About gDonna
The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

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Our Rain Barrel System

November 29, 2011
Collecting rainwater
This has taken a bit of work.  We did everything wrong before we could get it right and it takes a lot of tweaking as we go.  Rain barrels require maintenance and you must keep screens on all parts to prevent mosquito's.  The screens need to be cleaned often during rain/storms.
The filter system was difficult because we live under trees so we had to do more with our first flush and add a second flush.  The main thing is that it works and stores rainwater to use during our dry spells.  A very important thing to remember, no matter how clear your water looks, do not drink Rain water, it must be purified before drinking.
We placed our rainbarrels at the back of our carport and placed a fence in front to hide the barrels from view.  We ended up moving the system several times before we realized that we needed to have it all together and in a place easy to tweek parts during a rain storm. We named all the barrels after meteorologist so when it was raining we could say, Oscar is 3/4 full or we need to change the filter in Connor.
This is our pipe that goes into our first screened intake barrel.  This does not fill up until the first and second flush are full.  This 18 gallon barrel is only used as a filter.
The 18 gallon barrel then flows into four 55 gallon barrels.  All barrels have screens to prevent mosquito's.
This is the first flush, it comes all the way from behind the 18 gallon barrel and winds about, then the second flush is on the other side of the 18 gallon barrel doing the same thing.  These first flush pipes catch leaves and trash from the roof. 
The small blue barrel sitting on the ground in front of the middle of all these barrels is a sand filter that we are currently working on.  We are trying to filter the water for our vegetables but at this time we only use our rainwater for flowers, grass, washing the cars, etc.
Something I forgot to include, is that we have overflow pipes that run off to our side yard, keeping the water away from the house.  This is a very important thing to remember when you are placing your rainbarrel system.  You need to try and get the water away from your house.
I will do another page on the sand filter when we have worked out all the complications. Even after filtering roof rainwater you should not drink it.  You must have your water tested to see might be lurking in the water.  There is a lot more to catching rainwater than we ever knew and found that there are many bad bugs that can be in that water.  Talk to your county extension office and find out as much as you can about how to treat the rainwater after you have collected the water.  The water inside your water barrel can get very dirty/germy/moldy/downright ucky if you don't know what to do after you catch it.  This is just a word of caution.
This is where it all started, we bought used food grade 55 gallon drums.
Drilled holes in the bottom to add faucets.
Some of the many parts
Installed the faucets
This was a mess, no first flush, the run off pipes were always in the way and it simply did not look good in the back yard.
This did not work, the first flush was all over the place, it looked bad in was and eye sore in the back yard and everything was too close to the house.
This was better.  This barrel was off a shed, still did not have a first flush which we found was very important.
Again, this is why we put them all together and out of sight.  We do have one more off a shed and works well.  It catches very clear water and not a lot of leaves to deal with like off our house roof.  This system works for us because it is away from the foundation of our house, the run off goes to the proper places and there is nothing to trip over.  We get a lot of water off our roof and these barrels provide us with much needed rainwater during a dry spell.
Once again we made a change.  We moved all the barrels to a back corner of the carport area.  We enclosed this area with privacy fencing and built composting bins across from the barrels.  We connected each barrel at the bottom so now when the main barrel recieves the rain they all fill at the same time.
We have added some of the red wigglers to these composting bins and feed them table scraps.  They are multiplying very well here.  We can water them easily since the rain barrels are sitting across from the bins.
We have made this small space as usable as we can.  This is the back of a small work shed to the right and we put a clothesline here in this very private area with the composting bins and rain barrels at the end of this area.  There are paths all the way around this work shed that leads to the main back yard.
Above the rain barrels and compost bins we built a frame and put shade cloth because we live in a very hot climate.  This photo was taken at day break so it is very dark.
REMEMBER, Do not drink rainwater.........It must be purified

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