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Re: water barrels

  • Subject: Re: [cg] water barrels
  • From: Lenny Librizzi plantlot@rcn.com
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 09:09:54 -0500

 Last year, we built 7 water harvesting systems in community gardens in NYC and plan to build at least 10 more this spring. We roughly calculated that we collected 
14,000 gallons of water in last years drought (saving enough for over 9,000, 1.6 gallon toilet flushes). To date we have used recycled reddish colored olive barrels that 
hold 190 liters. (~50 gals.) Where the roof collecting area is large enough we connected the barrels together with flexible pool hoses low on the barrels so that all of the 
barrels fill up at the same rate and empty when the spigot is opened. The barrels are covered with tight fitting lids that have a small hole covered with a mosquito proof 
screen to allow for air pesssure to enter and exit and water to flow freely. The barrels are elevated on concrete block and 2X8 or 2X10 lumber platforms. The blocks are 
3-4' apart to carry the weight and the barrels are high enough to accept a watering can or to have a hose attached to connect to soaker hoses. An overflow pipe 
directs the excess water to a planted area. The barrels are also secured with nylon rope and eyehooks to the adjacent shed, casita or building to keep the barrels from 
shifting, falling over when empty or being pulled down by a child. 
We are planning to upgrade the systems with "roofwashers" which are simple diverters to direct the first "wash" from the roof to a small collector which can be emptied 
and the "cleaner" water flows to the barrels.  We make it clear that the water is non potable and to be used for watering plants only, not for drinking.
We are looking for some simple manual metods for "pressurizing" the flow of water to use with drip irrigation systems or where the barrels cannot be raised high enough 
for gravity to get the water to higher elevations or where the barrels can't be located at the highest spot in the garden.
We also are looking for larger containers with different profiles that could fit in, under or around other objects in the gardens and could possibly have multiple uses.
We have pictures of the built systems but this list serv doesn't like attachments.
Lenny Librizzi


3/27/2003 7:21:46 PM, "a.h.steely" <gfcp@mindspring.com> wrote:

>You can find white 30 - 40 gallon barrels (food grade) that do not take the
>freezing and thawing more than two winters.  Black barrels (from pickles)
>can be 50 - 60 gallons. They are heavier and you can leave water in them.
>There are food grade blue ones that look like metal 55 gallon ones that are
>used for soy liquids.  Some small blue barrels are about 20 -25 gallons and
>were used for vitamins.  These all were obtained from Amish surplus stores.
>
>I saw some set on cinder blocks with a spigot for hose connections.  You can
>purchase the mosquito donuts and break them into about 6 pieces for the 55
>gallon size water barrels.  We bought the Th bacillus or whatever from a
>Lowes garden center.  We put an entire donut in each barrel, then read the
>directions... it was overkill...
>
>All of the barrels we bought had lids so we did not have to worry about
>kids, etc. climbing inside though during the drought the birds did find a
>way to push open the lids if they were loose.  The poor things can not get
>out so screens with a hole just large enough for the downspout is a good
>idea.  Make sure that the lids are clamped tight after filled.  You can
>place a large flower pot on top of the barrels so that you can have a run
>off connection from barrel to barrel without drilling holes in the top of
>the barrels.  That way if the barrel is full the run off will be in the
>large flower pots.
>
>You could even use the water for cooking and drinking in an emergency if you
>keep iodine from military emergency rations on hand and/or unperfumed
>bleach.  I think that the bleach should be one teaspoon per gallon but check
>on that.
>
>godspeed,
>Helen Steely
>Harrisburg, Pa.
>
>
>
>______________________________________________________
>The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how 
to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org
>
>
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>
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>





______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


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