Gravity powered rain collection "water tower" for my solar shower

Discussion in 'Water Filtering & Storage' started by nj_m715, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. nj_m715



    You can size this as big or as small as you need. It seems to be working just about right for me. So far it has only run dry once for a couple days before it rained and was refilled.
    The details are on my blog.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  2. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm OFFICIALLY envious!
    Compression bladder with a BLACK thermal surface!
    I bet that insulates from thermal loss too!

    A blanket after dark would keep the water warm all night with that much mass!


    Mine are tanks that sit on stands so I have gravity delivery.
    Rain water catchment, plastic tanks painted black.
    They work pretty well, but they like to get air space at the top that does NOTHING for conducting heat from tank to water when they aren't completely full,
    And the scaffolding to keep them up high is an eyesore and pain in the butt to maintain.

    That is a VERY good solution to the drawbacks my system has!

    Do you bypass to tanks once the bladder is full or just discharge?

    My system bypasses to underground cistern tanks once the shower is full,
    I irrigate the garden, water livestock, ect. from the underground tanks via solar panels and DC pump motor...

    Showers are gravity, and YES, I shower indoors most times!
    (Why does everyone believe if the tanks are outdoors, you have to shower outdoors? :nuts:)

    I have a 'Mud Shower' outdoors so I can clean up from working in the garage before I go in... Keeps the 'Little Woman' happy when I don't come in all greasy or filthy, but that isn't where you HAVE TO shower if you don't want to!.

  3. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    Great set up ,but wouldn't you be better to raise the "shower" fill tap in the vertical tube a couple of feet to trap less dirt from the roof in your filter, I have also seen a "gutter washer" where the first 10 or so gallons is flushed and then cleaner water is collected. the system had a float that diverter the water once the 10 gallon tank was full , mostly clean water after that
  4. nj_m715


    Jeep, I don't do anything to it. When it fills the extra water fills the stand pip and goes down the overflow pipe to the ground. Although I noticed it's starting to stretch so I might need a frame to contain and limit the stretching or just an extra valve to shut it off when its full. I'll keep an eye on it and see how it goes.
    I didn't search for the black surface It's just a waterbed that I had laying around. I'm not really taking advantage of the free heat. It's mostly just a wash the car or dog, water the garden kind of thing. I have my solar water heater for the shower. I like the black mostly for stealth. I didn't exactly go to the twp to get a permit to install a water tower on my roof. I thought of useing barrels, but this is on the front of my house and I don't want to attract attention. I'm on a suburban street not a farm.

    Tire, My roof is higher than any tree around, so I don't get much, just the little crumbs from the shingles. I have the tap as low as it can be to leave room for the filter. The pipe below the tap acts as a rock collector. The lower the tap is located the more head pressure the stand pipe can make for the filter. I most likely don't need the filter, but I figure better safe than sorry. I don't want to scum up the bladder.
    I have city water, but if it should ever fail I could have my toilets flushing and shower running in no time. The pressure wouldn't be great, but it would be much better than my neighbors. I wouldn't want to jam up the valves in the toilets or clog the showerhead with small debris. Hopefuly I'll never need to, but I want to keep the bladder clean if I ever need for an emergency.
    I'll have to remove it and replace the regular gutter in the winter, so I can clean out the bottom of the stand pipe at that time.

    Thanks for the input and ideas. It's still a work in progress type thing. I just through it together to see how it goes and I'm very happy so far. my biggest worry is about the uv on the bladder. It gets full sun for about 5 hrs a day. I thought about covering it with a tarp or something, but I don't want to worry about it in a storm. If it lasts a couple years, then great. I'll just keep my eye of craigslist for waterbeds.
  5. nj_m715


    Just a little update. It's been working out great. It did run empty on me 2 or 3 times, but we are in a draught warning due to a lack of rain. Luckily it has rained soon after it ran dry, so it's been in use all summer without an problem. I'll have to pack it up in a few weeks. The cold weather should be moving in, but I'll use it as long as I can. Same goes for my PVC solar water heater. I'm still using it and it's still working well.