Welcome to UK420

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

This message will be removed once you have signed in.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
the lone deranger

Rain water system, for drinking.

Anyone using and drinking rainwater? 


I'm about to move onto land and an empty building, without mains water. I'm happy using the river and stream but I'm thinking of harsh winters, guests and a future Ms Deranged lol 


I've looked into getting connected :doh: 


It will be expensive. A proper ball ache. Digging up a garden/orchard. And the waters not even great. 


Happy to be off mains anyway with one less bill to pay. 


I will be collecting off a slate tiled roof approximately 70m2. This will be collected, stored, filtered and only used in the building I plan to eventually live in. There's plenty of other water sources for gardening and work etc. 


Thinking of having 2x1000 Ltr IBC's as main storage tanks. They will be sat above head height, having a good lead head. Makes things slightly easier. 


The collected water will be filtered/strained for debris at the drainpipes. Then again befor entering the tanks,with easy access to clean out the junk.


Then before entering the system, it would go through two drop filters reducing in mesh size. 


Then into the building. 


Only water going to the kitchen sink cold tap will be fully treated. As in a final mesh filter (0.1m) , then UV treated. (I want friends and family to be happy drinkng it. I'll never hear the end of it if I give my mum the shits lol ).



This may all  be slight overkill, but I'd like to be able to top up the tanks from a nearby river in emergencies (drought) without any worries. I'd be confident with the above if I trusted the tech lol 




Anyone doing, or have done something similar? 


What filters are you using? Do you bother with UV?


What sort of maintenance have you ended up doing? 


Feel free to make suggestions (based on experience please), I'm open to ideas. 


Nice one 


5 people like this

Share this post

Link to post

Hey mate, I might have a few ideas for you.


Over here in Aus, a lot of folk live rurally and are off the grid. We are in a similar position collecting rainwater for household purposes. They have it sussed when it comes to tank water.


The last place we stayed at had a big 5000 Gallon tank beside the house. Rainwater would be collected and a pump under the house pushed the water up through the taps. Simple design, but the water pressure was crap. For drinking, we used a Brita filter jug, but we were fine brushing our teeth etc. but I hear a few people gat Gardia from their tanks.


The place we are in now is much better designed. All rainwater is collected and drained into a 5000 Gallon tank by the house, but instead of feeding directly into the house, we have another 25000 Gallon tank up the hill......


When it rains, all water goes into the 5000 Gal tank under the house, and when it's full, a float switch is triggered, and all that water gets pumped up the hill to the 25000 tank. A pipe runs down the hill from that tank, to the house providing the domestic supply. MUCH better water pressure - like a power shower as it's gravity fed rather than pump fed.


Because of the greater pressure, you can have a fiter tap on the kitchen sink for drinking water.... a bit like the filters in an RO filter. The 2 tanks helps clean the water a bit as all the shit sinks to the bottom in the 5000 gal tank, and never gets pumped upto the hill tank. The only filters Ive seen are just the plain mesh ones at the top opening of the tanks to stop leaves etc..... no UV or other filters (apart from the kicthen drinking water tap). For tea, cooking etc, I just use the unfiltered 'normal' tap water, and so far so good! I dont see any shit settling to the bottom of a glass of water if I leave it for a few days.


Gravity fed means less leccy used as the pump just takes a day to move the 5000 gallons from the collection tank to the distrinution tank., rather than the stop start of the pump to give you water every time you open the tap (like in the first house).

Also in the event of a power cut, we can still get water, but before if there's no power, the pump won't work.


Also, it means you don't run out of water as much as you have a bigger tank. Once the old 5000 Gal tank was full, in the rainy season, further rain can't be collected, but now we can keep collecting water to store for the dry season - and where before we  used to run out of water - meaning paying $200 for a tanker to arrive to top us up - now we don't run out at all. A 5000 Gal tank wasn't enough for a family of 4 (and my growing as well!).... it got to the stage where we had to shower less often and be careful about laundry etc... and coming from London to this was a steep learning curve (in every way), I can't believe how much water we used to waste back home!


Whoever set this up knew what they were doing..... as well as the 25000 gal tank up the hill, they have 2 other tanks, one is for gardening water, linking to taps around the outside of the house - meaning we don't use domestic water for gardening, washing the car, jet spraying the house etc. Plus they have a 5000 Gal red tank that is used for Emergency - connected direct to a fire hydrant outside the house. These tanks are filled from the overflow of the 25000 tank when it gets full.


