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Rainwater harvesting

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Morning. 

Can so eone recommend a good downpipe diverter to collect water in a butt. I attached a BaQ based one and its terrible. I have two butts which I have under a car port which filled to the brim last night with all the rain. I was also able to divert water and fill my half empty wildlife pond. These butts are filled direct from the pipe.

I have two other butts which are attached to a downpipe diverter and its totally useless. It only trickles in and filled one butt to half.

Are there good ones out there?

 jon 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

We fitted one of these earlier this summer and I'm astonished at how efficient it is: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Graf-Rapido-503070-Collector-Downpipe/dp/B00BXZ4PUM It fills up a 300L tub in a few hours.

Our down pipe is 80mm so the 'collector' when inserted is continuous for the whole circumference of the pipe. I'd think if it were fitted into a 100mm dia pipe (which the manufacturer suggests), it might be slightly less efficient as there'd be a gap.

In reply to jon:

Cheers Jon. Im not sure my pipework would work with this?

 wintertree 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I use a “3P Filter Collector”.  Does what it says in the name, works well.  We got half a cm of rain, not the deluge I’d hoped for.

 jon 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Im not sure my pipework would work with this?

Square...?

 Dave Todd 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I've been using a 'Ward GN816' for a few years - works perfectly.  Round drainpipe.  As with all rain diverters it's worth spending a bit of time getting the level of the diverter (relative to the level of the water butt) accurately measured before cutting your downpipe!

 Tringa 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I use on like this - https://www.diy.com/departments/ward-rainwater-diverter-kit/792644_BQ.prd

Mine came a part of a kit of water butt, stand and diverter.

I fixed it to the downpipe yesterday as some much needed rain started and it worked a treat and collected about 50 litres of water. There wasn't enough rain for it to fill the butt so I don't yet know how it will perform when it has to re direct the flow down the drain.

Dave

 Dax H 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Can't help with diverter recommendations but on the pond filling,  we have 2 butt's,  one fills then the overflow is piped in to the second one,  once that is full its overflow is piped underground to the pond.  I also connected the valves at the bottom of the butts to the pond pipe so if I need to I can drain the butt's directly in to the pond as well.  I just fit secondary taps to the butt's for filling watering cans etc.

We prioritise the pond over the rest of the garden,  the grass can die,  the flowers can suffer because the wildlife in the pond will always come first. 

In reply to Dax H:

> Can't help with diverter recommendations but on the pond filling,  we have 2 butt's,  one fills then the overflow is piped in to the second one,  once that is full its overflow is piped underground to the pond.  I also connected the valves at the bottom of the butts to the pond pipe so if I need to I can drain the butt's directly in to the pond as well.  I just fit secondary taps to the butt's for filling watering cans etc.

> We prioritise the pond over the rest of the garden,  the grass can die,  the flowers can suffer because the wildlife in the pond will always come first. 

I do the same. I have 4 x 225 ltr butts and I connect the overflow on one under the car port then gets connected to the large pond 10ft across and a metre deep at the deepest - we have three.  This isnt diverted and fills from beneath a large area. Last night the pond, which was half full was completely filled, together with 500 ltrs for the butts - we had a lot of rain.

The two other butts, which are filled from the pitched garage roof and connected have a diverter, which is a Ward one as mentioned above. One butt filled to about 3/4s and the connected one therefore didn't get any.

I wonder if its just the diverters which are poor by design. They will never fill as fast as direct fill, I was just hoping for better.

Good to hear that I'm not the only water saving freak. 

Another top tip (apart from don't leave the tap on whilst brushing), for those interested. Never wash fruit/veggies allowing  the water to drain. Always do this into a wash bowl of some type. My wife eats lots of salad and fruit and it was only this year I actually realised to save this water as I became more aware due to the weather. You would be amazed how much you can use on other plants. My incredible crop of tomatoes have been pretty much watered by water we would otherwise have wasted. As have all the houseplants and many pots.

Add in that they were from seeds I saved from a shop variety we liked and they grew in compost from a hot composter I bought last year- the good life!

Post edited at 15:02
In reply to jon:

> Square...?

No, too small, according to the specs.

 Hutson 17 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

You're definitely not the only water-saving freak.

