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Hey all, I have been a long time follower, but just finally joined up. For a bug in scenario what is your opinion on a rain water collection system (metal roof) coupled with a slow sand filter? Does any one have any experience or opinions? I've been doing some looking on youtube and have found some pretty interesting collection/filtration systems.


I'd also like to have a back up manual deep well pump to sustain during a drought or otherwise, but at this time it is cost prohibitive.



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Do you want to use the water to drink? That is more difficult because the water is filled with contaminates. But many people use four 55 gallon plastic barrels and a few feet of PVC to collect water to use on their gardens. That is not difficult at all. The PVC hooks up to your downspout. At the top of each barrel (except the last one) there is a piece of PVC connecting all the barrels (one at a time). That way, when the first barrel is filled, the overflow feeds the second barrel, and so on. Do a YouTube search and you’ll find out how to do it.

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Yep thats pretty much the exact setup i have planned but with a total of six barrels linked together for a total of 330 gallons. Have a water diverter to release the first few minutes of water to reduce the contaiminants. Then have it set up with a slow sand filter for filtration. I have seen a few articles on this and the slow sand filter seems to be very effective if done right. Before the filter it can be used as gray water, and after the filter for drinking.

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Yep thats pretty much the exact setup i have planned but with a total of six barrels linked together for a total of 330 gallons. Have a water diverter to release the first few minutes of water to reduce the contaiminants. Then have it set up with a slow sand filter for filtration. I have seen a few articles on this and the slow sand filter seems to be very effective if done right. Before the filter it can be used as gray water, and after the filter for drinking.

Set your system with a double filter setup,one for dirt and the other for bacterias and such,the CDC may help,also if your system is hook up to your regular water suppy,is good to drink.

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you don't have to do anything find a water safe container dig a hole put in underground run your gutters

into it I would go with a 500 to 1000 gallon you can even fill it with city water.

or a mounted cistern but it has to be higher than the water facets in the house {forget taking a shower unless you have a tall house or multiple stories where your gutter comes out, because that is the top of your cistern.


The tank can be mounted on its side if cylindrical and that would allow more space


In ground you need it dip or pump by hand or electrically 12 or 120 volt it out then filter & purify why waste all that

you might be watering plants taking a bath outside washing dishes you do not need to treat that water


a cistern was used for centuries the Chinese, Rome, Egypt, and any other civilizations that thrived had to catch water underground was a logical place as it is cool so if you take it treat it and wait the time required it will still be cool all you have to watch is the freeze line {in the earth} so it does not freeze in the tank and bust it.


I can make septic tank water into drinkable water through a solar still in fact the new Aerobic septic systems

say you can drink the water from the finished side in a "quality" system {I would not smells like crap literally}

from sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfides gases trapped in the water.


you need to screen the water some big balls of stainless steel brillo pads meshed together and pinned in the

very top of the down spout will do that but you have to clean them or bugs and leaves will plug it up

really you do not have to strain it at all if your going to filter and treat it every few years suck out the bottom

like cleaning a fish tank.


All I have to say if it is water even water from a swamp you can treat it and use it but you don't have to treat

every drop anti microbial dish washing liquid or just plain lye soap will kill most of the bad stuff for cleaning and

bathing purposes.

even after a break in the line they warn you to boil your water that is because back wash of dirt and contaminates have seeped into the line so guess what if you store water and there is a temperature

variation the barrel or tank will breath and that allows fungus and microbes in so even if it was

drinking water at one time does not make it safe years later unless sealed and you can tell a CD drum of water

{CD stands for civil defense an old WWII and cold war organization kinda like FEMA}

anyways the 55 gallon drums you find in bunkers are either bloated or squished {sucked in slightly}

after all these years the sucked in ones are still usable so are the others but I would treat them.

and I would never hook anything up to my home water system that can get you DEAD

water in a line once the pressure is removed has suction put a hose in a full sink hooked to your spout

outside when you come back the next day some or all the water is gone and it did not evaporate it was sucked bac into the line so you better have someone who knows what they are doing or call a plumber.


NOW YOU KNOW WHY CITIES DEMAND YOU HAVE A Anti-Siphon or Vacuum Breaker and Back flow Check Valve.




there are others for pressured lines and such like automatic sprinkler systems etc.


you can pipe it in with a ball valve pumping it up into a barrel 2 foot over all the water fixtures and use

gravity flow but it needs a vent {to let air go in} or the system will vapor lock {no water will come out}.

when it comes out of the faucet you can boil it treat it and drink it after the emergency you need to be able to back flush your lines and run city treated water through them.


A barrel has a 2" bung run 2 inch to where your tapping in at

get a PVC fitting conversion nipple to whatever size your going size line in your home tap into and place a 1/4 turn ball valve between of home water line size to seal it off when not in use.