The first house's tank was made from metal, and then he replaced it with plastic. Our new place has concrete tanks.... much better as cooler water with no rust, and I think you get some kind of eco system thriving in the tanks that can be either good or detrimental, depending on the type of tank. In the old place, if we ran out and had a refill, that water would come from the local town domestic water supply, which is fluoridated and chlorinated - destroying the beneficial ecosystem in the tank. Also I noticed the pure rainwater is EC 0, while the town water was EC 0.1, making feeding the plants a pain in the arse.


I use our domestic tap water for my growing, and they love it.

Being EC 0 is such a bonus, but I'm sure theres some stuff in there... just enough to keep it pH stable - perfect for canna.... must be the bat shit / snake piss in it!


I hope all goes well for you, I just hope you don't live near an airport or a motorway..... that shit will get into your rainwater.

Good luck Bro.

Edited by teehee
7 people like this

Share this post

Link to post

@teehee thanks for that mate :yep: 


I was hoping you'd drop in. Hope you are well mate, long time no speak (I'll pm you my previous avatar). 


Everything you've said makes sense.. except the washing the car bit lol I let the rain do that. 


Just for a bit of context, I'm in south west wales. Pretty rural. We don't wash cars lol 


Its just me. 


Been living very simply for 5 of the last 6 years. Sometimes having to collect water from a spring. But even when we had spring water on tap, it was still a precious commodity and could dry up in the summer. 


The only planes that go past are fecking high up so not a worry. And the odd fighter jet flying low at 500mph taking target practice on the hippies.


Nearest motorway is about 2/3 hours away :yep: 


25,000ltr tank is definitly a bit much  for little me.


I'm on a tight budget lol 


Having said that, building a large tank in the future does appeal. I'd like a big clay/ceramic one, but that's a way off yet. But you've got me thinking :yep: 


I'll also be collecting more water from a greenhouse, another small building, have a mill stream running through, and a river to get water from for gardening indoors and out, animals, work etc. 


The 2x 1000ltr tanks will just be for domestic use, in the building I will eventually live in. With other tanks for overflow and outdoor use. 


I rarely have a bath but I will want one as occasionally my body needs it. I'm hoping to have a compost loo rather than flushing toilet but not sure if I'll get residential planning permission without a flusher :doh: i use a washing machine once a week at the most lol 


2000ltrs really is plenty for just me, and I could easily add more in the future.


 As much as I don't want to have to worry about water, I don't want an almost unlimited  supply of water. I'd want the same for anyone who stayed with me. 


Having to think about water consumption is important to me :yep: it's very easy to slip back into London mode. 


I can get clean IBC tanks (clear plastic food grade pallet size tanks with a metal cage around) for about £100.


2 of them, properly enclosed (dark) work well. 


I could easily add more at a later date if a ms deranged turns up out of the wilderness.


What you said about having a  separate tank up high makes sense but I don't have a huge amount land to play with. It's a thin, south facing strip, and it runs along the contour of the river. They could go a bit higher, but would be unsightly lol where they will sit (about 8ft above ground level) will give me a bit of gravity pressure.


I would have another tank (1000ltr) at the top of the building to supply the bathroom upstairs. Pumped up by solar power when there's sun. 


I'm hoping the first two tanks will also help with settling particles. 


I know the uv is overkill but it will make guests with a weaker immune system happier I guess.


Having lived off Spring/rain water for the last few years, I can't drink mains water in cities anymore. It's like drinking swimming pool water and makes me gag :puke:


I remember as a kid hating water from the tap, but happily drinking well water. Took 18 years to get used to drinking chlorine water. Don't wana go back to that thanks lol 


Thanks again for your input mate. 


I'm gonna look into making a concrete tank now :yep: 


Feel free to chip in with anything else you think of too. Doesn't even have to be about water. 


Nice one :yep: 


3 people like this

Share this post

Link to post

I have to say Bro, I have only jetsprayed the car once (no suds) in the 5 years we've been here.... and that's cos of the shit kicked up from the dirt roads.... I'm on the same wavelength as you on that one.


