woodshed water tower
Sunday, June 5 2011
For the past three days I've been working on building a small wooden tower to hold one of my 55 gallon rain barrels as high as possible beneath the roof that collects the water that goes into it. The rain barrel in question is the one collecting water from the twelve by seven foot roof atop the woodshed, and to get the barrel where I needed it, the tower had to be about four feet tall. 55 gallon barrels are about 23 inches across, so I made the top of my tower roughly a two by two foot square. Today I finished the tower by making it as orthogonal as possible and fastening the last of the diagonal braces intended to keep it that way. Then I applied asphalt to the ends of all the exposed boards, which will slow the rate at which they weather. All the wood I used was pressure-treated, and though it doesn't rot, moisture expanding and contracting within it gradually fills it with cracks and splits over time.
Once the tower was complete, it was fairly heavy (though still light enough for me to carry). I dug a quickie foundation for it beneath the woodshed gutter and then used a jigsaw to cut the top off the rain barrel (all water had been entering and exiting it through two two inch perforations). With the top out of the way, I had access to the barrel's interior. I could cut a hole near the bottom, tap that hole to give it threads, install a plastic drain tap, and then support that tap from the inside using a plastic nut. The resulting tower looked like this:
Woodshed water tower, as viewed from the northwest.
It will give me water at reasonably-high pressure for use in my garden and other places around the yard and won't require any energy to operate. Passive running water is possible!
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