The design of the rainwater harvesting system I designed and built for the Sugar Shack intentional community in LA. Some of the design’s features and benefits:
1)Flexible downspouts make for easy connection to the existing house rain gutter system.
2)Half-inch screened holes in the tops of barrels (and the connecting exit piping between the barrels (beneath the table) let water find its level across the whole system.
3)The filled barrels themselves can act as thermal mass, dampening change in temperature, creating a milder microclimate immediately around the system.
4)Darker barrel color reduces light and slows the growth of algae in the barrels.
5)Gaps in the table top let water pass through and spread evenly below, reducing pooling and erosion.
6)The table elevates the system for more water pressure and grow space. Its diagonal truss work adds strength, an aesthetic signature, and a trellis for plantings that can stabilize soil and system in years to come.
7)Concrete pier pylons allow the table legs to rest above the soil line, greatly reducing rot.
8)The sand bed enables the system to sit level, while allowing uncaught rainwater to percolate into the ground, where it can be taken up by plant roots or continue down until it reaches the aquifer, naturally cleansed as it goes.
9)The overflow and newly added inter-barrel pipes are now designed to have a slightly greater flow capacity than the inflow pipes, so back-flooding won’t be an issue.
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