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 Post subject: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:34 pm 
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I'm thinking of getting a rain barrel but I'm really in no mood to divert spouts or really do any work beyond sitting it outside. Can you just plop a rain barrel in your backyard and let it catch the rain or does it have to be under a drain?

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:53 pm 
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I don't think you'd get enough rain falling in the top of the open barrel. Mine gets all the rain that falls on my whole roof, collected by the guttering and the downpipe, and I live in Rainy England - and still it rarely gets more than 3/4 full over the winter.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Diverting spouts isn't very hard if you don't need it to be done pretty. However I don't suggest it unless you have a metal roof. Roofing tiles are full of nasty chemicals.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:40 pm 
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I found this permaculture technique to have more potential than amassing rainbarrels. It's more work than just setting a rainbarrel out, though. In our area, we get no rain in the summer, so it's very difficult to store enough rainwater in barrels to last through the growing season.

Harvesting winter’s rain to keep summer’s soil moist
LINK: http://www.newsreview.com/chico/water-w ... id=4660357


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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:46 pm 
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my husband just finished setting up a rain barrel for our little vegetable garden today. i hadn't thought about the roof tile chemicals though :( hm...


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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:40 am 
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erynne936 wrote:
my husband just finished setting up a rain barrel for our little vegetable garden today. i hadn't thought about the roof tile chemicals though :( hm...

I'd definitely look into it. I did some googling and it seem like there are ways to filter it, like this website says: http://www.roofwaterharvesting.org/

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:20 am 
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I guess it would depend how new your roof is. The tiles on my roof have been up there for more than a hundred and fifty years. My plants also thrive on water from the condenser from the tumble dryer, which will have washing powder residue in it. I find it hard to believe that run off rainwater from a tiled roof would have any significant impact on plants.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:07 am 
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Ruby, my roof tiles here are ceramic, but in the US they often use a composite type of thing that is at the least heavily petrochemical.... treated for anti-fire with god knows what.... obviously, there is some geographic variation in roof tile making....

i will have to keep this article around. we've been talking about what to do with the new house and there will def be gardens, but our soil is mostly clay and we would probably end up with lots of saturation.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:08 am 
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I don't have tiles at all. I have that new material that kind of looks like wood but feel sandpapery, I have no idea what it's made of. I'm with Ruby Rose though I can't imagine anything in the water would be horrific for the plants. Surely it's better than the chlorinated water alternative.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:11 am 
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torque wrote:
Ruby, my roof tiles here are ceramic, but in the US they often use a composite type of thing that is at the least heavily petrochemical.... treated for anti-fire with god knows what.... obviously, there is some geographic variation in roof tile making....

i will have to keep this article around. we've been talking about what to do with the new house and there will def be gardens, but our soil is mostly clay and we would probably end up with lots of saturation.


I'm wondering if you deep garden boxes would help with the clay issue so the plants would be rooted in the compost soil rather than the clay.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:56 am 
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well, we will be making raised beds with soil from elsewhere... but the article's nice idea about making channels through the yard as opposed to rain barrel storage made me think that might be better. i suppose first things first we need to actually get into the house before we start worrying.

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:12 pm 
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We are in the process of making a system that I don't know if it will work or not, but its worth a try. The idea is to have a rain barrel, 250 gallons, under a downspout from the roof. That would be on a pallet about 3 ft above the ground. Then pipe or gutter will run to the field part of the yard where the plants are. The beds are all seperated and they are not in rows or anything, so we are digging little moats around each and putting edging around the sides to keep in the water. Then hopefully when it rains the water will fill the barrel and stay there, until we open the valve releasing it to the field, and it may flow into the moats and moisten the ground there, which the plants can use. Thats the idea, but right now just in the moat making stage, as haven't gotten the rain barrel yet. I'll report back, its kind of a major project.


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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:36 pm 
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GuineaPig wrote:
I don't have tiles at all. I have that new material that kind of looks like wood but feel sandpapery, I have no idea what it's made of. I'm with Ruby Rose though I can't imagine anything in the water would be horrific for the plants. Surely it's better than the chlorinated water alternative.

I'm pretty sure you mean asphalt, which is contains really nasty stuff in it. Especially new. If your roof is really over a certain age you should be fine. Anything within the last 40 years I really hope you won't trust! (unless of course, it's galvanized or enamel)

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 Post subject: Re: Rain Barrel Basics
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:18 pm 
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http://deepgreenpermaculture.com/diy-in ... ater-tank/ is a setup I came across recently

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