Rainwater Tote System Captures and Stores Water Affordably

Water conservation is an important part of managing our landand gardens here at White Oak Acres. I’ve been using make-shift 5-gallon buckets under ourpole barn roof system to collect water. But I’ve longed for a cistern or a real watercollection system but everything I found was financially out of our reach.
Finally I have an economical water collection system thatwill work for us. Our capture and store system is comprised of two, 275-gallonfood grade totes that capture the rain water that naturally falls onto our polebarn roof in the spring and fall months. This water is then collected andstored for later use during dry spells.
We set this up so that I can put a 5-gallon bucket under thevalue to get buckets worth of water for the chickens or turn on the pump andpump out a lot of water through the hose and onto the garden bed.
These totes can be found on Craig’s list and E-Bay and thereare numerous U-tube programs that tell how to connect and utilize them.
We get a fair amount of seasonal rains here in SW Michigan withlong periods of drought in between and I have wished for a way to capture thisprecious water.
The average annual rainfall in Michigan is typically 33.15inches which mostly arrive in the spring and in the fall. We, however, live ina pocket that is inland about 17 miles from Lake Michigan and all too often therain goes up an over us and while our neighboring communities get the rainfall,we often do not.
The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting droughty weather patternsin the Midwest this summer and I am happy to be pro-active and have some waterset aside in the case this does happen. No matter what Mother Nature gives us, thiscollected water will be used on thirsty vegetables, flowers and shrubs.
More details can be found on my blog at http://smallhouse underabigsky@wordpress.com
This is the completed rain water capture and storage system we installed at White Oak Acres this week.
Gene is connecting the downspout and flexible hose to the tote opening. This is how the water will be directed from the roof and into the totes.
A close up view of the PVC pipe and the metal turn-on and turn-off valve that allows the water to drain into a five-gallon bucket or through a hose.

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