Harvesting rainwater is becoming more common in the South Bay and on the Peninsula. Within the last four months Bay Maples has installed 2400 gallons worth of storage in San Mateo, 500 gallons at a home in San Jose, 1600 gallons at a business in San Jose, an 800 gallon pillow tank under a deck in San Mateo, 1120 gallons at Martial Cottle Park and 1200 gallon storage tank at Emma Prusch Farm Park. Most of these systems will capture enough water to satisfy the irrigation needs of the home or office for the entire year. As the drought persists people are embracing alternative water sources (other than the municipal water supply) to satisfy their irrigation needs. People want to have a nice landscape, they want to have fruit trees and an edible garden. Rainwater harvesting allows them to maintain their gardens simply, without having to touch the municipal water supply.
Rain Collection Tanks & Barrels
We are all familiar with the ubiquitous 55 gallon drum underneath a downspout. And while they are a very good start, I think most people will tell you that 55 gallons doesn’t go very far. Our simple rain catchment systems are identical to 55 gallon drum systems just sized up. We want to be able to irrigate for several months with the rainwater we capture. Our process is as follows:. First, we set up a filtering mechanism to keep leaves and small organics out of the storage tank. Then we direct one or more downspouts through the filter and into the tank. An overflow is installed that typically flows out to a swale or rain-garden. Finally we set up an appropriate method to get the water out that aligns with the clients irrigation strategy; setting up a hose bib to fill watering cans or a simple ball valve drip irrigation system. Storage tanks are sized based on available area for the tank and summer months irrigation projections.
Bay Maples also installs more sophisticated rain collection systems. These systems incorporate a pump and controller allowing for a typical irrigation approach, (set up a number of zones, set the days when watering is required and set the duration) using drip systems and complying with the new Welo guidelines.
Smart Integrated Systems
More sophisticated systems still, “Smart Systems”, incorporate greywater, rainwater and municipal water. Irrigating with these systems is done by amounts, gallons as opposed to duration. Let’s say your irrigation requirements are eighty gallons a day. First the system looks at greywater, how many gallons have been produced? Let’s say 60. To make up the 20 gallon deficit, the system will first look to the rainwater tanks, if the water is there, it will take it. If not, it will reach out to municipal and take the water from there. If it needs 100 percent from municipal, say you are on vacation, it will take it all from there. Bay Maples is working with companies from around the world to find the best solutions effective, responsible water use. We hope that what was once an alternative water source will become the norm.
Rainwater Irrigation Video
In this video we show you a very cool rain collection tank and pump system we built and installed for a client in Morgan Hill.