Last year here in the Midwest we had a pretty serious drought. “Officials” were stating you were not able to water gardens etc. due to water shortage. That took its toll on our gardens and aquaponics. Before the ban I had to refill the pond regularly due to evaporation. That became expensive.
This is version 2.0 of our rain collection system. Version 1.0 had the barrels upright and would cascade to the next one down the slope. They had many problems. Standing water for mosquitoes, water transportation out of the barrels, water transportation between the barrels, then storage and space capacity.
I made this from barrels I got locally, they are food grade plastic, with closed lids and 2” bung caps. The caps are pre threaded for ½” pipe. The PVC plastic pipe I was able to scavenge from another project, but buying all the parts probably cost less than $50. Each system can be different, and scaled to your own water needs. I would have liked to have more barrels, but I only had 4×4 lengths that would support the current setup. With the 5 barrels, I can collect 275 gallons of water. This is enough to water 5-8 times or more of my vegetable garden depending on how much rain we get. Because I use deep mulch in our gardens, I am able to retain moisture and water better than if it was on bare ground.
I have two downspouts emptying into the collection system and the overflow goes into my aquaponics pond, or into the greenhouse pond. These refill each time it rains for even a moderate amount of time.
We have planted butterfly bushes in front of the barrels to somewhat hide them. They are in my back yard so it isn’t visible from the front of the house.
I am hoping to make version 3.0 using 275 gal poly totes on some of my other downspouts. I hope to have two high, and two across for a total of 1,100 gallons. Stay tuned for more updates.