Here's the story of Sweetwater's first tank installation workshop, Tanks for the Rain!
Our homeowner was interested in putting in one or more rainwater tanks to have emergency water and to use rainwater to help to water edibles in the yard nearby--fruit trees and a veggie garden. The catchment surface for this tank is the roof of a small building (the "chateau") in the backyard. The roof and overhang measure 204 sq ft. Therefore, we could capture 122 gallons of water in a 1" rain, or 2200 gallons in an average year in Santa Barbara with 18" of rainfall.
We decided that a 1320 gallon tank was the best value for the money, and best fit our needs. Since we typically have dry periods between rain in the winter, the homeowner could water his trees and garden with the tank water during those periods in the winter, hold off on using tank water during the spring and early summer, use up to 3/4 of what's stored in the tank in the hot months of July, August, and Sept, and still have a reserve for emergencies that could be used right before the rainy season begins again. If during the rainy season we get so much rain that the tank overflows, we designed a system that fed that extra water to five of the fruit trees.
Here are the before pictures of the side of the chateau where the rainhead and first flush will go, and the area where the tank will be installed:
Before the tank arrived, we created a base of sand and bricks:
Our PreFab tank arrived about a week before the workshop, and we got it onto the base:
The day of the workshop, we connected all the plumbing and dug the trench and swales for the overflow, moved a lot of mulch, and had a general good time:
Here's what the tank and components looked like after the workshop. Since then, the pipes have been painted brown to protect them from the sun.