Introduction: Poorman´s Rainwater Collector

About: 4step instructables or your money back!

This instructable will show you how to make a rain-water collector to store the rain that falls on your roof, and the best part of it, I will tell you if it is useful or not :)

Every time it rains large quantities of water fall from the sky, this is obvious.. but even as obvious as it is, we just don't realize how much water can be stored for usage in summer months
Given a roof and a gutter in normal conditions, water will be directed to the drainage. So why don't we direct this stream to a storage tank or to our garden?

Step 1: Gather the Materials

You will need:

  • A roof
  • A roofgutter
  • A funnel (I did one myself with recycled materials, the construction will be depicted in the next step)
  • A hose
  • A storage tank

The tools:

  • A candle
  • A cooper pipe
  • Pliers
  • Scissors

Step 2: Construction

If you already have the funnel please, PLEASE, don´t read the next paragraph and jump to the next step (I´m just joking... you can laugh now)

To make a funnel we can use an empty big plastic bottle, cut it in half and there you already have a funnel !!. Place a cooper pipe above the tip of the flame, once the pipe is heated, make a hole thorough the center of the bottle´s plastic lid, with the help of the scissors widen the hole if needed, then pass a 1/2" threaded to hose PVC and adjust it with a male 1/2" female connector on the other extreme.

Step 3: Redirect the Water

You must get an appropiate tank to store water, and make shure it is placed in a location where the top of the tank is below the funnel. (This is because gravity and pressure will make all the work)

A funnel and a hose will redirect water from the roof to the tank

Connect the hose to your funnel and adjust it (I adjusted it with a wire, if you find it difficult to fit the hose to the funnel, heat the hose with the candle, but don´t burn it, and slide it as you rotate it gently with your hand...:) )

Connect the other end of the hose to the tank (or just place the hose on the top of the tank as I did because the tank´s connectors were rusted)

If your tank has a top lid it will avoid loss of water due to evaporation

Step 4: Final Touches

You may have a valve on your tank, or you may lose water faster than you can gather... ;)

I must admit before I made this collector, I tried filling the tank the old way by carrying water in that 7 liter bottle in the first picture of this step. This tank dimensions are roughly: 110x94x54cm.

Elementary school question: How many times I would have had to fill the bottle (safely walk through my roof, and raise my water bill) in order to fill this tank? Answer: 80 times, this tank´s capacity = 558360 cubic centimeters! (that is 558,36 liters)

Another question, how much time it took for the collector to fill this tank? Answer: two days of moderate to heavy rain. (That is a lot of water!, in fact make sure that you have drainage below your tank, because mine overflowed and flooded the floor, it took me like an hour or so to drain it! )

Final insight: a lot of water can be stored by collecting rain! I will use it to water a whole garden placed in my roof.

Moreover this system can be useful in emergency situations, my country (Ecuador) recently suffered from a huge 7,8 magnitude earthquake, and as I'm writing this I'm also volunteering to map the disaster area and coordinating with groups of good people. Water is critical for living and I'm pretending to distribute this information as a brochure and teach/design solutions in the affected areas where material from collapsed buildings (such as zinc rooftops, bottles, PVC plumbing ) can be used. I hope it will be useful for them and also for you!

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