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Old 04-04-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Denver - Barnum
51 posts, read 99,459 times
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For those of you who have rain barrels and collect water for your gardens, how many barrels are sufficient for Denver? I don't want to miss out on potential water due to lack of storage, but don't want to commit space and resources to more barrels than I need. Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,949 posts, read 20,201,871 times
Reputation: 22575
Default Rain barrels are illegal

In 99% of Colorado, you may not collect rain water.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,218,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
In 99% of Colorado, you may not collect rain water.
I've never understood the point of this, especially in such a dry climate. However, who's going to know/care if you start collecting rain water off your roof? I suspect no one.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Denver - Barnum
51 posts, read 99,459 times
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Yes, it is. Just like jay walking, doing home improvements without a permit, speeding, parking in the same spot for over 48 hours, etc. When Home Depot is selling rain barrels, I think that means it's officially entered the "main stream" (pun intended).

Quote:
State water officials acknowledged that they rarely enforced the old law. With the new laws, the state created a system of fines for rain catchers without a permit; previously the only option was to shut a collector down.

But Kevin Rein, Colorado’s assistant state engineer, said enforcement would focus on people who violated water rules on a large scale.

“It’s not going to be a situation where we’re sending out people to look in backyards,” Mr. Rein said.
source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/us/29rain.html?_r=1

For benefit of those interested, there's a permitting process if you have a well: http://water.state.co.us/DWRIPub/Documents/gws-78.pdf

Otherwise, this officially falls under this ordinance: (C.R.S.) 37-92-602(g) or 37-90-105(f).

So how many fine-generators would be sufficient. Two? Three?
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:09 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
Reputation: 14905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mort_canard View Post
(snip)
So how many fine-generators would be sufficient. Two? Three?
It's not quantifiable without knowing your water demands, ie how big a garden, what soils/drainage, what plants ....

But, in our climate, 2 - 3 barrels wouldn't even be a "drop in the bucket" for functional water capture to be a beneficial use, or even to reasonably supplement natural moisture in the area. Even if you metered out the captured water very carefully via drip tape to critical plants, you don't have much water to put to use.

Now, if you were talking about a multi-thousand gallons of cistern storage, then you'd have something to put to beneficial use for irrigation.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Denver - Barnum
51 posts, read 99,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
It's not quantifiable without knowing your water demands, ie how big a garden, what soils/drainage, what plants ....

But, in our climate, 2 - 3 barrels wouldn't even be a "drop in the bucket" for functional water capture to be a beneficial use, or even to reasonably supplement natural moisture in the area. Even if you metered out the captured water very carefully via drip tape to critical plants, you don't have much water to put to use.

Now, if you were talking about a multi-thousand gallons of cistern storage, then you'd have something to put to beneficial use for irrigation.
I see. I'm trying to catch all the rain off of a 1,200 square foot roof, watering a garden that covers every plantable remaining scrap on a .16 acre lot if that helps. Maybe a row of 10 in series?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:01 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
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OK, for discussion's sake we'll say 5,000 sq ft of tillable area.

By way of comparison, we have a tunnel greenhouse, which is 30' x 96' = about 3,500 sq ft planted, with 12 rows of drip tape 42' long, 2 manifolds, on timers. With the control of the greenhouse for airflow and temp, this is the most efficient way to water the plants ... a typical vege garden with peas, tomatoes, onions, peppers, green beans, carrots, eggplant, cucumbers, and so forth. The water is slowly delivered into well tilled and amended soil, soaking directly to the root zone of the plants. Our evaporative losses by watering above ground are minimized.
With that system, we deliver 18 psi water for 6-8 hours per day per manifold, monitoring the soil moisture content and adding more timer hours if needed. Our best measurement so far is about 7 gals per/hour delivery.

A conservative estimate of water consumption in this set-up would be 84 gals/day for this one area, and I'd infer about 100 gallons/day consumption for your planted area using drip-tape in-ground watering without any natural rainfall to supplement the minimal moisture to sustain your garden area. (FWIW, I had a garden in my KenCaryl yard that typically used 3,000 to 5,000 gallons/month (depending upon natural rainfall amounts), but that was with sprinklers on an open exposed planted area).

So here's where I'm going with this ...

While the concept of being water-wise conscious of your rainfall run-off on your property, 3 ea 50 gallon drums of captured rainwater doesn't amount to much more than a day's worth of irrigation at maximal efficiences today.

As I pointed out above, if you're capturing and storing a few thousand gallons of water, then we've got something to talk about for water conservation purposes after the rainstorm that delivers a couple tenths of rainfall, giving your garden irrigation a respite for a couple of days.

Part of the problem in our climate zone is the intense sunshine coupled with very dry atmospheric humidity. A drip zone manifold will allow you to selectively water the plants that need more water than others in the respective rows, but you need to be pro-active about maintaining water to the roots as needed before you stress the plants by trying to grow maximum production on minimum water volume.

As an aside, consider that if you are living in a subdivision with an HOA and landscaping covenants, you may not necessarily be able to utilize all of your property for a garden. The HOA cops are out there and you may find yourself with planting ... however beneficial ... that is not cosmetically in compliance with "landscaping". BTDT with KC HOA; I zeriscaped my front and side yards to minimize water consumption so that I could afford to water a garden and a small lawn in my backyard by my patio. The HOA wanted a lawn out front ....

Water conservation is good, but you need to take advantage of every means possible to do so. A tunnel greenhouse is a start, and shade cloth or other means to control heat/sunlight to your plants is essential. All of this takes time and money to acquire, develop, and manage with careful choices for your planting rows. You'll need to aggressively manage growth that you don't want (weeds!), which will be a demand upon the water you deliver to the rows.

In comparison, how much is the water rate per thousand gallons at your location? Will you have a net return on your time and investment in extreme water conservation and storage?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,632,650 times
Reputation: 952
Ha!
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,632,650 times
Reputation: 952
Lately, I don't think you'd get a barrel of water. And what you'd acquire would evaporate. :-)
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Corona
10,063 posts, read 13,951,849 times
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I re-route my sump pump water to lawn please don't call the water police LOL.

My stealth plan used to be hide barrels in basement connect to gutters and then I saw my bill from Parker Water $90 is flat fee BS and $10 is useage so now I let me sprinklers rip.
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