My house and front and back yards are tiny and only have pots as they're paved but I still fitted compact butts to both front and back downpipes (the one in the front is a fancy Rainwater Terrace one and looks really nice now the plants in it have grown).

When I realised that the pots are in fact quite water-hungry because they dry out so quickly I suggested to my husband that we link up at least one more butt, but he didn't like the idea and said it was 'overkill' for a small house and yard.

Now that London has had no rain for 45 days (and no significant rain for around 3 months) he has conceded that I was right, as the butts have been empty a long time. But he still won't agree to a third butt, the killjoy.

The tip about saving fruit/veg washing water is good. I've also been known to use the water from the dehumidifier to water plants though that doesn't run much in summer.

We've also got two compost bins and we have to keep those damp too (especially with them being the cause of some of the recent fires).

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I added 800 litres of rain water storage a couple of years ago. I was disappointed with what I could find so ended up with this. It catches virtually all the available rainwater.


 montyjohn 17 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

100% efficient (when there's spare capacity of course).

Have you had a problem with crap collecting in the bottom of the butt?

We get loads of moss on our roof so would possibly be a nightmare for us unless it had some sort of easy to access strainer. 

 Kevster 17 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

I'd like to know the solution to moss in the gutters please. Any good ideas? 

Ta 

 montyjohn 17 Aug 2022
In reply to Kevster:

I have a simple system. When water is dribbling down the side of the house it's time to grab a ladder, two rubber gloves and a big bucket.

You can get those long radial comb things. I think they are mainly meant for leaves. I've not tried them as I figured the moss would just pile up on top and cleaning would be even harder.

 Kevster 17 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

I am currently using your system. However we have moved into a bungalow and although the gutter is very accessible, it is somewhat extensive. The roof also covers something of a large area. We have a lot of spare moss.

I suspect its worse after a period of dry followed by a downpour - like today. Just hopeful that theres a solution that doesnt involve lots of chemicals on the roof. 

Or me in marigolds... (a trowel works well btw)

Post edited at 20:48
In reply to montyjohn:

I've got a pretty basic chicken wire filter where it drops down from the gutter for most of the moss and there's an old washing up sponge in the down pipe in that photo above that I swap over 2 or 3 times a year to keep it a bit cleaner. Fortunately the gutter and the down pipe are easy to access.

The butts are linked together using their tap fittings so they all fill up together. I now use a submersible garden pump in the second one connected to a regular garden hose for watering the garden.

Pretty much all the sediment collects in the first butt.


 jon 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Excellent. How many litres is that, Paul?

 Hutson 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Phwoar, look at all those butts...I should show my husband this.

Have to admit we get loads of moss on our roof and in the gutters, but the guy who cleans our windows has a hoover-like thing he uses to clean them as we also get loads of leaves. DIY is not my forte; I just about managed to fit the diverters ok.

 yorkshire_lad2 18 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> Good to hear that I'm not the only water saving freak. 

My 3 butts are now dry (and this is Yorkshire), so reverting to backup plan, which is standing over a bucket when I'm showering: it fills up quite quickly and the grass doesn't seem to mind a bit of Head & Shoulders.  I think that puts me beyond "water saving freak"

 yorkshire_lad2 18 Aug 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> We get loads of moss on our roof so would possibly be a nightmare for us unless it had some sort of easy to access strainer. 

My sister gets quite a lot of moss on her roof, which blocks the down pipes, and I put what I call wire tennis balls in the top of the down pipe which sorts it for her.  It won't stop all the crap getting into your butt, but it would stop the bulk of the moss I think.  See e.g. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gutter-Pipe-Leaf-Balloon-63-75mm/dp/B0084TLAAI

 Pedro50 18 Aug 2022
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

> My 3 butts are now dry (and this is Yorkshire), so reverting to backup plan, which is standing over a bucket when I'm showering: it fills up quite quickly and the grass doesn't seem to mind a bit of Head & Shoulders.  I think that puts me beyond "water saving freak"

I didn't know you had dandruff!

In reply to jon:

800 litres total here. There's another 300 litres at the other end of the garden.
These 4 and the pipe bits I needed came to about £100. I found a reconditioned 1000 litre IBC tank for about the same money after I set it up but these are easier to clean and get in the back garden.

