Hazel, willow, beef and storytelling from Bedfordshire

Rain water harvested

Rain water flowing into a trough from the roof, via a tank - hurrah!

Rain water flowing into a trough from the roof, via a tank - hurrah!

It’s raining, cold and windy; usually I’d be feeling gloomy and wintry myself. However, I’ve finally got the rain water harvesting system hooked up from the barn roof and I’m feeling a bit smug.

Many months ago we bought a second-hand water tank and placed it next to our barn. Slightly fewer months ago, I thought about the issue again a nd realised that when the tank fills, its 6,000 litres would weigh 6 tonnes, so would need more than a couple of bits of wood for support.  So with friendly neighbourhood building teacher, Bernie’s help, I constructed a splendid plinth for it to sit on and which placed it at the right height to feed water into a trough in the barn. Nearly a year on, with more help from local plumber, Les Newton, all the connections are in place into and out. Finally, a little fiddling with a ball valve in a trough’s service box and it’s all ready. No rain for three weeks.  But now we’ve had a couple of hours last night and some today, water is flowing into the trough. What a result.

This is free water, or will be when we’ve covered all the capital outlay – several decades then (unless water becomes super expensive). Perhaps more importantly, every litre of water we collect from the barn roof is a litre that hasn’t been drawn from a reservoir or river; all we are doing is diverting it through a cow, adding some interesting nitrogenous compounds and getting into the soil again.

One has to make the most of opportunities to feel pleased with one’s self, so each time it rains I’m going to be thrilled, at least for a while.

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