>Photo Gallery - Page 2

This is a continuation of the Photo Gallery (Page 1)

Rainwater Catchment and Storage

Temporary catchment and barrels

My first rainwater system was temporary, made from plastic tarps and barrels.

One tarp was 10' x 20', and I used three tarps.

Temporary catchment both tarp placements

Here are the other two tarps placed together - the tarp in the background was shown above.

The tarps are plumbed together - water from the upper two tarps drains to the lower tarp.

Temporary catchment drain from PVC This improvised drain, made from PVC fittings, carries water from all three tarps through a burried pipe to four 55-gallon barrels below.
Temporary catchment barrels linked together

The pipe rises from underground and feeds each barrel. When one barrel fills, water then fills the second, and so on.

The fourth barrel was covered with a piece of bed sheet to keep the water clean and even filter water from the pipe. 

First catchment surface preparation

The first permanent rain catchment was made on my property's upper boundary.

After clearing rocks and debris, I sifted soil and spread it with a trowel on the rough surface to make it smooth.

Begin drain on first catchment This 2" pipe goes to one 1100-gallon tank. I'm spraying water on the place where I will make a drain from concrete and stones.
Making drain on first catchment I built a ring of stones around the PVC drain I made from a pipe cap and elbow, held together with concrete. Then I cover with more stones and more concrete to build up a 'bowl' around the drain, to prevent flash flood water from overflowing it.
Drain almost done on first catchment

Here, the drain is nearing completion. From here, I begin the process of surfacing the catchment.

I prepared the surface, laid chicken wire and spread concrete made using water from the temporary catchment system shown above.


Extending first catchment temporarily with large tarp This is a view from above the first catchment. Rain was expected, so I cleared some rocks above the catchment and laid a large tarp to catch more rain.
Catchment 2 before complete clearing and raking

Rain catchment 2 was made in the same area as the temporary catchment above. Since two large areas had been cleared for the tarps, I decided to extend that area to make a larger catchment.

Here, I have removed rocks and dead wood. I have not yeat decided about removing live plants, always hard for me to do. Ultimately, I decided to clear the area of everything - plants contribute too much debris to the water, attract animals which leave droppings, and so on.

Catchment 2 cleared and raked smooth

Looking from the top of the catchment, it has been cleared and raked.

The original four blue barrels are still in the same place after two years. In that place will soon come a large water tank, holding 1500 gallons. 

Catchment 2 raked and pipe laid up to it from tank Looking up at the cleared and raked catchment from below, showing the newly-laid 2" PVC pipe which will carry water from the catchment to the storage tank.
Catchment 2 begin resurface with concrete

The original surface of this catchment was exterior paint, but I was not pleased with the water quality, so I decided to resurface the 1260-square foot catchment with a thin layer of concrete.

Here, I have done three sections, two are covered with plastic to let them cure hard.

Cathcment 2 resurfacing with concrete completed

Again from above, I am completing the resurfacing.

Water quality now is excellent.

1500-gallon tank connected to catchment 2

The 1500-gallon water tank which receives water from the large catchment.

The catchment produces about 700 gallons of water for every 1" of rain (actually about 750, but some is absorbed by the concrete).

If it rains only 2.5", this tank will begin to overflow. So I am planning a second large tank next to this one. 

Two 1100-gallon tanks store water from catchment 1

These are the two 1100-gallon tanks which store water from catchment 1, about 500 square feet.

They are plumbed together, so that either tank can be used to supply the house below.


Seen from below, a 2" PVC pipe to the house is laid in a trench and burried.

Using a large pipe reduces friction and allows a good flow of water, especially if needed for fighting fire.

So, how did I get these three tanks up to my property?

Rolling first tank on river bed

I rolled the first one down a dry river bed about half a mile, then another two miles up my wash to my land.

But is was not all easy rolling. As soon as I got into my wash, I faced huge boulders, waterfalls.. it was an adventure.

Pushing water tank up water fall

One of the water falls I had to get the tanks over. This one is about 9' of granite. The tank weighs about 150 lbs ( the large one 200 lbs).


Pulling tank over fall from top with ropes

Seen from above the fall, I'm using ropes and pulleys to get the tank over the 'hump' at the top of the granite face.


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