Water is an extremely precious natural resource and by not collecting rain water when it’s available you are letting it go to waste, especially if you have a large exterior space around your premises. You could be saving hundreds in cash every year, and do good by the environment, by collecting rain water from around your business premises whenever it storms. Setting up your own rain water system is relatively inexpensive and you’ll get the satisfaction of making your business just a little bit greener by installing one.
You can easily find and buy a water storage barrel online, and you don’t really have to spend that much money on one if you don’t want to. In fact, you could even get one from a company that uses barrels to store materials or merchandise – saving you further money and you’d be recycling something too. However, make sure that the barrel never contained oil or toxic chemicals of any kind and be sure to clean it thoroughly before using it. Getting multiple barrels is best and you should try to find barrels that can hold between 30-50 gallons of water if possible. You could also connect these multiple barrels to make the part of the same water collection system if you choose.
Obtaining supplies for your system
There are several things you will need to develop your rain water system. Nearly all of these supplies can be found at your local hardware store without difficulty, and of course you can order these materials online as well. You can find more information here on the various types of fixtures and fittings required. You’ll also need to create a filtering mechanism to keep out bugs, leaves and debris to stop them from contaminating your water supply. You should also prop your barrels up from level ground using concrete blocks.
Setting up your rain barrel platform for collection
You will need to start by levelling the area next to your downspout if it is not level and flat already. The downspout is the metal or sometimes plastic tubing that runs from your rooftop gutters to the ground below. You’ll be redirecting the downspout into your initial rain water barrel, which is why placement of the platform next to the downspout will be important. Make sure you clear away all debris and that you are levelling enough space for the number of rain collection barrels you will be using.
Completing the system
To complete the system you will need to drill the appropriate holes into the barrels for the spigot as well as the overflow valves. Drill a hole near the bottom of the barrel, but make it high enough up from the ground to easily place a jug or bucket underneath. This is where you will be attaching the spigot and coupling. You will also want to make sure you use caulk around both sides of the barrels where you create these holes. For your overflow valves make a hole a few inches from the top of the barrel.
You will need to decide where you will connect the downspout elbow; the easiest way is setting the barrel on the platform next to the downspout. Make sure it is close enough to the downspout so you can connect it with the downspout elbow later. You’ll need the downspout elbow to connect directly to the downspout so water will flow into your rain collection barrel. With a hacksaw cut the downspout at the point where it would need to connect to the downspout elbow. Connect the elbow to the downspout and then fasten it in place tightly with screws. If you are using a barrel with a lid, cut a hole into the lid that will fit the bottom of the downspout elbow. Next connect a length of hose to the overflow barrels and you are done.
Setting up a rain water system like this helps you conserve water, help the environment and save money, at little cost to yourself aside from some time and effort.