My water catchment system is full again and catches water from every rain, but there are still a few tweaks to be made. I thought I had a rock solid water catchment design, but discovered a few issues that need to be resolved. The issues to be addressed include water sitting on top of the IBC totes now due to the plastic covering, plumbing too small for overflow, and a system to check the water level. Please visit our YouTube channel, as we now have a playlist with all of our Rainwater Harvesting Video Systems in one place.
The first issue to be addressed is water sitting on top of the IBC totes. I added the black plastic to prevent the water inside the tote from building up with algae. I now have an issue with water sitting stagnate on top of the IBC totes. I need to resolve this issue so that I do not breed mosquitos and other bugs there. I don’t have a fix in mind for this yet, so if anyone out there has a suggestion, please pass it along in the comments. One friend did suggest putting a baby swim inner-tube on top of the totes to force the water off. That may work.
One of the things I have been thinking about is water capacity and the ability to handle the amount of water I will get during thunder storms and large rainwater events. Right now I have a 3” PVC pipes filling each side of my system. Each IBC tote only has a 2” egress drain valve. Right now I have the two systems connected together with a 2” PVC pipe and the overflow pipe connected with a 2” pipe. I have no choice on the two-inch pipe coming out of the IBC totes, but where I tie the two sides together and the overflow system I do have a choice. Instead of doing 2+2=2 math, I’m going to tie each of the two inch sides together into a 4” pipe and use a 4” pipe for the overflow.
Checking the Water Level
In my last post I talked about using a clear PVC in the overflow system to see the water level. I have decided against that especially since I am moving to a 4” PVC overflow system. As neat and clean as the clear PVC would be, it would cost $117 for a five-foot section of 4” clear PVC and would likely cost another $70 for shipping.
So instead of going to that expense, I just used a hose fitting with a ½” nipple on the end and then bought some cheap ½” clear tubing from Lowes. Each of the water catchment systems has a hose connection on it, so I will simply add a “Y” hose connector and to them and then hook this hose nipple with clear tubing up, run the tubing up to the top of the IBC tote and it will tell me how much water is in the system.
Below is a YouTube video titled “More Water Catchment Lessons Learned”. Please view it for a visual of what I talked about above.