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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
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    South-Central PA
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    2,313

    Default run-in shed question and rainwater collection

    My little obstinate rescue pony has earned his own run-in shelter and paddock. Since I won't have water & electricty close-by, I was thinking of building some sort of rain-water collection system so that I can utilize the roof run-off as potable drinking water for him. Any ideas how I can make this happen? Will I have to "treat" the water with anything, or will it be sufficient "as-is"? I don't want to run a water line out to that particular paddock, or invest any more money than is required. This will probably be a 4 year situation (at best).
    I'm building the run-in myself, so I can incorporate any "extras" into it that I wish. I also have access to clean 55 gal barrels AND those biq square poly "totes", both of which I could use for water collection.

    Help!
    Thanks!
    Cindy



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    No. VA
    Posts
    2,227

    Default

    Just put a standard water trough (100 to 300 gallons) under the run-in's gutter downspout, and have it on a slight slope to allow runoff in a direction other than the shed. The bigger your trough, the less you have to worry about it going dry before Ma Nature fills it again.

    Been collecting rainwater for my livestock for over 20 years - 2k gallons with 1k at the collection site (my barn) and 1k in tanks out in the fields that are serviced by siphoning the barn tanks. I can count on one finger the number of times my tanks have been completely depleted due to lack of rain.

    I use pool shock in my troughs. The horses seem to prefer the sterile clean treated water over blooming (green) water. I did the fish thing for a few years; while the fish were cute, they didn't prevent algae bloom in the summer, and the tanks became too slimy. I hate chemicals, but in this case the pool shock is the best way to keep the water clean and potable.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    What a cool idea... we just added gutters and downspouts to the front of our run in, and there is a TON of water that comes out that (muddy mess). Putting rain barrels and/or troughs under would be a great way to halt the mud AND get water out there (I, too, do not have a water line run to the back paddock.

    Love COTH!
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 9, 2005
    Location
    Upper Midwest
    Posts
    6,024

    Default

    Ok, way back in the day I managed a couple swimming pools (realize this was on a city level) and "shocking the pool" meant using an obsene amount of chlorine--I forget what we brought it up to, but it was high. What exactly is "pool shock?"
    Siouxland Sporthorses: http://slsfarm.blogspot.com/

    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    43,018

    Default

    Doesn't rain enough here to count on any water barrels.

    What I have seen is cisterns, completely enclosed systems, so the water doesn't go bad in them and then serving off them by gravity a smallish tank with a float.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    South-Central PA
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    Default

    I'd like to do a holding tank type of set-up and then use a on/off spigot or valve to fill up the actual water trough or buckets. The pony quidds, and the water trough gets gunked up pretty quickly, so I'd still be dumping/scrubbing & adding "fresh" water on a regular basis.
    Cindy



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    9,428

    Default

    The truth is that collecting rain water running off a roof means collecting water with a hefty amount of nutrients in it. That means food for the various wee beasties that live in water. Pretty soon you've got a real "organic soup" going on.

    If you're going to be using city/well water as a supplement anyway you might be just better off to run a semi-permanent hose and be done with it. That's not necessarily "green" but, then, neither is chemical treatment of collected rain water!

    I note you're in central PA. That has implications for winter watering (hose or collection or both).

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mali View Post
    I'd like to do a holding tank type of set-up and then use a on/off spigot or valve to fill up the actual water trough or buckets. The pony quidds, and the water trough gets gunked up pretty quickly, so I'd still be dumping/scrubbing & adding "fresh" water on a regular basis.
    Rain barrels would probably work perfectly!
    "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

    Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,911

    Default

    I'm considering dragging the 100 gallon trough up to the back of the run-in shed where it will be filled from the runoff.

    I have some reservations because the shed roof is asphalt shingle... then I note that the pony drinks from mud puddles, so... it's probably not going to kill him.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    5,115

    Default

    Timely thread... I was just thinking about posting something like this. I've been looking at rain barrels, but was worried about the "organic soup" factor.

    Question-- could you just chlorinate your rain barrel water supply on a semi-regular basis to maintain potable water?
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    644

    Default

    "Pool shock" is granulated sodium hypochlorite with some other added stuff. Don't throw it in a horse trough willy-nilly. You can, and should, disinfect a rainwater horse trough once a week by using 2-4 drops (depending on the degree of organic contamination) of plain Clorox per gallon of water. Keep the horses off it for 2 hours. If you don't wait, the water will be toxic.

    Don't even mess with rainwater collection if there are any adjacent trees that will dislodge leaves or squirrels onto your collection roof. Ask me, as they say, how I know.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2012
    Posts
    519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
    Don't even mess with rainwater collection if there are any adjacent trees that will dislodge leaves or squirrels onto your collection roof. Ask me, as they say, how I know.

    Rut roh... Now nosy needs to know: how do you know?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    36,085

    Default

    Is the shed situated such that rain barrels can be put in a place the pony can't get to them? That is the best solution.

