Monday, June 9, 2014

State of The Rainwater Catchment Address

Recent storm activity has gotten me thinking about my water supply.  So far this year I have gotten just shy of a half inch of rainfall.  Last year by this time TFL had almost 4" of rain.  Checked the levels in all my tanks and I am happy to report that as of today I have 11,450 gallons on tap.  I am currently using about 40 gallons per day (mostly for Ben'n'Bud and the chickens and rabbits).  At that rate, my reserves will last 286.25 days.  Looking forward to some more substantial gains.  80,92,71,0,B


Dizzy-Dick said...

Surely you will get more rain before your reserves run out, right?

Modern Day Redneck said...

Hey John, we will down that way for the Chili Competition the first weekend in November and would like to swing by for a quick visit.
Been following you from the start.

Ronald Mahan said...

The very best thing one can do - to minimize evaporation losses from these water storage tanks - it is to submerge the fill pipe (to near the bottom of the tank)and seal the pipe entrance into the tank. These tanks have spring loaded flapper valves (in the tank lids) that open as the tank is filled - remain closed except when removal of water from the causes a negative pressure in the tank.
What submerging the fill pipe and sealing the fill pipe entrance does - is reduce the evaporation rate out of the tank - proportional to the difference intotal surface area of the tank - to the total surface area of the fill pipe.

ie, if your fill pipe is 4 inch in diameter - you only have evaporation from (3.14 x 4)= 12.6 SQUARE INCHES. But if you tank is 10 feet in diameter (and open to the atmosphere) you have evaporation - from (3.14 x 25)= 78 SQUARE FEET! That makes a tremendous difference in our dry desert conditions.

Or consult with the tank manufacturer - on the way to minimize evaporation losses? Those flapper valves were put there for this purpose - but many people do not use them properly.

Cheers - Ronald Mahan

bunker_man said...

One sure way to brew up a storm is to get the para/plane out and take to the air. When's it going to be?

Carolyn Ohl-Johnson said...

You're in good shape, John. Don't sweat it!

Nicholas said...

I live in Seattle, WA area but originally from Texas (Austin area). I just purchased 20 acres in Terlingua about a week ago. I have been wanting to set up an off grid homestead for years and am glad I am finally taking the steps to do so. The only discouragement I feel about Terlingua is the water situation. I have many theoretical ideas for water catchment but you know how theoretical ideas, sometimes reality is much harsher. My idea was to purchase a 1000 gallon holding tank; build a crude earthbag dome around the holding tank to keep the temp as cool as possible leaving only the tip of the dome open to be able to access water. Place 30 - 6ft posts creating a 30ft diameter around the structure with a hook at the top of each post. The idea would be to use a 30 ft parachute with the center cut out. Fasten each perimeter handle to a post to stretch it out and someone place a weight near the center to cause the parachute to slope down so that water runs into the tank. Since you are actually there and have practical experience - do you think something like this would actually work? When calculating the amount of water catchment from 1 inch of rain it should theoretically catch about 400 gallons.

Nicholas said...
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Unknown said...

It was this post that made me pray for you!