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Harvesting rainwater experts needed

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Remote Pigtails, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    I have a very long time customer who is going to build their dream home in Dallas. This is going to be the ultimate environment friendly home. Anyway they called me for expertise on putting a cistern under their garage to harvest rainwater to use in the automatic sprinkler system. Since I will end up taking care of this system I need to know everything about this. Two requests: Can anybody steer me to a site that explains this and if you are or know a local contractor who has expertise in this area please contact me.
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,218

    Not an option. Praise their interest, but move on. Only if they were considering genuine desert landscaping could something like a cistern possibly make sense. Otherwise, the water needs will exceed any storage capacity of any cistern. If they have room to construct a reservoir, then look into using stored water. Otherwise, forget it.
  3. Mad Estonian

    Mad Estonian LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I like this site, there's some good info if you poke around. I have a few of their books, haven't tried putting any of into practice yet. Some residents on the smaller islands around here are having to harvest rainwater for domestic use, but they certainly aren't watering any lawns with it. http://www.oasisdesign.net/index.htm
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    And there has to be a difference in annual rainfall between BC and Dallas. :)
  5. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    I'm inclined to agree with you. When I drive in the country and see holding tanks, ponds, etc I just can't fathom having enough rainfall to maintain a traditional dallas landscape. I'm guessing this isn't going to be traditional. In talking to them I suspect they were told of other people doing this. They will still use city water but try to minimize their need for it. She said there was a method that the city water would refill the tank when it dropped to low. (I'm imagining this giant toilet tank structure) We tend to get our rain here in large bunches or none at all. Great for filling large lakes fast but not for maintaining constant levels. Here is the main problem I see: screening out the leaves and dirt. Somehow that tank is going to need to be cleaned on occasion. With a landscape plan (they are working with a L. A. now) a fairly rough estimate of their water needs can be determined. All food for thought. I liked that Oasis web site. need to study it further. If I was smart (NOT!) I'd let this go but I'm a kindred spirit of this type of thinking.
  6. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    We average about 35 inches a year. It just comes all at once or none at all. The reason we have so many foundation problems here is we go from saturation extremes to dry extremes which is a problem in expansive clay soils. This same problem makes us less than ideal for desert landscaping. Dallas is a very difficult gardening climate. Right smack in the middle of two zones.
  7. Remote Pigtails

    Remote Pigtails LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 581

    This has the potential to become a kludge.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I really like that word. Can't wait to use it on a couple of my work orders. :laugh:
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Therein lies the problem. I can't see a cistern as anything more than supplemental watering of landscapes in your area. And if it needs a recharge source such as domestic water to make it through drier spells then where is the gain?
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    It takes 27152 gallons to put one inch on one acre.

    Here is my suggested storage tank:


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