Author Topic: Researching rainwater catchment  (Read 7032 times)

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Out There

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Researching rainwater catchment
« on: March 24, 2014, 12:25:40 PM »
Hi everyone!
I have been researching the collection of rainwater for domestic use for quite a while. Right now my water source is a drilled well, 45' deep with a lot of iron and manganese in the water. Quite possibly some sulphur, too. We filter drinking water through  a point of use RO system.
I have a few really positive things on my side: I live on the west side of a mountain range on the west coast of the US. Acid rain is not really an issue here…. ever. I also live in the foothills of those mountains, so my average yearly rainfall is around 70". My home already has a good metal roof and the gutters need to be replaced, so that will occur with the purpose of catching the rainwater in mind.
Here's another advantage: I work in a medical clinic with a doctor who is also a self-described "chemistry nerd". I was looking at the wire-caged totes (for storage) and wanted to know if the previous contents could be effectively cleaned out. When I told him the container was polyethylene, he said "Stop right there! Do NOT store water in those…. As that particular plastic breaks down, it creates hexane". For anyone familiar with hexane, you know you don't want to be ingesting that.
That brings me, then, to two questions: 1) What type of guttering is most recommended? and 2) What can I use for water storage? I have to get those two things in line before I start thinking about filtration.
-Brian
Off-Grid: 8 Solec photovoltaic panels, AIR 403 wind turbine, Trace 4024 power center, C-40 charge controller, 8 Costco Golf Cart batteries (24 volts/416 Ah ). Generac Guardian 8kw for back-up. (currently running back-up to back-up: Duromax 4400 dual fuel genset)Maybe MicroHydro sometime this year

MaryAlana

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 02:17:39 PM »
I would go aluminum for drinking water. I have been buying it in bits and pieces to replace what is left of mine from the 2011 tornado/straight line winds(NWS still can't decide). Nice to know about the poly tank being a no go. Now I need to start researching tanks. Although the hexane should be taken out by filtering... need to research more.

dnix71

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 08:06:25 PM »
Cross-linked polyethylene is used and FDA approved for potable water storage. Go back and check the number on the plastic.

https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/emergency_supplies/water_barrel_55_gallons.htm  The blue drums expressly made for water storage are polyethylene.

http://www.nationofchange.org/numbers-plastic-bottles-what-do-plastic-recycling-symbols-mean-1360168347

MaryAlana

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2014, 10:39:17 PM »
The caged IBC tanks are questionable... some only hold food ingredients so should be water safe. I have seen them with oil and molasses.

joestue

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 12:14:34 AM »
As that particular plastic breaks down, it creates hexane".
not even close.
polyethelene is the safest plastic to hold food in, because it doesn't break down(avoid direct sunlight though), and because it doesn't need any plasticizers to be a useable "plastic"

CraigM

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 08:26:21 AM »
Do a Google search for Arizona Water Tanks. All containers are made from virgin polyethylene. Virgin just means it's not made from recycled plastic.

These tanks are used for potable water.
CM
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birdhouse

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 11:17:27 AM »
i currently collect rain water via a 700 sq ft new steel roof.  it goes into a 1550 gal  polyethylene tank.  i use a first flush system...  google that for sure, it's a way to divert the first 10-??  gallons of nasty water and diverts it away from the tank and then, once it is full, it diverts cleaner water into the tank.  i'm un aware of the hexane that you speak of??  i never drink the water.  just use it for washing dishes ect. so i'm not too worried about it, but i'm still curious. 

i was under the influence that PE tanks were perfectly fine for domestic water??

adam

birdhouse

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 11:19:58 AM »
another quick note, the beauty of PE tanks is that they can freeze solid without breaking!   

there's been more than a few occasions where i have had a 1000 gal plus solid ice cube in my tank. 

adam

electrondady1

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 11:35:14 AM »
n-Hexane is a chemical extracted, and further quantities synthesised, from crude oil. It is used in laboratories, primarily when it is mixed with similar chemicals to produce solvents. Common names for these solvents are commercial hexane, mixed hexanes, petroleum ether, and petroleum naphtha. The major use for solvents containing n-hexane is to extract vegetable oils from crops such as soybeans, flax, peanuts, and safflower seed. They are also used as cleaning agents in the textile, furniture, shoemaking, and printing industries, particularly rotogravure printing. N-hexane is also an ingredient of special glues that are used in the roofing, shoe, and leather industries. n-Hexane is used in binding books, working leather, shaping pills and tablets, canning, manufacturing tires, and making baseballs.
 

Bruce S

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 12:39:08 PM »
Once you decide or while you are deciding; you could also read over in Madlab's posts about his red neck hot tub.
There's a lot of very good information about sand filtration.
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Out There

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2014, 03:26:13 PM »
I've asked the doc to elaborate, but he's been busy and hasn't gotten back to me. So…. naturally…. since the internet is infallible (choke - cough-cough-choke-cough) I went out in search of some info. While I could not readily find anything about the hexane issue, I did find some stuff regarding BPA. BPA is used in the manufacture of polyethylene (both HDP and LDP), to help keep it "soft" - a.k.a. "not brittle". I copied and pasted the following from a very extensive article found on Wikipedia regarding "Endocrine Disrupters":

BPA is a known endocrine disruptor, and numerous studies have found that laboratory animals exposed to low levels of it have elevated rates of diabetes, mammary and prostate cancers, decreased sperm count, reproductive problems, early puberty, obesity, and neurological problems. Almost all plastic products, including those advertised as "BPA free", have been found to leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals. In a 2011 study it was found that some "BPA-free" products released more endocrine active chemicals than the BPA-containing products.

