More Valuable Rain Water Harvesting Lessons Learned to Teach All post outlines some of the mistakes I made. The accompanying video covers how to properly bend downspouts, sizing of the first flush system drainage holes. It also covers moving water away from structures, use extra glue on your first flush system. The video goes on to design an overflow mechanism into your system, paint the totes black, and put bigger holes in the IBC Tote caps.
The YouTube does a better job of explaining the issues I ran into and what I did to fix them. I will explain what I can here to the best of my ability. But I would highly recommend checking out the Great Escape Farms YouTube Channel.
Now on to Rain Water Harvesting Lessons Learned!
For bending the downspouts, I learned that if you bend the corners in opposite directions, it allows one piece of downspout to easily fit into another.
The sizing of the first flush system drainage holes is crucial. If the holes are too large, they let too much water out and it takes longer to fill your catchment system up. If the holes are too small, they will clog and your first flush system will not work at all and will allow all of the garbage to go into the totes.
Moving water away from your structures or buildings is to keep them from flooding out. I used a small plastic hose to move the first flush drainage water away from my garage.
For me, one out of three first flush systems leaked at the bottom joint. This is because I only put glue on one side of the joint. The joints fit very loosely on the PVC pipe, so use glue on both pieces.
Overflow, Algae and More
You need to design an overflow mechanism into your system or the water will just dump out right where the tank is once it fills up. I ran a PVC pipe from the drain up to the top, did a U-turn at the level I wanted the water and then went back down. Make sure to drill some holes at the point of the U-turn on the top side to you don’t create a siphon.
Make sure you paint the totes black or cover it with something. If you don’t it will fill with algae and could clog your hoses.
The last item is to put bigger holes in the IBC Tote caps. Two of my IBC totes have caps on them and only fill from the bottom 2″ PVC. You need to have holes in the cap so pressure doesn’t build up. I needed to make my holes bigger because they were not big enough to support the size plumbing I had hooked up to it.
The two posts of putting these systems together can be seen at:
Check out the embedded YouTube video below:
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