Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Saving Rain Water

Visitor to Anne's Hydrangia

 Right now I am watching a beautiful sunset.  As I sit taking in the grandeur all around me, I recall earlier today, we received about 1/10th of an inch of rain.  It was not a lot, but it was helpful for our crops and greenery.  Along with a previous rain, I am now starting to see life returning to our area after having a long drought.

Wild flowers near our home.
Today, Anne and I went on a local garden tour.  In one presentation, we learned about how an individual collects rainwater for his garden and greenery.  He bought 6 – 55 gallon plastic barrels and connected them in a series to one of his rainwater downspouts.  He had put two screens, one in the rain gutter, and the other in the downspout to filter the water before entering his barrels.  After connecting them together on the bottom of each barrel with ¾” pvc pipe, he installed a tee in the middle of the plumbing, which had two shutoffs in the line.  One was made from pvc and the other of brass.  The brass shutoff was connected to his garden hose.  Something else of note was that he put a pvc vent into the top of each barrel.  This allowed for air to access each container when filling and draining. 
Kelly hunting from our Silver Maple.

Something that I also learned that was of interest, was the amount of water a person can collect in a short time from rainwater.   If you have a 1000 sq. foot roof when receiving around 1 inch of rain, it will provide about 600 gallons of rainwater.  I was even more surprised to learn that not only will this system save money on one’s water bill, it will also save on your sewer bill as well.  I understand from this gentleman that our city’s sewer bill is rated on the amount of water we consume each month.  The city figures that if you consume more water, obviously you will also put that same water in the drain, thus receiving a larger sewer bill.  Obviously then, if one wants to save on your water bill by using rainwater, you can also save on your sewer bill as well. 

Twins visiting our meadow this week where they were born.
This gentleman also related that your greenery would receive no damage from using rainwater.  Conversely, by using city water, greenery can be damaged by the chemicals that is applied to the drinkable water in cleansing it for human consumption (fluoride, etc.)  I was also surprised by the results of his calculations concerning water consumption.  In figuring the amount of rain barrels needed for your garden, he told us that a garden hose allows for 10 gallons to pass through it per minute, and so with one hour of normal watering, it equates to 600 gallons.  It then is easy to understand why we have a large water bill for our home. 

Downy Woodpecker eating off of a Century Plant by our home.
I know for a fact that buying rain barrels can be expensive if you purchase them from local hardware stores and chain stores.  For myself, I bought two half barrels from a hardware chain and they were relatively expensive.  I was surprised in how cheaply this gentleman spent in getting his rain barrels.  He said that he got them on Craig’s List for about $10 dollars apiece.  Since he wanted them to blend with his house, he then painted each barrel the same color as his home so they would be less noticeable to his neighbors. 

In figuring the strength of his stand, he calculated the weight of a gallon of water to that of around 8.345 pounds.  When his six barrels were filled, they would contain 2,754 pounds total.  With this amount of weight, one would want them to be well supported.  It appeared that he had 4 – 2” x 6” boards supporting the barrels on cement blocks which were supported by cement footings.  He fastened each barrel to the house to make it doubly safe from tipping.  Something that he mentioned,  the higher the barrels were from the ground, the more water pressure would be applied to the spray from the hose. 
Wild flower watered with treated drinking water.

All in all, I was very impressed with this gentleman’s presentation and with the work that he had accomplished.  With this being a dry year, saving water is paramount for us and for many people throughout the dry areas of the U.S.  We as a family are going to try this route, not only for savings, but for plant safety as well. 
Monarch visiting Anne's flowers yesterday.
By the way, his garden looked fantastic!