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run-in shed question and rainwater collection

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  • 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
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      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

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      • #4
        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?"
        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          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.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      "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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            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

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              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

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                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.
                                Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                We Are Flying Solo

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      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.

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