rainwater harvesting – connecting new storage tank

Last year there was a drought, I was short of water and had to transport 35 gals a day from Atlanta to Pickens to maintain key plants.  I then resolved to increase my 6,000 gal storage capacity and in May I installed a 2,100 gal tank in a separate location and filled it from my other tanks.  More rain quickly refilled the depleted tanks. I irrigate my vegetables and fruit trees plentifully and they are producing a bumper crop of squash, cucumbers, apples, pears and also tomatoes, okra Read more [...]

additional rainwater storage, at last

I have storage capacity for about 6,000 gals of rainwater.  Last November the drought was so bad I was transporting 35 gals of water from Atlanta to my farm each visit - see "making do" post dated Nov 15, 2016.  Additional water storage was needed.  I have a 2,500 gal tank and would like to have ordered another (cost $860 ) but was told shipping cost would be very high.  It was recommended I order the 2,100 gal tank for $920 (yes the smaller one costs more) and the freight would Read more [...]

making do

And so the north Georgia drought continues.  Yesterday was hellish - rolling clouds of smoke streamed down from Rabun county, where some houses were being evacuated, and from areas of South and North Carolina.   From my neighbors, who are weather hardened house builders, I heard hacking coughs and mine joined theirs as I pruned my trees.  And rain not in sight and maybe none until next spring. My house is on a well and I could pump water for irrigation but this depletes my well (and probably Read more [...]

Q&A – gravity fed irrigation

I received some comments on my rainwater harvesting and gravity feed irrigation system.  Luke from Australia is surprised at the amount I collect.  There are simple formula on the internet where you multiply annual, or monthly or daily rainfall in inches or cm by the area of the roof and can easily derive in gals or liters the amount collectible.  And the volume is often bigger than you would expect. Because of our continuing drought in N. Georgia I am going to expand my storage system from Read more [...]

experience makes smart – rainwater harvesting

My rainwater harvesting system (elsewhere described) includes a 2,500 gal storage tank which takes water from the carport roof.  Rain has been sparse but on Saturday we had a short heavy deluge and I noticed that both gutters which feed the tank were overflowing.  I was surprised since a month previously I had connected a hose to the gutters and each had drained into the storage tank. The drawback with testing for a blockage with a hose is if a pipe is partly blocked the water will still flow Read more [...]

additional thoughts on airlocks

I harvest rainwater and when I need to irrigate I pump the water to a tank at the top of a hill (right hand tank in the picture) and use gravity to move the water from the tank to its final destination.  See my description of the system and airlocks at airlock problems I use a 1.25" pipe to take the water from the top of the hill to the base of the hill and then I use a manifold to direct the water into four 1" pipes, three of which irrigate the orchard with positioned bubblers and the fourth Read more [...]

quick water pump repair; seedlings doing well

With the beginning of winter I now always ensure that I have disconnected my water pumps and drained the water.  My carport pump (moves 2,400 storage gals) started fine, but my 1hp Water Ace (moves 2,800 storage gals) just made a humming sound when I tried pumping today.  Another challenge! Probably bad brushes I thought but usually there is warning - a lot of spluttering and starting in fits.  Not this time and why should it fail to start after the winter break? I moved it to the workshop Read more [...]

compost watering & other post winter-funk tasks

We had some cold days (for Georgia) with temps in mid teens, but that is past and I am emerging from my winter funk.  Friday I cranked up the bobcat and worked it a couple hours - moved pine and other logs up the hill to the contour ditches where they will decompose with time; moved two old tractor cultivators from alongside the drive, where they could snag an unwary driver,  to a show off location; and turned >150 leaf bags collected in the fall into a semblance of a compost heap. Saturday Read more [...]

2 good books, water sustainability, okra & butterfly season

I never used to read science fiction.  But technology and sustainability hold my attention and I read good futuristic books on these topics.  "Ghost Fleet" a technothriller on the next world war portends problems with technology and is well researched with extensive footnotes.  Now I have completed my interactive Python programming course with Rice University via Coursera, I have begun my next read, the Water Knife about a water starved west beset with dust clouds and violence.  Both are excellent Read more [...]

2 gravity feed tanks with 9 valves

All my irrigation is from harvested rainwater collected from impermeable surfaces, stored in large tanks at the bottom of the hill and then pumped to 2 tanks at the top of the hill for gravity feeding to the orchard and crops.  Today I added my 9th valve to the pipe system for the 2 gravity feed tanks.  Are 9 valves used and are they necessary?  I have concluded - yes. Here is a 'photo of the 2 tanks: And here is a schematic of the pipe system: You can see the 9 numbered valves.  Read more [...]