We’ve had a four-month drought here in the “rainforest” of southwestern British Columbia.
When we built our house and landscaped the yard, we installed a 2000 gallon rainwater storage cistern. The water is used to flush our toilets and water the garden.
I never knew how much water we would need for those purposes, but now I do. For the first four normal summers, the cistern did the job, because we had enough rain.
Last summer was hot and dry, and I had to fill the cistern twice with district-supplied tap water.
This summer, I’ve already filled the cistern four times.
We’re on Stage 4 watering restrictions: NO use of outside taps.
Any water we need to keep our trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, and veggies alive has to come from bath/shower/dishwater (greywater). Plus, we’re encouraged to bathe less often and conserve water inside.
What I’m getting at: we should have installed at least another 2000 gallons-worth of water storage underground when we were building.
The best we can do now is add water storage above ground. I have had two rain barrels, but they’re inadequate.
So, we had Alli and Paul of Rain Farmers , a new business on the Sunshine Coast, haul and install two new tanks with a total of 721 gallons of new storage (or approximately 3000 liters).
They water the garden by gravity feed.
The round 421-gallon German-made Hercules tank is located in an area not too visible from the house. The “before” photo is below. Scroll down for the “after”. It will need to be filled from the cistern with the pressurized standpipe.
And here’s where I chose to have the 300-gallon narrow profile tank installed to collect water from the downspout.
The overflow goes back into the storm sewer.
You can see that it’s hard to hide! I plan to build a little seating area/shelter/plantings that will cover most of it. But, that could take years at the rate I’m going here. I spray-painted the white pipe black, because that’s what I had on hand, and it’s better than white. The big Leaf-eater attachment (at the top of the photo) keeps debris out of the tank. It’s a sealed system with no light allowed inside, so shouldn’t be troubled with algae.
Alli and Paul were efficient and enthusiastic. They arrived when they said they would (or gave me notice if they had to change the times.) I recommend their services.
And, I like to support local entrepreneurs. That’s one of the tenets of building green.
Now, let’s see if I can keep my valuable plants alive.
Rain is expected tomorrow. Talk about timing!
Sharing with: Savvy Southern Style, Tuesday Garden Party