water containment system

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Old 02-09-14, 11:06 AM
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water containment system

Was wondering if you guys could help me with designing a cheap water containment system for my cabin. It rains there a lot and Im tired of filling 55 gallon drums in town. I cut one drum lengthwise so Id like to use those the catch the water. Tie those 2 together and have them go to another drum. Problem is theres no gutters on the cabin and wont be. Just need some ideas on design, how to keep leaves out, and maybe a way to filter it. It gets pumped to the cabin to another tank. Will only be used for showers and dishes.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 03:18 PM
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Gutters would probably be the easiest and least expensive way to catch a usable amount of water. It's also commonly done so ways of filtering out leaves and other debris has already been figured out.

A couple barrels cut in half just don't have enough surface area to catch much rain. Think about the surface area of a cut drum and how much it would collect. You've got a collection area of about 22" by 33" per barrel. In a 1/2" rain storm you will get about 363 cubic inches of water per drum half which is only a bit more than a gallon. Over time it would add up but the roof is a much bigger collection area and has elevation which makes filtering out crud and transporting the water easier as you have gravity doing the work.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 04:43 PM
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Only problem is the roof collects tons of pine needles and not sure how I would put a gutter on the end of a tin roof.
 
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Old 02-09-14, 06:14 PM
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Gutters can be installed at the bottom of almost any roof. Once you have the water in a gutter & downspout leaves and other debris can be screened out. Pine needles are more difficult but it can be done. The good thing is that when starting on the roof you collect a lot of water and have a lot of fall to pass through multiple screens. Still, it always helps if the water is clean to begin with since screens and things usually require some amount of cleaning or maintenance to remove debris.

If the house is in a difficult location with trees overhead is there a shed or other building out in the open where you could collect water without so much debris?

The barrel idea is not silly. It's just a matter of area. In order to catch a usable amount of water you need a pretty big catch area. Maybe you could rig "sails" or tarps to catch more rain.
 
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