All our waste water goes in a septic tank.... the old place's one stank, it was under the house and I'd be able to smell everyones morning business when I hung ot the washing, but this place is no issue. 

A lot of people round here have composting toilets.


Glad you have given you some ideas, send us that avatar, you have me intrigued

Edited by teehee
1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

lol I was only jesting with the car mate @teehee


Sat here looking at my beaten up old thing (converted into a mini van) that's normally plastered in mud. The suns out and It's gleaming, due to heavy rain over night lol 


It's a mobile bin, and mud carrier. Occasionally I put tools and materials in there too lol 


I love my compost loo. And like the idea of shitting outside. But not so keen on frozen midnight poo marches in January/February. Might have both :yep: 


If I want planning permission (change of use to residential) I'll have to put in a waste treatment system (posh septic tank allowed near watercourse) to live there. 


Hoping to avoid the planners, but we'll see. That route involves new build reg's. That means a sprinkler system that would need an upgraded water system  :doh: 


Gonna use the building as a workshop first, eventually converting it and living in it. 


I'll be living in my caravan at first, and I'll have to wait and see if anyone kicks up a fuss, and see if planners turn up. 


(Might build a sneaky mini mini cabin out of site as a spare sleeping space).


They're understaffed and overworked and it's not their job to go looking. It's only if busy bodies report me. 


If/when I do install a waste management system, only my toilet waste would go in it. No products. No materials obviously. It should never really need emptying or anything, and gives 98% clean discharge that could go straight into the river. It won't. 


All grey water from the house will be diverted to filter through my greenhouse beds:yep: 


Still smashing out the auto's are you mate? 

Edited by the lone deranger
Add an @
1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

You can't recieve messages mate.

Maybe empty your inbox. 


Nice one 

1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

I tried sending you one.... any luck?

Share this post

Link to post

Yep :yep: got it.


Might have a go at building a large earthbag water tank, lined with concrete. 


Ive used earthbag a fair bit, building a huge retaining wall and other stuff. Never thought of building a water tank with them till now. 


Labour intensive, but it keeps ya fit, no cost and real easy to do lol 


I might end up with a big feck off tank after all :yep: 

1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post
On 13/05/2018 at 9:56 AM, the lone deranger said:


I can get clean IBC tanks (clear plastic food grade pallet size tanks with a metal cage around) for about £10

Shop around, I pay 15 pounds for ones that have been used once 

1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

@blackpoolbouncer:yep: good shout mate. 


i can get them for free, but they're usually minging :puke: there are lots of others about, I just used that as an example because I know u can buy them clean from local agri auction. Still a fraction of the price of a 'proper' water tank :fart:


Looks like I'm going to make a big earthbag/concrete tank anyway :thumsup:

1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

Hey there, you've been busy by the sound of it.This looks like a fun project, are you going to use ferrocrete, with the Chicken wire form? What are the earth bags for, a retaining wall? 


I've never considered a UV filter, no guests have ever got sick from drinking from the tanks. they get a fine layer of silt settled in the bottom, but the tap is a couple of inches up the side. 



1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

Was waiting for you to drop in @Sidi Hidi :yep: 


fun project for sure. 


The earth bags will be the building blocks as such. Gonna make a big holding tank next to the workshop. Then pump to a smaller tank in the top of the building. 


Earthbags work well as an alternative to concrete/blocks/bricks. 


We used them at Simon's to build a 5/6m high, 30m long retaining wall that cost nothing...


Except a fecking lot of effort lol 


Use the bags (plastic weaved waste bags, won't biodegrade if covered up) filled with mixed aggregate, layed like bricks, tamped down, with layers of barbed wire layed in between each layer to hold together while constructing. 


Its easy. Much less skill than bricks and blocks, just very labour intensive. 


This 'tank' will be lined with concrete inside. Probably just lime render on the outside.


The walls won't really need metal reenforcememt but I will put some in anyway to tie into the base. The lid will certainly be ferrous cement :yep: 


I know the UV is over the top, but it's for peace of mind. 


Long term plan might involve the public/schools at some point. For the sake of a few quid and an easy to install uv filter, it's one less thing to worry about. 


I'm currently drinking from the river, just running it all through a 'sawyer'  portable water filter. Best £25 I've ever spent. 


I'll try and get some sneaky pics up :yep: 

Edited by the lone deranger
1 person likes this

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0