223) Adding Water Storage

by Gail on August 27, 2015

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.Gail Hunt Rooftop Garden

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.grey water for garden

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. watering the orchard

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. pallet planters

Rain is expected tomorrow. Talk about timing!

Brussels sprouts in remay


Sharing with: Savvy Southern Style, Tuesday Garden Party


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joy@aVintageGreen August 27, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Now the greenhouse journal will have a very different entry. What great water storage containers. Hope it rains and rains.


Joy@aVintageGreen August 30, 2015 at 10:56 am

Hope the rain is starting to fill up those great containers.


Paul August 31, 2015 at 8:03 am

Good morning Gail

We want to express our thanks for allowing Rainfarmers to supply and install rain storage tanks for your beautiful property .
You were a delight to work with

Thank you Paul and Alli


tess September 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Well, let’s have an update then! Did all the tanks fill up? How many days of rain did it take?

What a cliffhanger.


Nancy September 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

I thought our drought was bad. I really feel your pain.
The water collection systems are awesome….and I wish they were available in So. Calif!
I hope those systems work for you.
So far, it looks like El Nino is coming for us….I hope it helps you too…..


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