The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:




TimberKing Sawmills




Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Forest Products Industry Insurance


Norwood Industries Inc.


Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades


Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

Woodshax Outdoor Vending Solutions

FARMA

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?  (Read 1126 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline livemusic

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Location: NW Louisiana, USA
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« on: April 20, 2017, 12:14:57 pm »
I hope to find an answer! I collect rainwater in buckets and am thinking of a more advanced collection system; I use it on newly planted trees in my yard. Oaks, dogwoods, walnut, pecan, birch. It's a pain to shuffle water around, though. Wondering if there is any need. I do like not having to use city water; the cost, plus, if I use rainwater, it does not deplete the aquifer any. As far as a filter, my brother used to use a filter on the end of the water hose for his organic garden water. Wondering if that's sufficient, it would be easier. Wondering if it's even necessary. Caveat... our city water routinely causes the city to send out warning notices to the citizens. It's for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acid exceeding the EPA rules. It says something like this is not a dire warning, however, if you drink this water over a long period of time, such as 20 years, you could have health problems!

I wonder if a tree cares.
~~~
Bill

Offline DelawhereJoe

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 600
  • Age: 37
  • Location: delaware
  • Gender: Male
  • Trapped in Delawhere
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 06:20:41 pm »
Around here people use the plastic 55 gal drums and run there down spouts into them with a piece of window screen to cover the hole they cut into the drum. The screen is there to keep out mosquitoes and other water bugs. Some will put a garden hose spigot into the bottom of the drum and water there plants that way. If necessary they could use one of the sump pumps that use a garden hose to tranfer the water to another drum in one of the little mower wagons and take the water to wherever you need it.
WD-40, DUCT TAPE, 024, 026, 362c-m, 041, homelite xl, JD 2510

Offline BradMarks

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 522
  • Location: Oregon
  • Gender: Male
  • Foresters are TREE-mendous
    • Pacforest Supply
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 06:56:13 pm »
We have good city water here, drawn from deep wells, good and cold and "taste" good, as in no aftertaste, just refreshing. But it still gets some treatment. I do you use city water in the garden, not enough rain in the summer.  But when we get that occasional rain in the summer, it sure "seems" the plants like it better. But I have been called crazy before!   Livemusic:  my wife is from LOOsianna, and when we visited, I never drank the water!  But Dixie beer I did, made from the same water!

Offline ljohnsaw

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2637
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Northern California
  • Gender: Male
  • Happily retired... Working harder than ever!
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 07:48:32 pm »
I have an aquaponics (cycling water from fish tank to plants and back again) with a system that has a 275 gallon top tank that runs into a 330 gallon tank for the fish, through the garden (lava rock in half barrels) into a 275 gallon catch tank.  When it fills, a pump kicks on to fill the top tank.  I have three more 275 gallon tanks that catch rain water from a small section of my roof.  We had so much rain this year that if could have filled them at least 5 times over!  The three tanks take me through most of the summer.  We only get rain from about late October to late April.  In my case, I really need to use rain water so it doesn't harm the fish with chlorine.  When I do need to add city water, I add it a little at a time to the bottom tank so it gets diluted.

  

 
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline TKehl

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 552
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Sedalia, MO
  • Gender: Male
  • Certified Contrarian
    • Kehlhof Ranch
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 10:09:37 pm »
Are the trees downhill of your house?  A barrel, 275 gallon IBC, or stock tank with a bulkhead fitting at the bottom would let you connect a garden hose if it will gravity flow.  Connecting said tank to your gutter would let you collect a lot of water.  Your tanks can be interconnected if you need more capacity.  Put a bit of privacy fence around it if it needs to be pretty.  A few drops of bleach will keep the algae down.

Filter?  My guess is your brother filtered the rainwater used in his garden to prevent any bird poop from being sprayed on stuff people eat.  (Thankfully, birds are all trained not to do their business when flying over gardens.   ::))  Your trees won't care.  Just don't spray it all over ripe apples.   :D

I think rainwater is slightly better (and free!), but probably splitting hairs.  Rainwater is usually closer to neutral pH than city water.  I'd be surprised if after 50 years there would be a measurable difference in tree growth. 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline livemusic

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
  • Location: NW Louisiana, USA
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm new!
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 04:29:44 pm »
Does anyone know... say I have a rain barrel that the bottom of it is 4 feet higher than some trees I'd like to water. How does height affect the flow rate? If my trees are 50' to 100' away, would the water flow from a garden hose hooked up to the rain barrel? The words hydrostatic head come to mind. I've forgotten the physics of hydrostatic pressure. Wondering how high I need to have the barrel.
~~~
Bill

Offline ljohnsaw

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2637
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Northern California
  • Gender: Male
  • Happily retired... Working harder than ever!
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 07:28:27 pm »
Water will flow.  The rate at which it will flow depends on the pressure (height) and restrictions (hose diameter, fittings).  A standard 5/8" hose - it will be slow but you don't need fast for a slow-soaking watering for a tree.  I'd get my hands on some bigger 3/4" hose (or 1" if you can find it).  Figure just under 1/2 psi per foot of height.  So you would be putting out ~2psi but friction (hose size) will play a bigger role.

