Enzo recently posted some information and pictures on the RainShine House design in his blog http://ecofuture.net/enzo/2009/07/26/the-rainshine-house-one-of-the-greenest-designs-in-the-world/. The house has a brilliant roof design so as to collect rainwater. Saving the rain water to use in dry periods is an age old practise that farmers utilize. It is simple and inexpensive. Moreover, a small amount of rain – less than half an inch – can easily fill a 50 gallon rain barrel, which is something… Even though the butterfly roof is ingenious, you may also collect rain water in a barrel or tank once it comes down through the roof gutter system.
It is easy to install a barrel or a tank, as the instructions are given step by step. But in buying your barrel you should make sure that it has the following qualities:
- covered top and filter. It will prevent the accumulation leaves and other debris.
- child-proof. There should be a safety grid at the top preventing children and animals from entering in.
- Debris screens. To filter the water before it enters the barrel and avoid mosquitos breeding in it. (You should also Clean your gutters and downspouts often and use collected rainwater within a few days. Nontoxic mosquito “dunks” also work.)
( some alternatives: http://raintankdepot.com)
After making sure of the above you can start doing yourself your rainwater collection system, following the steps below:
1) Before everything else, clean the barrels.
2) Slowly drill the hole for the water overflow spout, for this you may use a 1 ½” drill bit. Remove the shavings of plastic. Insert the pipe and secure on the inside of with the twist on connector. Apply a bead of silicone around the pipe to fix it.
3) Dig a 5/8” hole for the spigotmay, make sure that the facet fits tightly. Apply a bead of silicone around the spigot on both sides. I used a coupling on the inside to hold the facet fixed.
4) Place a screen under the lip of the barrel.
5) Keep in mind that water flows downhill. With a flat shovel, try to level the ground a bit with a forward pitch so that the water inside the barrel will flow toward the facet. With the elevation, you can put gravity to use while allowing ample clearance for the hose connection.
6) Cut the downspout at the appropriate height with a hacksaw to allow for the flex spout to be attached. Secure the flex spout in place to the top of the barrel with wire looped through the open wire grid.
7) Attach the hose to the facet. You can use a clamp to hold the hose in place as to not place any stress on the connection while pulling on the hose.
For more info: