"How to Build a LARGE, Rainwater Storage System, Totes"

Design for Water: Rainwater Harvesting, Stormwater Catchment, and Alternate Water Reuse

by Heather Kinkade-Levario

This book is the most comprehensive, with abundant diagrams and photographs. Levario covers both residential and commercial applications, so there may be material that is not pertinent to the average homeowner, and some of the applications described may be beyond the reach of said homeowner.

If you are looking for a book that provides an array of examples for collection and storage of rainwater, this book is an excellent resource to use in planning your system.


How to Build a LARGE, Rainwater Storage System, Totes

What is a Totes (IBC)

IBC stands for Intermediate Bulk Container. These are commonly referred to as Totes. IBC Totes are large tanks which are used to store and transport fluids and other bulk materials. IBC tanks are composed of 3 primary components - the IBC Plastic Container Bottle, the IBC Metal Cage, and the Container's Pallet, which can be made from Wood, Plastic, or Metal. IBCs come as either a 275 Gallons IBC Tank or 330 Gallon IBC Tank, depending on your make and model.

IBC Totes are used once to haul food grade produces and makes them great for any of your liquid handling and storage needs. They can be purchase in the range of $100 - $175. Usually a small amount of liquid remains, but it can be rinsed very easily by using the large 6" top cap and the 2" threaded ball or butterfly valve at the bottom.

They are 40x47x46" tall, stackable and are designed for normal forklift usage.

Rainwater harvesting

'Rainwater Harvesting' refers to the collection and storage of rain. Collection is usually from rooftops, and storage in catchment tanks. Stored water can be used for non-potable purposes such as irrigating lawns, washing cars, or flushing toilets. Rainwater harvesting systems can range from a simple barrel at the bottom of a downspout to multiple tanks with pumps and controls. Before the creation of public water utilities, rainwater harvesting provided water for many American homes. It is still popular in places with limited water resources such as island communities like Hawaii. While we think of ourselves as living in a rainy climate, recent drought conditions throughout Oregon remind us how quickly we can run short of water.

Using purified potable water for purposes like flushing toilets or irrigating landscape is a waste of a valuable resource. Portland residents are asking more questions about the role of conservation in extending the supply of drinking water. Stored water can substitute for piped drinking water for many uses where a high level of purity is not required.

When rain falls, it is clean, but it immediately picks up pollutants from rooftops and pavement. This pollution is carried into storm drains and then into streams. Collecting stormwater from rooftops and directing it to storage tanks so it can later be used for irrigation or flushing decreases the volume and rate of runoff.

Residential and commercial rainwater harvesting systems are taking root in Portland. In 1996, urban ecologist innovators, Ole and Maitri Ersson built Portland's first permitted rainwater harvesting system to significantly supplement their residential water needs. The system is designed to harvest and purify rainwater for all of their water-related needs except during long dry summers when they are able to switch back to City water. Their 1,500-gallon system collects 27,000 gallons a year - effectively providing enough water for nine months out of the year. The system cost around $1,500.

Calculate Your Rainwater Harvesting Potential If you're interested in rainwater harvesting at your home, here's how to estimate annual water supply:

Collection Area (sq. ft) x Rainfall (in/yr.) / 12 (in/ft) = Cubic Feet of Water/Year

Cubic Feet/Year x 7.43 (Gallons/Cubic Foot) = Gallons/Year

For example, a 500 sq. ft roof that gets 36 in/yr. will produce 1,500 Cubic Feet or 11,145 Gallons of water per year.

PLEASE NOTE: this calculation is for horizontal areas and does not take into consideration system losses such as evaporation or leakage.

Index of Articles about Rainwater Harvesting

Other Articles about Rainwater Harvesting

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Rainwater Harvesting by Harry Worthington

Rainwater harvesting is a method of collecting rainwater from the roof of a home or building through the drainage system that is already in place. The water is stored to be used later as a way of replacing...

Where to Use Rainwater by jackie

An important aspect of ownership is proper maintenance because a gadget will become of no use when it is battered beyond recognition. There is no such thing as getting too much advice when it comes to...

Not Your Traditional Rain Collection Barrels by Ron Hartwell

[Body] I was scouring the web for some information on rain collection barrels when I happened to stumble on to very unusual rainwater harvesting system that only marginally fit into the rain collection...

5 Money Saving Secrets To Save Water That Your Water Company Doesn't Want You To Know by Lam Seina

Are you sick of paying too much for water bills? Do you want to have hundreds of dollars in your pocket today? If so, then you can save money by doing these 5 secret tips that the water utility doesn?t...