I put in 1" pvc down my hill.  I have 500' of pipe with about 100 to 140' drop.  So at least 50psi at the bottom.  Takes a lot of thumb pressure to hold it back.  When I let it go, pretty good gush of water then it slows down to about 6 or 7 gpm due to friction in the line.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline kelLOGg

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1747
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Still learning more than I'm teaching
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2017, 12:07:25 pm »
We collect rainwater in an underground cistern and pump it to the garden with a jet pump pretty much like one would do for domestic well water. I have found that I have to aerate it to promote aerobic bacteria growth, otherwise I get the hydrogen sulfide smell from anaerobic bacteria. I turn on a grossly oversized rotary vane pump for 1/2 hour a day which has completely eliminated the smell. Birds poop on the roof and leaves decay on the gutter screen which make a brown colored water and lots of sediment in the bottom of the cistern which I pump out every few years with a Wayne de-watering pump. When I use a soaker hose I bypass the water flow thru a pleated filter to prevent clogging of the hose, otherwise the water is applied directly via a hose and nozzle. After all the effort it has been trouble-free.
Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer

Offline Ron Scott

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7686
  • Age: 81
  • Location: Cadillac, MI
  • Gender: Male
    • Ron Scotts Web
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2017, 05:56:24 pm »
No water bills to pay!
~Ron

Offline sandsawmill14

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2758
  • Age: 45
  • Location: tn
  • Gender: Male
  • love my job (most days)
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 06:45:30 pm »
if it doesnt have much fall to the land you up can upsize the pipe running down hill and try to bend the pipe for any turns instead of using fitting like 90s or 45s and at the end use bushing with a hose bib to connect you hose  ;) a 2" pvc line will have roughly 4 times the pressure of a 1" pvc with the same number of fittings ( hopefully none ) :)
 my uncle had a spring he used for drinking water but it was high on a ridge and had roughly 300 ft of fall with a 2' deep spring box and a 3/4" pipe it would maintain 15-20 lb pressure with hose open but i realize most wont have that much fall but the bigger dia pipe will help considerably  :) another thing you can do if you have 4' of fall and the tank on the ground is build a stand and raise the tank up closer to the leak of the house to get more fall another 4-5' would make a lot of difference :)
hudson 228, timberking b20, s&w 125 ,lucky knuckleboom,stihl 038 064 441 magnum

Offline ljohnsaw

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2637
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Northern California
  • Gender: Male
  • Happily retired... Working harder than ever!
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 07:03:22 pm »
try to bend the pipe for any turns instead of using fitting like 90s or 45s
A fitting has the equivalent flow restriction as 16x the diameter.  Doesn't seem like much but it sure adds up.  For my Aquaponics, I took an old toaster oven and punched a hole in each side.  I would then pass some pipe through the oven, heating it over a section so that I could bend a sweep to help with NOT restricting flow.  Took a little doing to not heat it up too much that it just sags.  I found that putting some of the aluminum spiral wound BX cable inside I could make a good bend and not have it kink.  I did a bunch of 1" up to 2".  Also having a tub of water to dip it in when you got the right shape sure sped things up.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 38" cut Bandmill up to 64' - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline sandsawmill14

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2758
  • Age: 45
  • Location: tn
  • Gender: Male
  • love my job (most days)
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 07:46:44 pm »
we have bent alot of pipe like that but heat with a torch  :)  but instead  of cooling it in water we just try to lay it hot so its still flexible which is not hard because it takes a good while for it to cool  :) that way i never miss a bend ;D :D :D :D
hudson 228, timberking b20, s&w 125 ,lucky knuckleboom,stihl 038 064 441 magnum

Offline CJennings

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Vermont
  • Gender: Male
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2017, 11:41:48 am »
If you're bending copper (or brass as unlikely as that is) you want to cool it with water after using the torch to anneal it. Otherwise there's a greater risk of stress cracks developing. Steel or iron is the exact opposite.

Offline sandsawmill14

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2758
  • Age: 45
  • Location: tn
  • Gender: Male
  • love my job (most days)
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 12:32:31 pm »
i was talking about pvc sch40 pipe :) for copper i use fittings or soft drawn copper so it can be bent cold :)
hudson 228, timberking b20, s&w 125 ,lucky knuckleboom,stihl 038 064 441 magnum

Offline kensfarm

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Maryland
  • Gender: Male
  • Think!
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2017, 10:59:08 pm »
I live on the farm and have well water.. I work in the city and I can smell the bleach in the water when I wash my hands.. there is probably fluoride in it too.  I guess rain could pull pollution from the air..  well water has a big dirt filter.  You could do a test.. 2 trays w/ dirt from same source..  measure or weight out some grass seed so each tray gets the  same amount.  Water one w/ city water.. and one w/ rain water..  see who wins! 

Offline kelLOGg

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1747
  • Age: 73
  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Gender: Male
  • Still learning more than I'm teaching
Re: Rainwater -- is it any advantage over city water?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2017, 12:44:55 pm »
I think rainwater is slightly better (and free!), but probably splitting hairs.  Rainwater is usually closer to neutral pH than city water.  I'd be surprised if after 50 years there would be a measurable difference in tree growth.

I agree with TK. The rainwater in our cistern is slightly brown due decaying organic matter, so I presume it has more nutrients it than city water but not enough to make a statistical difference.
Bob
Cook's MP-32, 16HP, 20' (modified w/ power feed, up/down, loader/turner)
DH kiln, CatClaw, tandem trailer, log arches, trailer, tractor, hammer