Adding rain water collection systems are a great idea for preppers and homesteaders that want an alternate water resource. Rain barrels are the most popular way of storing water and work great for gardens that aren’t near a well water source. Your water storage container works best in an elevated position so you can use gravity to provide adequate pressure for watering gardens or for indoor water use. If you don’t have a way to raise the barrel high enough to utilize gravity, you can always use a solar powered water pump.
In some states collecting rainwater is illegal, however in some states it’s perfectly legal and encouraged. Do your homework and check with your local officials to make sure.
When collecting rainwater, some things need to be considered. If you’re in a colder climate, you will need to bury your water storage tank, especially if it’s water you depend on using. If it’s a backup source, it’s probably not as important to have it buried unless it’s a more expensive tank and don’t want it to ice over and bust.
If you’re in a warmer climate, you don’t have to pay the extra money for excavation costs to dig a hole for the storage tank. You can simply have it on a platform outside your home and either use gravity as mentioned earlier, or you can use a pump to if you need adequate pressure. It just depends on your use.
If you plan on using this water in your home and have it connected to your in-house plumbing, you should have some sort of filtration or purification device either filtering all incoming water or at least have a reverse osmosis unit under your sinks for the water you drink and cook with. You don’t have to purify the water for washing clothes or showers – simply adding some clorox periodically to your tank will help keep bacteria at bay. Now, at the entrance of your tank from the gutter you will want some sort of screen filter to keep sediment out.
It’s really as simple as that, and as long as it rains or snows you can have your own self supply of water without all the fluoride that municipal water tends to give you. Below are some cool ideas on how to setup your rain barrel or water storage system.
This is a more modern looking rain barrel with the valved spigot at the base.
This cylinder shaped rain barrel is attached at the side use the gutters from the house. It’s elevated on a stand to allow for maximum water pressure using gravity.
This cheaper edition of a rain barrel is connected directly to the rain gutter using a trash can as the storage device.
Here’s another trash can rain barrel system using two connected together for double the water capacity storage.
A trio of food grade storage containers connected with hose to triple the capacity hoisted up on concrete blocks for more pressure via gravity.
This daisy chained alignment of trash cans makes for a very large amount of storage capacity connected directly to the gutters. They are elevated once again for water pressure.
This is a different design using a vertical stacking of food grade containers daisy chained in a wooden rack with the spigot located at the bottom for max pressure.
Another trio of food barrels, most likely pickle barrels.
This is an innovative diagram on how to setup a 2 barrel system with PVC with a built-in overflow system that released the water from beneath the barrels.
This shows a very high capacity dual rain storage system in metal cylinders.
If you’re into the whole blending in the environment deal, this rock acts as a disguised barrel.
This is a very cool butterfly setup that can be constructed fairly cheap using slanted roof lines with the water draining to the center toward the barrel beneath.
This is a typical store bought barrel if you’re into aesthetics.
Another set of elevated food grade barrels that are great for storing water and fairly cheap – just needs to be hooked up to the gutters!
Another metal, modern looking rain water storage container with connecting PVC from the roof line gutter system.