 Dax H 18 Aug 2022
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

> My 3 butts are now dry (and this is Yorkshire), so reverting to backup plan, which is standing over a bucket when I'm showering: it fills up quite quickly and the grass doesn't seem to mind a bit of Head & Shoulders.  I think that puts me beyond "water saving freak"

As the old joke goes,  copper wire was invented by 2 Yorkshire man fighting over a penny.

That is a nice set up there but I would link the tops rather than the bottoms.  Less chance of sediment blocking things. 

In reply to Dax H:

How do you envisage sharing the water between the butts by linking the tops?
As soon as the level drops below the connection point then they would stop sharing, no?

 Dax H 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Yes that's exactly what happenes,  use the last 1in line and once that one is empty move back one and so on.

When the first one is full the overflow fills the second one,  that fills the 3rd etc.  Easy to see exactly how much you have and zero chance of the link pipes at the bottom blocking up. 

In reply to Dax H:

Ah, I see.

The pump in the second butt is linked to my smart home kit. I just go to the end of the hose, squeeze my phone an say "turn on the garden pump". Yes, I know... I'm a nerd

I think if the lower connecting hose gets blocked I can just disconnect each end and run some mains water through it, or just replace it, it's only cheap hose. Not had any blockages in 2 years though.

 Dax H 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Ahh,  I missed the bit about a pump,  yes your far better linking them at the bottom so you can draw from them all at once.

Love the thought of a smart hosepipe

 wintertree 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Dax H:

> and zero chance of the link pipes at the bottom blocking up. 

Also far more robust in terms of loosing it all to a pipework leak.  But not compatible with their pump.

I’ve got the cheapest 1500 L above ground tank I could find.  Going off this year I think a buried 4000 L tank and feeders from a couple more downcomers (to make the most of summer storms) is the way to go.

 jimtitt 18 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

One has a well by the front door and a 35,000l tank under the back yard, make a good prepper bunker when the Russians come!

On reflection that's a idea, at work we have a spare 16m diameter and 6m deep reinforced concrete underground tank with heating built in and a spare 250kW generator, 40kWh solar and a well,  we could do prepper experience holidays!

Post edited at 18:38
In reply to wintertree:

> Going off this year I think a buried 4000 L tank and feeders from a couple more downcomers (to make the most of summer storms) is the way to go.

I've just had a look at the price of those. I'll put that on a very very distant todo list

 wintertree 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> I've just had a look at the price of those. I'll put that on a very very distant todo list

Price vs volume scales really badly because you can get away with really cheap construction for small cylindrical tanks but have to do it properly for rectangular ones etc.  I’ve idly wondered about digging a big hole and lining it as per a swimming pool and putting a lid on - probably cheaper but a lot of environmentally bad concrete.

It could well be that a well (as jimtitt has) is the much cheaper option.  But every single time I’ve gone digging more than a foot down I’ve regretted it.  If only used asbestos fragments had a resale value…. “Is that cable live” and “what’s in this pipe?” are great fun too, along with “how has there been a giant hole here all this time without the shed collapsing?”.

 jimtitt 18 Aug 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Yeah, my 2500l sewage plant tank needs 1 ton of ballast to stop it floating out through the lawn.

In reply to wintertree:

IBC bottles are way cheaper than IBCs. If you're burying it you could stiffen the sides with any old crap.

 Dax H 18 Aug 2022
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> I've just had a look at the price of those. I'll put that on a very very distant todo list

https://www.tanks-direct.co.uk/enduramaxx-4000-litre-water-tank-non-potable/p539?gclid=Cj0KCQjwxveXBhDDARIsAI0Q0x0Fq8of6ZfTtpjU9P1wIw1BGUDh989SBNbZdNmJ91rZXo3pKeUgSycaAgbXEALw_wcB

I have the 2000 ltr  version of this at work.  Well made,  not expensive but would take some digging at 2 meters diameter and 2 meters deep. 

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> IBC bottles are way cheaper than IBCs. If you're burying it you could stiffen the sides with any old crap.

I've thought about burying IBCs for water storage recently. Our roof water goes to watercourse via a drain that runs under the road, under a piece of land we own, under a piece of land the new neighbour owns and into a watercourse.

