IMG_0127Anyone considering collecting rainwater with totes should probably consult with me first – I have gone through a major learning curve on how to make these things work, and I could save you a lot of exploration…

I discovered that if you stack tanks, you have to tighten the top seal first – it leaks, and when you have a thousand pounds of water over it, you won’t be able to do anything about it until that water is gone.

The first major problem was finding an adapter to the tank that works… I bought the totes from San Diego drums and totes, and I made the mistake of not trying to fit the adapter to the barrel. Three trips and $80 later, I had the most expensive adapters, but they worked. So much for being cheap.

The next major problem was how to connect the tanks. I rigged up a PVC connector from home depot, but it turns out the outputs of the totes are at an angle, so it created tension resulting in an annoying leak. I gave up on that, and decided to use garden hoses. The picture below is what I have now, and it seems to have full flexibility to connect totes, control flow between them, and I can use the same hose as an output.


Output pipe

I use two filters to output the water because you can’t allow fine grains to enter your irrigation hose – they will eventually clog it.

Connecting them to the roof is another matter worthy of another post. Let’s just say I discovered the necessity of silicon glue and how to build and extend rain gutters.