.
I wonder what the “winterizing” requirements would be? (LINK)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View jroot's profile

jroot

5047 posts in 2206 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 735 days ago

You would have to have the lower valve opened in the fall to drain the water away, else the ice formed therein would expand and crack the reservoir. This same valve could be opened to flush the reservoir every once in a while as well.

Of course, with the granular material, the amount of storage would be compromised, however. Another interesting idea.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View Enoelf's profile

Enoelf

45 posts in 842 days
hardiness zone 6a

posted 735 days ago

After watching the video, there might be an issue with chlorinated water. I am thinking that the chlorine might be in a high enough concentration to kill the beneficial bacteria in the filter. I would suggest a two-stage process of storing the gray water in a holding tank that would allow the chlorine to evaporate off, then pass it through the biological filter to remove the rest of the impurities. I did a few searches and there is conflicting information on whether or not water supplies contain chlorine, or chloramine. Chlorine generally evaporates off in about 24 hours, Chloramine is more tenacious.
Not sure if it is actually an issue, but just thinking out loud.
I added a rain collection barrel at my place and it worked so well that I am trying to find a way to create additional rainwater storage at an extremely low cost.

-- I don't know if it'll work...Let's try it and see!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 735 days ago

good thought.
I have well water so that isn’t an issue for me.

What I really like about this system (not necessarily this product) is that it fills from the bottom, allowing the storage to be turned into a seating area (or whatever).

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View captferd's profile

captferd

27 posts in 747 days
hardiness zone 6b

posted 725 days ago

Ive seen a simular system with underground feeder pipes to the plants. Works really well. Cant wait to see the rest.

-- Ever notice how advise come from those who never done it?

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 720 days ago

I might have to set it up .. just so I can post pictures.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3803 posts in 2206 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 720 days ago

I’m following this project, MsDeb, to see how it works out for you.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 719 days ago

we have had to do some brainstorming.
Next year we will be looking at the filtration system for the grey water so for now we decided to hook it up to a downspout.

We purchased a downspout diverter from Canadian Tire. (The first one we bought was from Lee Valley and we like it but on occasion it gets clogged with leaves etc.) This new one has a door so you can clean it out as needed. Nice.
Except—you can’t connect a garden hose to it like you can with the LeeValley one.

So, after lots of different ideas floated around we decided to move one of our rainbarrels and the diverter now drains into the rainbarrel and the garden hose is hooked up to the drain of the rain barrel. This then is connected to the reservoir.

Now we have to wait for the rain to fill up the reservoir.

I was going to hook up the dripline system just so I can take pictures etc but it seems rather silly to go to all that work when it looks like we are not going to need to water the tomatoes for the rest of the season. (They survived the drought with no problem and now we are having rain quite frequently.)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 718 days ago

Aug. 13/12: I’ve updated the posting with more pictures.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3803 posts in 2206 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 717 days ago

With all this rain, you won’t have to wait long…..lol. How’s it doing?

BTW, I meant to say also…..Good Job!!

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14677 posts in 2576 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 717 days ago

thanks :)

reservoir: full
rain barrel: full

so if we happen to go into another dry spell my tomatoes will be happy campers :D

And I should say re: the Lee Valley diverter vs the Canadian Tire one, the Canadian tire one uses a 1” hose to connect to the rain barrel so it doesn’t take long for the barrel to fill up.
The Lee Valley one uses a garden hose so it only gets some of the rain water coming from the eavestrough. The 1” hose is much more efficient at gathering the rain.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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