Rainwater Collection

A few months before I moved in, the guy living there told me that he thought that the water tasted funny. He described it as tasting “Sort of syrupy”

When I moved in I found that yes, it did taste a bit off. It didn’t worry me that much really as I only drink filtered water anyway but I thought I’d see if I could find what was causing it.

The area around the water tank was always wet and boggy so I knew I had to do something with that and I was hoping that whatever was the cause of the funny taste would show up then.

The pressure pump for the household water had to be moved too as that was sited in between the house and the shed. Why it was put there in the first place is any ones guess! It was a bit of a bodge-up to say the least.

Something else as well was that there was no overflow pipework on the water tank, just a hole that the excess water drained out of, and no guttering on the shed to channel storm water away. That needed to be fixed too.

Unfortunately I don’t have too many photos from that early on; I hadn’t thought of this project then, so I’ll just have to describe what I did and how I went about it as best I can and use what photos I have.

Looking along the front of the house towards the domestic water tank. The high pressure pump was in the middle of the grassy area between the tank and the veranda. It just had to be moved.

The leaking tank was actually very easy to fix as all it was, was the gland on the shaft of the stop valve just below the handle. All it took was a half turn on the gland nut and that was the end of that leak.

While I was working on that I decided to replace the pipework between the house and the water tank that delivered the rainwater from the guttering to the tank. I was a bit suspicious of this pipework as on both sides of the house it went straight down to the ground from the guttering and then underground, met in the middle still underground and at that point went even deeper underground, across to the water tank, up the side of the tank and in.

It suddenly dawned on me that there must be water continually in the pipe as it had nowhere to drain out. It would just stagnate.

I exposed all of the pipe and yes, it was full of water although it hadn’t rained for a couple of weeks at that point.

Oh boy did it smell! It was awful, all green and gooey! I guess I’d found the cause of the syrupy tasting water!

The down-pipe from the guttering at the front of the house is clearly visible.  On both sides of the house it went underground to the water tank and was full of water even though it hadn’t rained for a couple of weeks.

Once I’d sussed that out I was quite relieved. I then set about installing new down pipes from the gutters to the tank. This time they were going to be all overhead but with the addition of debris traps just before the tank. When it rains the water runs off the roof into the gutters and then goes to the tank. The first bit of water takes all of the dead leaves and whatever else has blown into the gutters, with it, and it all ends up in the water tank. The idea of the debris traps is to catch most of those bite and pieces.

All that took about a day to do.

The new overhead rainwater collection pipe from the gutters to the water tank. The debris traps on the right have since been modified. They are now shorter with 45 degree bends on the end to make them easier to clean. The addition of drains on the caps at the bottom will also improve them and allow the water in the vertical pipes to drain away when it stops raining. The household pressure pump on the left has been relocated but this is only temporary as eventually it will be at the other end of the house.

This is at the back of the water tank and shed. The overflow pipe for the tank can be seen to the right and this is buried at the back of the shed and will come out on the first tier in the garden. The shed guttering isn’t on yet.

 Looking from the other end back towards the shed and tank. The tee-piece there is for the down-pipe coming from the gutter when it is installed.