This week, I came across a video by Big Bear Homestead that discusses a rainwater catchment system located on a predator-resistant chicken coop. This is a fairly easy design because it saves a lot of time, effort, energy, and money.
The system is comprised of three fifty-five gallon barrels, which are placed in a daisy chain with PVC piping and a drop of one foot from one barrel to the other. The rain falls from the gutter into the first barrel and then can travel through the PVC pipe at the bottom of the barrel (which can be opened or closed at will), before traveling through the second barrel and then into the third barrel.
The stands are made out of recycled pallet wood and then colored (in this case a light green). Each stand is roughly a foot shorter than the last. Two boards are placed on either side of the barrel, to prevent the barrel from rolling.
The gutter is an old recycled gutter that was taken out of an existing building and repurposed and wrapped in hardware cloth as a makeshift leaf guard. At the bottom of the gutter is a rubber boot that wraps around the downspout of the gutter, before dropping down half an inch into the PVC pipe before falling into the top barrel.
The ball valves are located at each PVC pipe for the first two barrels because in the top back of each of the barrel is a 7/16 hole, meaning that as the barrel fills up, the air has somewhere to escape. Of course, this means the water will escape as well. The ball valve is kept closed until the barrel is full, which you know it will be when you tap on it from the outside.
The last barrel has a simple garden hose connector like you would have on your home. Connected to this connector is a hose that runs to an automatic waterer. This valve always remains open, because it feeds the automatic watering system bucket. One that bucket, the float valve kicks in and drains the water. Once a week, you can come up and tap on the barrels to check.
This design is relatively easy to build and it saves a lot of time, energy, and money on collecting rainwater. To see exactly how this system works and how to set it up, watch the video by Big Bear Homestead below.