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How to build a rainwater harvesting system

How to build a rainwater harvesting system

Got supplies of barrels for rainwater

Find a barrel that you can store water with. It could be a large garbage can that is no longer used, or one that has been used to store food and other products (not chemicals or oil). It is important to clean it thoroughly before you start using it. If possible, it should have a capacity of between 100 and 200 liters of water.

You can connect several containers to each other, to collect more water at the same time.

Gather the extra supplies to turn your keg into a water collection system. You can get them in hardware stores or garden houses:
- 1 standard 2.5 cm hose wrench with 1.8 cm pipe threads, so you can get the water out of the barrel.
- 1 joint of 1.8 cm x 1.8 cm
- 1 hub of 1.8 cm x 1.8 cm
- 1.8 cm pipe thread with adapter for 2.5 cm hose
- 1 1.8 cm locknut
- 4 metal washers.
- 1 roll of Teflon tape
- 1 silicone sealant tube
- 1 "S" shaped downspout elbow, to pass the water from the downspout to the rain barrel.
- 1 aluminum mosquito net to prevent leaves, insects and other debris from falling into the water.
- 4 to 6 cement blocks

Setting up the platform for the barrels


1. Flatten the area next to the downspout. Reorient the downspout (the metal or plastic pipe that runs from the roof gutters to the floor) toward your barrel. You will have to prepare a platform in the space that your barrels will occupy.
If your home has more than one downspout, choose the one closest to the garden so you don't have to move the water when using it.

2. Create a layer of gravel. If your downspout empties into a dirt or grass surface, dig a rectangle 13 cm deep in the area that you flattened for the barrels, and fill it with 12 cm of gravel. This will allow for better drainage around the barrels.

3. Stack cinder blocks on top of the gravel. Stack them to create a raised platform for your barrels. The finished platform should be spacious enough to hold all of your kegs and be at the same height. Make sure it is stable, so the kegs don't tip over.

Add the faucet and the drain valve

1. Cut a hole in the barrel to fit the key. The standard size is 1.8 cm in diameter, but make sure it is the one of the key you are going to use. Drill high enough that a bucket or bottle can then go in to get the water.

2. Add sealant to the edge of the hole, both inside and outside the barrel.

3. Place the key. I joined the gasket and the faucet, adding Teflon tape to wrap around the threaded edges for a tighter seal that prevents water from dripping.
Add a washer to the threaded edge of the gasket and insert it into the hole in the barrel from the outside. Add another washer over the tube from the inside and put the bushing in to hold the key in place.

4. Add a drain valve. Drill another hole a few inches from the top of the barrel and add a hose adapter the same way you attached the wrench.

The collection system

1. Connect an elbow to the downspout to attach it to the barrel. Make sure the bottom edge of the elbow can be embedded in the barrel cap. Otherwise the water coming from the downspout would be filtered.

2. Cover the area around the hole you made in the lid with the metal screen.

3. Put a filter on top of the downspout so leaves and other debris don't get in and clog your system.

That's all, you can start collecting rainwater and store it for other uses that are not for personal consumption.

With information from:


Video: Tour of my DIY Rain Harvesting System. Perfect for beginners - My Renewable Life (August 2021).