    If you have the water dump from the gutter right into the tub, there are several issues: Any and all debris that ends up on the roof, including "new roof stuff", will end up in the tub. Once the tub is full, it will spill over and continue to spill over while it's raining and make a hugely muddy mess, worse than if it's just rain and pony is walking back and forth to the tub.

    Rain barrels will allow you to divert the water in an appropriate direction once they're full, and a short section of hose will allow you to fill the tub from them. Just know in the Summer, the water in the barrels will be quite warm.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    4,711

    Default

    When Asia we used water puraction tablets or if large quanitites of water were needed 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it.... that would make most water potable (muddy water needed to be filtered (we used tee-shirts)


    the tablets were similar to these
    http://www.campingsurvival.com/milwatpurtab.html



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    South-Central PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Is the shed situated such that rain barrels can be put in a place the pony can't get to them? That is the best solution.

    If you have the water dump from the gutter right into the tub, there are several issues: Any and all debris that ends up on the roof, including "new roof stuff", will end up in the tub. Once the tub is full, it will spill over and continue to spill over while it's raining and make a hugely muddy mess, worse than if it's just rain and pony is walking back and forth to the tub.

    Rain barrels will allow you to divert the water in an appropriate direction once they're full, and a short section of hose will allow you to fill the tub from them. Just know in the Summer, the water in the barrels will be quite warm.
    Yes, I was thinking of building a wooden platform (about 2' off the ground) to hold two 55 gallon barrels. The platform would attach directly to the run-in, and I could secure the barrels. This isn't the type of pony that would bother them though. The platform is more of a convenience for me, in case I want to fill up buckets or something. I could locate the water trough directly in front of the platform so that I could turn the spigot on and allow gravity to pull the water from the barrels into the trough. If I locate the barrels/trough behind the run-in shed, or even on the east side, it would keep them out of direct sunlight.
    Cindy



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5,413

    Default

    Love me my rain barrel. They really work well and with screen top, keep debris out and then allow you to run water out the bottom into anything you want. Definitely elevate them for gravity flow.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
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    644

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TBPONY View Post
    Rut roh... Now nosy needs to know: how do you know?
    Mine is a tragic tale indeed. My rainwater collection surface is the beautiful metal roof of my house, which is picturesquely nestled in a grove of vile, mean-spirited live oak trees. Twice a year the trees dump leaves, and once a year they dump pollen pods, onto the roof. The trees also provide squirrels and birds and lard knows what else with an open invitation to use the roof as a toilet. The animals take full advantage of the opportunity.

    The only way to keep the resulting rainwater from looking and tasting like oak tea is to get up on the roof and use a leaf-blower. This must occur whenever a puff of wind blows. I have to pay a guy to come out twice a week and blow off my roof and gutters and it's still insufficient. During pollen season we have to physically block the collection pipes, because pollen turns the water brown. Of course pollen season is also rainy season, so we miss most of the year's rain on account of this.

    There is no good way to keep the bird-and-squirrel-related organic matter out of the water supply. Sure, the water is filtered and we have a UV light, but the amount of bleach we have to add to keep it potable and non-brown renders the whole operation pointless from the my-body-is-a-temple point of view. Since we miss all the best rains because of the pollen, I've found I'm having water hauled in pretty frequently as well.

    Obviously rainwater works great for some people, but my set-up was just a doomed nightmare from the gitgo.

    So I'm finally junking the whole enterprise. The entire system is being re-plumbed to utilize the well instead. It's a crappy well, but it's better than squirrel-shit tea.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    644

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TBPONY View Post
    Rut roh... Now nosy needs to know: how do you know?
    Mine is a tragic tale indeed. My rainwater collection surface is the beautiful metal roof of my house, which is picturesquely nestled in a grove of vile, mean-spirited live oak trees. Twice a year the trees dump leaves, and once a year they dump pollen pods, onto the roof. The trees also provide squirrels and birds and lard knows what else with an open invitation to use the roof as a toilet. The animals take full advantage of the opportunity.

    The only way to keep the resulting rainwater from looking and tasting like oak tea is to get up on the roof and use a leaf-blower. This must occur whenever a puff of wind blows. I have to pay a guy to come out twice a week and blow off my roof and gutters and it's still insufficient. During pollen season we have to physically block the collection pipes, because pollen turns the water brown. Of course pollen season is also rainy season, so we miss most of the year's rain on account of this.

    There is no good way to keep the bird-and-squirrel-related organic matter out of the water supply. Sure, the water is filtered and we have a UV light, but the amount of bleach we have to add to keep it potable and non-brown renders the whole operation pointless from the my-body-is-a-temple point of view. Since we miss all the best rains because of the pollen, I've found I'm having water hauled in pretty frequently as well.

    Obviously rainwater works great for some people, but my set-up was just a doomed nightmare from the gitgo.

    So I'm finally junking the whole enterprise. The entire system is being re-plumbed to utilize the well instead. It's a crappy well, but it's better than squirrel-shit tea.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    43,018

    Default

    I would think rain water collection systems, without filters and closed containers, would be best kept to other uses than drinking water, like watering grass or gardens.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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