It may and may not matter that Canada and the EU have banned BPA from baby bottles, food containers, etc. and that the FDA in the US followed suit. It's still controversial. I'll update as (if) I hear more.
-Brian
Off-Grid: 8 Solec photovoltaic panels, AIR 403 wind turbine, Trace 4024 power center, C-40 charge controller, 8 Costco Golf Cart batteries (24 volts/416 Ah ). Generac Guardian 8kw for back-up. (currently running back-up to back-up: Duromax 4400 dual fuel genset)Maybe MicroHydro sometime this year

Frank S

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2014, 09:26:06 PM »
I'm Sorry and don't mean to offend and most certainly do not want to degrade your good DR. but he sounds like a California transplant.
 Now as to the use of plastic totes. the ones that originally transported food products should clean up nicely provided they were hot water washed as soon as they were empty otherwise mold and bacteria growth may be present. That said I have 15 of the 275 gallon totes, some had water based safety traffic yellow paint in them some had DEF the junk that is required to be burned in newer diesel trucks. One even had a degreaser that was made of water & sodium hydroxide.
 For the ones that I have used for water storage I took them to the car wash and washed them out extensively until they looked clean then brought them home and used my small steam cleaner on them using 1/2 gallon of bleach to 50 gallons of water in it. the only problem I found in  doing that was the steam was so hot that I nearly created a chlorine gas situation. I don't recommend using bleach in steam as a bactericide. Next I used 1 lb table salt in 20 gallons of water I used my pressure washer/ steam cleaner to mix hot water and the salt then used that for the final rinse of the totes. So far I have done this to 4 totes. And have collected rain water in 3 of them. 1 I use to catch the water then pump it out through a regular ceramic filter then through a charcoal filter then into the other totes I fill them completely to the top making sure as little air as possible is left inside.
  We use the water for everything except drinking. the one filter I still need to get is a UV water filter that and I still haven't finished my sand filter       
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

Out There

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 09:34:42 AM »
Boy, Frank! You hit the nail squarely on the head! He was born and raised in California! When I pressed him, before leaving work yesterday, he backtracked. He said he was thinking of polyethylene glycol. LDP or HDP seems to be safe, so I retract what I said (that he had said) earlier.
On the other hand, from researching a little further, I think I'd still be leery of the poly tanks for drinking water due to the BPA content of "soft" plastics (those totes are LDP, I believe). I think I need to either find a stainless steel tank or build a concrete cistern.
-Brian
Off-Grid: 8 Solec photovoltaic panels, AIR 403 wind turbine, Trace 4024 power center, C-40 charge controller, 8 Costco Golf Cart batteries (24 volts/416 Ah ). Generac Guardian 8kw for back-up. (currently running back-up to back-up: Duromax 4400 dual fuel genset)Maybe MicroHydro sometime this year

Bruce S

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 11:47:29 AM »
Frank and Out There;
You might go looking into O-zone units instead of UV, it is a better germicidal and smells nicer too.
I'm still studying the abilities of DIYing an arc/spark ozone unit, but I know from talking with people who have the professionally built units and use them for their hydroponics, that they are much better including costs.
Cheers
Bruce S
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XeonPony

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2014, 08:16:48 PM »
ozone gen is easy 555 oscilator, an auto spark coil, some tainles pipe some end caps

now the tricky part: cut a dead flourescent tube a bit longer then yer stainles pipe, clean it well, now get some thin copper sheet, roll it up so it fits inside the tube well, now pack copper scrubbies into the tube to press it hard against the tube.

drill the caps and epoxy the tube to the caps, the inside of the tube goes to the spark coil, the ss tube to the ground, pic a spot for the air to go into and you got an ozone generator.

Now ozone does not linger in the water like chlorine will, so you need to bubble it or pump it through some how, A venturie injector with an mcp655 pump does this great!

Now with the corona discharge style you want very dry air, dryer it is the better it works!

I use both, the uv is a non contact system and distroyes ozone, perfect for the final run into the house! as you'll end up with well oxigenated waterthat is very sterile!
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!

Out There

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2014, 02:26:09 PM »
I've read that a UV system has to be "on" all the time, or bacteria might proliferate during the downtime (inside piping). Anyone have experience with this?
-Brian
Off-Grid: 8 Solec photovoltaic panels, AIR 403 wind turbine, Trace 4024 power center, C-40 charge controller, 8 Costco Golf Cart batteries (24 volts/416 Ah ). Generac Guardian 8kw for back-up. (currently running back-up to back-up: Duromax 4400 dual fuel genset)Maybe MicroHydro sometime this year

Out There

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2014, 02:27:16 PM »
Due to an internal server error, my immediately prior post was duplicated. Sorry about double-posting!
-Brian
Off-Grid: 8 Solec photovoltaic panels, AIR 403 wind turbine, Trace 4024 power center, C-40 charge controller, 8 Costco Golf Cart batteries (24 volts/416 Ah ). Generac Guardian 8kw for back-up. (currently running back-up to back-up: Duromax 4400 dual fuel genset)Maybe MicroHydro sometime this year

XeonPony

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Re: Researching rainwater catchment
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2014, 05:43:08 PM »
only if you are running the water all the time. other wise you can use it as a btch system, just use a solenoid valve to isolate the water from the unit when off so convection currents don't introduce bugs into the treated side.

even when run constently average tub lasts a year.
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!