I have a challenge. It’s my understanding that it’s TECHNICALLY against local regulations for me to store rainwater. I want to store rainwater; Primarily for easy access to lower pH water for irrigation of my blueberries/acid loving beds.
In the next few weeks I also happen to be in the planning stages of installing a retaining wall/“patio” (deck) to avoid permitting for an actual deck which goes against ANOTHER local variance (and still be legal with my build by using the constructed wall/fill as my base). As part of that fill, I am considering putting a few rain barrels under the deck.
Has anyone else buried their rain catchment devices? If so, how much structural support did you provide? I will probably end up with a good amount of concrete and some bricks I can put around the barrels. Any other plumbing considerations I should be aware of? I am planning on food grade 55 or 65 gallon barrels, probably two in series. Should I be bracing the inside of the barrels with pvc pipes or placing brick/concrete around the outside? Should I just bury them and everything will be fine?
Isn’t that wild they do not want you to collect water. In many states they charge you for rain. You may want to check. I got around the deck thing by doing a floating deck. Check it out, may be legal there as well.
You want to get around their water nonsense by hiding the barrels? If you bury them you will have to pump the water out. Couldn’t you just hide the barrel, or pipe the water to the barrel somewhere else. Like just put it in your garage or shed and pipe the water to it. That way you can easily move it. Or make one of those walls for the trash cans, but one of the cans collects water.
Well, no pumping necessary because I have enough drop down my hill to gravity drain and four feet of fill to work with to hide the barrels.
Putting them under the deck would take advantage of a space I would not be using otherwise (and space is my limiting factor on 1/8th acre).
The floating deck is what I am now considering but I have to change my lumber order to some of those fancy concrete blocks. Not the ideal scenario but it should work. If you have a better idea I’d love to hear it on the “deck”!
From what I’ve read Pennsylvania generally encourages rainwater storage but for some reason I had read the local municipality does not like it. They also don’t want people to have chickens either, or else I’d probably already have a coop out back. That one recently changed but I don’t want to pay 65 dollars for a yearly permit, that’s ridiculous to have like 6 chickens. I’d never pay for them with that fee and I now have a friend who sells farm fresh eggs for 2 bucks a dozen.
I thought about some chickens myself. Eggs are cheap though and the cost of feed and effort just makes it not worth it. They don’t last that long either. You always have to hatch some of the eggs or buy more.
I missed the part about hiding under the deck. What your talking about make the most sense. I still would not bury them. Just hide them.
Can you put in several little koi ponds, and just not put koi in them? Or would aerating them in some fashion turn it into a water feature?
I’m wondering if concrete against the plastic would create any degradation issues. It takes a long time to fully cure concrete and it tends to be very high pH until it is well along the curve.
I’m als imagining rot/mold/mildew issues with water stored under a deck unless you can just go full cistern with the water catchment not inclusive of directly above.
55 gallon metal drums do rust out but believe it or not in the old days people used them for septic tanks and still do in some parts of the world. They rust out within a few years. Back to your project could you put them in the ground and hold back dirt? The answer is yes the ribs of a barrel make it strong. You might want to encase it in cement because it will rust out. Many places have very strict laws for a reason. Consider that lots of barrels in a city lot are an eyesore and harbor mosquitos so i understand. A fish pond is a great solution because literally it could be 15 feet deep and full of fish you could eat and use to hold rainwater. Anything below the frost layer wont freeze. A barrel of water 3 feet underground in my climate wont freeze but the connections above ground will. A gutter wont freeze because the water doesnt sit in it. Make sure your accounting for overflow so water doesnt sit in the gutter. We might need photos to see the space your working with. Most underground cisterns were made of rock and concrete or both. In my area rock was all they used on walls for a well or cistern. The ground is very heavy in clay here so it holds water well. Using rainwater is a great idea in my opinion. There will be some way to legally do it where everyone is happy. Started with small projects and eventually graduated to this rainwater catchment project https://growingfruit.org/t/ponds-are-a-great-investment/7033 .The concept of guerilla water catchment can have many faces. If you do a large water storage tank remember most are not meant to be buried so get one specifically for that or they will collapse as the dirt is very heavy. Many old timer died in the well or cistern hole he dug when the sides caved in. Mining was one better known example of cave ins. I’m confident whatever you do will be well thought out im just throwing things out there your likely already familiar with to confirm what you know already. The best answer might be give them your tail lights and head for the midwest.
Once again, I had not thought of an “above ground pond”. That might actually be feasible. The reason we don’t want an in ground option is the drowning risk for small children, small children (child) who see rocks and other barriers as a challenge to be conquered.
thats crazy that they dont want you to collect rain! gotta love government! eggs here in the store is $5 a doz. what i sell mine for but the continued price increases of feed is making me seriously consider downsizing. it went from $15 a bag to $22 in 2 years.