Place barrel on its side up high at an angle about 10 to 15 degrees this gives you a silt layer for dirt or whatever

pumped in to settle to the bottom valve above is on the bottom bung and you can put a filter in the line here.

they make stone filters in a canister or removable replaceable filters but you will still have to boil and treat it.


a nipple in the top bung or just remove it hook the transfer hose to it and fill do not obstruct the upper hole

you can use scouring pads of copper or stainless if your trying to keep out insects around the hose

but air has to go in for water to come out.


well I think I explained it sometimes I get things turned around unless I am looking at it or doing it


when you buy a pump it has a head limit some can pump X amount of water so many feet and so high

over where it is placed as well as how much distance it can draw feet down some need to be primed

{fill the hose into the tank till it come up to the pump level {we do not want that kind}


you need a sump pump 12 volt it stays or is placed near the bottom {not on the bottom as it will draw the

crap off the bottom} attach power pump water to elevated tank if it will not reach you can stage it

to another tank and then pump it from there.


now this sounds easy don't it I wonder why it costs so little for water when you consider what it takes to get it.


anyway I am a redneck not an engineer but it is simple if you understand the concept water flows down hill free

if you need to move it it is going to take money or energy and it need to be planned or you could waste money

on things you don't need or having to redo it.



IF a biological problem or your not sure then treat it but not before you use it standing water open

the air will blow bad stuff in and bleach will evaporate out over time or be pushed out as the barrel / cistern

fills as it will set on top as a gas as it is heavier than air but the water may not be good as bacteriologicals

may be perking at the bottom.

only potable {sealed} water is drinkable and even then you need to be sure it was still sealed when you use it

in 24 hours open to the air due to wind / air a contaminant can be contaminated look up hantavirus

it can be breathed in carried with or as dust particles and that is just one of many.


I ain't an virologist either but I have played one on TV LOL

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Side note if it freezes {below 32 degrees for a week}an above ground cistern will / may not work as only the top

need to freeze a inch or so and it can bust the tank.


if your area floods and you have a below ground tank you need a sealed system up to the gutter with a vent

that is above the highest flood of the century and then some and a screen over it or bugs will be making a home in the pipe


A tank cannot be empty underground it needs to be anchored or full as it can and will pop or float out of the ground.


never bury a tank where it can be run over by a car or truck a riding mower wont break it unless it is just under the ground and depending on what type ASK.


I did my best to explain I am sure it is not all inclusive but I think you get the idea.

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Engineers without Boarders do a wonderful job of getting safe drinking water to third world countries. They always use local material so that repairs can be made locally if needed.


The one I know about in Africa used a system that allowed the first few gallons or so of roof runoff to bypass the filter assembly. This allowed the first rain to wash away the dirt and leaves and such. Then as the 'bypass' bucket filled its weight tripped a trough to fill the water barrels through the filtration system. Extremely low tech and very reliable. Instead of water from ditches they got water from a filtered source. No parasites, no deaths due to bad water which is one of the biggest killers in the world.


Just remember, a truly dry year can be tough to work around. Texas last year was such a year. I've lived along the Gulf coast for many years and last year was the first time I can remember when rain catchment would not have worked. I'm reworking some plans now.

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Guest kevin

driest year my dad (77) can ever loss on my garden last year. (cept the bucket garden)

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My father had a water collection system,rain gutter type,first filter was a 5 gallon bucket with active charcol

and wire mesh,last filter was a ceramic type,we drank/cook with the water,never had a problem.You can also have a underground pvc type tank with a manual pump,just in case the power fails,just make sure is below the freeze mark.

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Just a question...have any of you heard of it being ILLEGAL to catch rain?? I recently read an article on which said some states claim the water that falls in their state is state property and must be taxed. Anyone heard of this crap??


WHAT?? If you let the government tax the rain water that falls on your property, the next thing they might want to do is tax the air you breed. Really stupid F**KING laws. OMG the end is near. Some law makers needs a good spanking, if not all of them these days.













If your not " Physically Fit ", then your just Food for the Zombies.LOL.

In GOD I Trust, Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them!

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I have 3 55gallon rain barrels positioned on a platform about 4 feet off the ground. Rainwater from the metal roof fills these barrels. I then pipe the water to a Berkey Imperial Water Purifier. The Berkey has two Black Berkey filters and two PF-2 Flouride filters and can purify up to 5.5 gallons/hour. I've been doing this for nearly four years now and have never had any problems. Here in Central KY there hasn't been a shortage of rain. Plan B to to pull water directly from a fast flowing creek on the property using a hand pump and double Berkey filter the water. In my opinion the Berkey water is much better tasting than the County water and probably safer too.

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It not that its illegal to catch rain water its that certain areas certain people (the rich) have water rights and if you take water that falls from the sky you are taking water from the people who own the right to water. Colorado is one of the states actually enforces such laws, I believe that the laws have not caught up with the times. Also its only illegal if you get caught Camouflaged collection system and good opsec should be enough to keep the law away.

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