Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 3 is the third in a multipart series on upgrading my rainwater harvesting system from 1200 gallons to 4500 gallons. This video shows the lower half of the plumbing.
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There is plumbing on the upper side of the water storage tanks and on the lower side. The upper side filters all of the debris and particles out before the water goes into the tanks. We will discuss the upper side plumbing in Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4. Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 3, this post, is going to talk about the plumbing on the lower side of the water storage tanks. This plumbing is what connects the water storage tanks together and accounts for an excess of rainfall and gives us a way to drain the system to prepare for winters freezing temperatures.
The far back end of the system has a 2-inch pipe that is capped off. This capped off piece is reserved for a future third 1550-gallon water storage tank. The way the system is put together, I can simply shut off the valves on each of the other tanks, drain the ten to twelve gallons of water in the pipes, and then cut the cap off and add the new tank in.
Plumbing to the Tanks
Each of the tanks connect to a quick disconnect and a ball valve to shut the water off. This will allow me to take each individual tank out of the system for maintenance. The quick disconnect and ball valves were picked up from Lowe’s and are the same ones you pick up for pools.
2 to 4 Inch
Each side of the garage feeds into a water storage tank and comes out with a 2” pipe as discussed above. We connect the two tanks together in the middle with a 4” pipe. This is done so we can handle downpours.
In the center of the four-inch pipe is a “T” that runs off as a 2” pipe with a ball valve on it. This section was designed to be the lowest point in the system and is used to drain the system for winter. In normal summer operations, the ball valve will remain closed. This drain is dumping into an area that I plan on putting a swale in sometime in the future.
In order to handle overflow so the water doesn’t just dump out of the tanks, we’ve designed a system to handle divert the overflow into our future swale. The system is basically two vertical pipes with a “U” turn on top. The height of the “U” turn is designed such that it will drain the water just before the tank is completely full and overflowing.
There are holes drilled in the very top of the “U” turn to prevent a syphon from sucking all of the water out of the tanks.
The water then goes from the 4” pipe, is converted to a 2” pipe and feeds into our water pump. Many people can just use gravity feed to use their water, but I need pressure to feed a mist irrigation system, so I’m feeding a water pump to pressurize the water to 40PSI.
Keep an eye out next week for the Large Rainwater Harvesting System Upgrade part 4, where we will cover the top side plumbing.
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