Water Collection

it is precious
and scarce.

Out here in the edge of Utah’s west desert where we get on average 10 inches of water a year, and the majority of that comes in the winter as snow, water is a big deal, and irrigation is a must.  There are two options as far as irrigation, the government grid or a private well.  With a private well you have to own water rights, which are expensive and hard to come by, as people who own them tend to hang onto them.  We don’t have any water rights, (some ding dong sold the water rights associated to the property when they hooked up to the city’s grid) which means we are on city water, for everything.  Another viable option is water collection, while it won’t supply all our irrigation needs, it will help some.

We have a lot of roof, which collects a lot of water,

that just runs off, it is  begging to be collected!

We purchased barrels from a local farm store, they had been previously used for pickling, so they smell strongly of peppers and brine, they will work for our needs and they were cheap.

Dadzoo cut a hole in the tops of the barrels and then attached screen, to keep bugs and big yucky things from getting into the water.

He then gut off the down spout and attached black flex pipe, to direct the water into the hole on top.

He then cut a hole on the top side of the barrel, and using a piece of vinyl that we found lying around he made a spout that directed more water into another barrel, so we can collect more than one barrel full at each down spout.After one day we had filled the first barrel, and the second one is slowly filling, we hope to have it filled by this weekend, as there is rain in the forecast.

While this won’t fill all our needs for irrigation, along with other techniques, we are hoping to minimize the amount of water we are pulling from the grid as much as possible.

In some states it is illegal to collect rain water, being that it is a natural resource (although I don’t see states coming and collecting their water when it floods basements…..).  Here in Utah it is legal to collect a certain amount of water in either above ground tanks or a cistern, all vessels that collect water have to be registred with the state.

Winter Thaw


A couple weeks ago we had our first winter thaw, I love when things really start to melt, especially this year, after such a cold winter the promise of spring is most welcome.  With this thaw we had an unanticipated problem.  We took for granted (which is something we are learning to never do living here) that the lane and driveway would be graded to drain properly.  Well, we were very mistaken.  As you can see, the water formed a huge pool at the base of the garage and was creeping towards the house.  Not good, considering we had found evidence of water in the basement, watching this puddle grow into a small lake and head for the house, we knew where the water had come from.

The ground was still frozen hard, despite the snow melting, so digging a trench, especially by hand was out of the question, but Dadzoo, ever the smarty pants knew exactly what to do.

With some help from Sassy, and a hose that had been uncovered by the melting snow (we are finding many treasures) he quickly siphoned off the water, and with in a few minutes the lake had shrunk down to a more manageable size.

In the last two weeks we have had to siphon off the water several times, and finally had to come up with a more permanent although temporary solution until we can get the forever solution put in.  I do hate to see all that good water flowing down hill, being in a semi arid part of the country water is worth a lot, I am thinking a cistern is in our future.

I told Dadzoo that he was a real farmer now, considering he had to suck on the end of that hose until the freezing cold, dirty water started to come.

Here’s to adventures!