Rain Water Collection / Filtration / Storage System Howto





Introduction: Rain Water Collection / Filtration / Storage System Howto

This video shows a 300 gallon system to store water that is scalable using 55 gallon plastic drums and inexpensive components. Should be enough information for you to take from it what you need and make your own version. Hope it is helpful!



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    This looks like a really complex water collection cum filtration system and I bet it must have needed careful planning and hardwork to be achieved. Nevertheless, in response to all the commotion in the comments section, I guess different states have varying laws regarding rainwater. I heard some countries prohibit collecting it is simply because stagnant waters attract insects that could spread diseases.

    its very nice system pls share the pdf on mahesh.gan.143@gmail.com

    um... ya only in colorado... forgot to mention that... :/

    1 reply

    Please PROVE your Illegal to collect rain water-------------anywhere DARE YOU !!!!!!~

    i think in peru, is ilegal collect rain water. not at water privatization! (sorry for my bad english :P )

    I love your invention but did you know its illegal to collect rain water

    5 replies

    i dont know where you live but in the usa rain water is still free about the only free thing but that is

    I live in NY state, USA, and I have never heard of it being illegal to collect rain water. Would be interesting to hear your take on this, perhaps you can provide details for the community in case there are areas where this is of concern. If for some reason it is illegal here, then I will have to be a criminal since I need to grow food for my family.

    I moved to colorado about 18 yrs ago anf ound out til recently it was illegal to save rain water do to water rights being sold to california. now you can collect if you meet certain requirements not sure what those are yet but will check into it since I would really like to set up one of your systems.

    HOLY crackers! It's illegal here?! I was going to create a rain barrel for my garden. Maybe I can do it without anyone knowing. *shifty eyes*

    don't worry over on the east coast we're fine, its the west coast that always has problems with rain.

    great idea, but in my country raining dust only :P

    How do you prevent algae from growing in the drums?

    1 reply

    Well, they are on the north side of the building which helps a lot, it's the direct sunlight that seems to really stimulate growth.
    I'd think that if you used blue/opaque barrels instead of the white that would help, or perhaps put either a roof over the whole affair or put a tarp over all of it, that would help.
    Personally, as long as the algae doesn't clog the lines, I wouldn't care since it's a great source of plant nutrient...

     People advertise on my local Craiglist Farm & Garden section 55gallon food-grade drums for $2-5 all the time.  Multiple different people scattered around town but all within that range.  Could've bought all those barrels for what you paid for one.   Or what you paid for two could've covered the whole project?  great job!   awesome ideas here!

    Hey, I like it! I have a similar setup, here's a couple things I've learned. You may need to open the bungs a bit more, or drill a couple air relief holes so that your barrels equalize faster, or a big rain will overload your first barrel. Also, consider painting the barrels; the white ones let enough sunlite in so that algae will grow, cake up on the sides and clog your lines. (been there, done that). Oh yeah, gravity is not enough pressure for a standard woven soaker hose to work well--dunno what your "drip tape" is like, but I use an old hose with small holes drilled along it--that worked. Good job!

    3 replies

    I think your setup is one of the most efficient ($) at hooking barrels together.  This one is similarly efficient, but gives 6 foot of water pressure when full:


    Thanks for your response... Neat to hear you did something similar and your notes make a lot of sense. I'm seeing that equalization is taking a lot longer than I'd have expected. The top bungs are all loose, but some sort of breather on them seems in order. I have them on the north side of my garage, which gets very little direct light, but am thinking about putting an opaque tarp over the whole thing, and getting only blue barrels in the future. I was finding that today I was getting a flow rate of around 4 gallons a minute with them at half capacity, which is enough for my purposes for sure. Maybe you have some photos to share with all of us of what you've set up? Best

    I haven't measured my flowrate, but I would guess close to the same. The problem I had is that with simple gravity pressure, a soaker hose designed to "weep" thru its woven fabric won't weep much, if at all. Heck, it won't even fill enough to un-kink. Currently I have 3 50 gal. barrels linked in series using standard drain faucets, 2 way splitters, and short garden hose "jumpers" cut from old hoses. The barrels are raised on cinder blocks, and the ground slopes gently down to the gardens. I would estimate that my garden ground level ranges from 2-3' below the bottom of the barrels, and that is not enough to use the woven soakerhose. One of the barrels is white, like yours, the others are blue. The white one is always full of green slime despite being on the north side of the house. The tarp idea should work, but be sure to secure it well against wind, watch for puddling on the tarp especially in the "valleys" between barrels, (mosquito heaven) and bee/wasp nests underneath. The dark colored barrels would be the best long term solution. Will try to get some pics soon. Keep it up!

    This is awesome! Very simple and very effective I imagine. I can't wait to get back into a house to be able to do this!