It's been there years (at least 70 according to locals) with no problems, but he's a busybody moaning about erosion of the bank and thinks its a septic tank discharge, (it isn't) so I'm tempted to bury a couple of IBCs overflowing to soakaway to get rid of the issue.

1
In reply to Dax H:

> Can't help with diverter recommendations but on the pond filling,  we have 2 butt's,  one fills then the overflow is piped in to the second one,  once that is full its overflow is piped underground to the pond.  I also connected the valves at the bottom of the butts to the pond pipe so if I need to I can drain the butt's directly in to the pond as well.  I just fit secondary taps to the butt's for filling watering cans etc.

> We prioritise the pond over the rest of the garden,  the grass can die,  the flowers can suffer because the wildlife in the pond will always come first. 

After the recent rainfall filled the pond I checked the water yesterday. The water quality has been pretty awful for the last few months but is crystal clear now and full to the brim. I am absolutely delighted to see that there is an abundance of daphnia and the snails have reappeared. I even saw a common darter hovering over the water yesterday which means we will get some larger predators to join the skaters and backswimmers. I have even seen some smaller beetle and a couple of great diving beetles which I havent seen since winter.

Its amazing what a refill like this can do to a 7 sq/m pond, its completely rejuvenated it.

 yorkshire_lad2 19 Aug 2022
In reply to yorkshire_lad2:

> My 3 butts are now dry (and this is Yorkshire),

OMG, there was rain last night, and butts are (at least) half full.  And this is Yorkshire, can you imagine .... begging for rain ....

 flatlandrich 19 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

One of my customers as long been bragging to me about having their own well/borehole and access to endless free water. Most summers there's sprinklers running all day long and a lovely green garden. This year someone pointed out to them that the electricity to run the large pump was costing them more than using regular mains water....This year the gardens not so green!!

In reply to Kevster:

> I'd like to know the solution to moss in the gutters please. Any good ideas? 

> Ta 

Try parking your car under the gutter.  Whenever I do this, the blackbirds decide to hunt for grubs in the gutter, ripping out the moss and lobbing it onto my car.

 Fraser 19 Aug 2022
In reply to Kevster:

> I'd like to know the solution to moss in the gutters please. Any good ideas? 

I've not tried it (yet) personally, but I've heard that a continuous strip of zinc flashing below the ridge tiles means that the chemical composition of the run-off when it rains helps prevent moss growth. Last summer I went up onto my own roof and meticulously scrubbed the top half with a wire brush during a dry spell. This is just outside Glasgow though so such spells don't come round too often! I'll try and do the lower half before the end of this 'summer'.

 Dax H 19 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

As well as bugs,  beetles,  boatmen and snails we have a overly healthy Frog population. A growing Newt population and a few dozen toads.

Other than bat's gobbling the midges no predators have found it,  you would think they would after 12 years. 

In reply to Dax H:

Our ponds are only 2 years old. How on earth do the bigger beasties find them. I think Id have kittens of I ever saw a newt. Frogs would be ace too.

 jon 20 Aug 2022
In reply to Fraser:

> I've not tried it (yet) personally, but I've heard that a continuous strip of zinc flashing below the ridge tiles means that the chemical composition of the run-off when it rains helps prevent moss growth.

There was a route near to where I used to live whose first pitch involved a traverse across a very mossy slab. The guy who equipped the route bolted a copper strip the whole length of the traverse, just above hand height, then brushed the moss off below. That was back in the 80s, but it remains largely moss free even now.  Zinc will certainly do the same - maybe better.

 Dax H 21 Aug 2022
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

There was a tiny pond in the back garden when we bought the house and there were a few frogs in it.  We built a large wildlife pond in the side garden and a few years later filled in the small pond. 

No newts in the old pond so who knows where they came from. 

 Tringa 21 Aug 2022
In reply to Dax H:

Although amphibians need a pond for breeding all of them spend a good proportion of their time out of ponds, especially toads and newts.

Things could be different this summer due to it being very dry in some areas but most years it isn't uncommon to find a newt or toad in some undergrowth.

Some years ago I'm fairly sure we had a toad that spent most of its time under one of the water butts.

Dave 


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