Friday, June 28, 2013

Barn Water Collection System

Barn Roof
Gutter and Downspout
Our home is on a cistern collection system, so we are familiar with rain water collection... But, most of our animals are out in the new barn down the hill a bit. The least fun part of the chores around here is filling water jugs and carrying them down the hill every day for the animals.

Downspout and Gutter into Tank
Our barn has a large metal roof on it (I need to get an exact measurement later), so we realized it would be a great source of water with its large surface area.

The other day we were at Lowes picking up materials for another home project (basement shelves), and we remembered that we were planning on adding gutters to the barn. So, we
grabbed some gutters and downspouts while we were there. (gutters are surprisingly cheap!)

Tank Outlet
It was pretty straightforward mounting the gutters, besides the fact that my bandboard is curved, lol. (the barn was built without all those fancy tools everyone else uses; mostly just a chainsaw and eyeballing it, lol) Basically you just hold them up there and screw them on in a case like this, then pop rivet them together. (just make sure that there is a downward slope to it; water ALWAYS runs downhill!) To locate the best location for the downspout, I took two 2-liters of water down to the barn and poured it in the gutter. I located the lowest spot by seeing where the water went to and sat. It ended up in a great location.

From there, I cut the gutter with a utility knife and mounted the downspout; I had to saw off a bit of one board to gain entry, but that only took a few minutes with a small hand-saw.

After looking around for solutions I saw a couple of old gutters we still had around from when we replaced gutters on another house. One of them was a PERFECT length. It has worked great and there are no leaks at all.

Note: I know I need to add a screen/filter to the water entering the tank, that is something else I did not have on hand today.

I mounted the tank securely (this is very important), on a platform in the barn, this way once water is in the tank gravity will give me good pressure. I didn't want to mount it any higher, as water from the gutters had to flow down-hill to get into the tank.

Water Pressure!
Once the water is in the tank I made a custom outlet valve from PVC with a 2" ball valve to completely shut off water, and a regular garden hose spicket on the
end to connect a small length of hose to. (we're going to use an old washer hose, since the watering dish is underneath the spicket.

This should make daily chores much easier! It could even allow a "day off" without worries if we put the water on a slow drip into the water dish... now I'm thinking of even more ideas!

(Article Submitted by SLC-360 Contributing Writer)

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