Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good News.....mostly

the collector is complete and works just fine. the two large black pipes carry rainwater from the roof into it. the white pipe is an overflow, for those times it rains more than the pump can keep up with. the big downpour. the smaller black pipe is the outlet from the pump, carrying water to the tank. the wires to the pump and float switch are visible too.

the tank is covered with shade mesh and kept in place with a giant green rubber band. the mesh was in the greenhouse and we decided to remove it as it seemed unneccessary. water goes right through it and sun doesn't so much. two layers may be required to keep algae from growing in the tank. the giant green rubber band is some sort of exercise device the pirate bought long ago in a fit of fitness and never used.

a day and a half of intermittent, medium rain filled the tank almost full. the white pipe is the overflow. the other pipe is the business end from the pump.

the not-so-good news is that the water doesn't stay in the tank. it is an old hot tub and had been empty for several years when i salvaged it. the pieces were carefully duct-taped into bundles and stored for maybe eight years. i remember vaguely reading somewhere that redwood tanks don't always seal up properly after being dried out, let alone disassembled. too true in this case. two hours before i took the picture the water level was near the top of the overflow pipe.

it worked well enough for a proof-of-concept test. we had already decided to buy a larger plastic tank if the plan turned out to be feasible so we located several sources for 2500-2800 gallon tanks yesterday and are awaiting exact prices that include shipping. there is one available 2 miles away but no delivery is included. we may rent a trailer and haul it on home. it is 8 feet in diameter and eight feet tall and weighs 350-400 pounds.

pictures at 11. that's a cliche, of course. we will post pictures when we have a tank.

a bit more good news.......we can use the same pump that put water in the tank to pump the water to soaker hoses on the garden growing beds. more on that later.

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