Old 05-02-2011, 11:32 PM
bobw bobw is offline
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Rain Water Harvesting and Drip Irrigation

We're starting to see a lot more emphasis on rain water harvesting for commercial sites.

Our development by-laws permit commercial buildings to reduce their landscaping ratios if they opt for "low water use" systems. This basically comes down to drip irrigation for trees/shrubs and NO irrigation for turf.

Now that the LEED folks have jumped on the bandwagon, we're seeing spec's for drip using harvested rain water.

My real big question is what needs to happen to that harvested water to make it "irrigation system" friendly. My main concern would be algae/etc and their effects on drip emitters.

Anyone have experience and thoughts on this?
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Old 05-02-2011, 11:44 PM
S.O.Contracting S.O.Contracting is offline
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check out this link its got some sweet setups

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Old 05-03-2011, 10:50 PM
bobw bobw is offline
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That's interesting stuff on the mechanics of the harvesting; however I'm much more concerned with the issues around using the harvested water.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:26 AM
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Waterlogged Waterlogged is offline
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Location: Texas
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bobw, Here's another link http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publicat...3rdedition.pdf This information might be more of what you are looking for.

It's really going to depend upon how dirty your water is. The water should really be pre-filtered (big stuff) before it goes into the tank. I would treat it like lake water, filter it as often as you can. RainBird has a drip kit with filters built in. I've used them. They work well.

The darker the tank, the less algae you'll have. No sunlight is best.

Another option - if you think you'll have alot of buildup, use scrubber valves.
"Easiest way to open a jar-top valve"
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:44 AM
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Autoflow Autoflow is offline
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I have either a large filter directly on the outlet of the pump, or you can put a small filter after the solenoid valve on each zone as well. If the tankwater has a bit of debris in it you could have problems with valves being stuck if you only have the small filter at each valve.

As Waterlogged said you shouldn't be getting algae growing in the tank if it is dark (or underground). I always install flush valves on the end of each line of dripline so that when the system turns on, or if you have had a break in the line that you don't know about, instead of it clogging up the emitters the flush valves lets about a gallon of water flow through it to clear any debris each time it turns on. The Netafim dripline that I use has small filters on the emitters that tilt when it first turns on to let the debris out, then it all flows through the pipe and out through the flush valve so it cleans itself everytime it turns on.
There is some info here.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:36 AM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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We put overflow pipes on our cisterns to keep the skunge off the surface. I am going to pump them this season, it'll be interesting to see what's at the bottom of the tanks.
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