Each year in May, before the rains start, we do some general maintenance to the rain catchment system. We clean gutters and screens, flush the lines, and anything else that needs doing. This year we were down to 1000 gallons, so we emptied it into a plastic tank we have and then cleaned out the big, 6500 gallon tank.
Once it was empty, we installed a self-cleaning overflow.
We also want to add two more large cisterns to the house roof. When it’s all said and done, barn and all, we’ll have 25,000 gallons worth of tanks, requiring 15″ of rain to fill them.
The main impetus for this expansion was last year’s drought. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, we got about 30″. In 2010, we got 39″. Last year we only got 12″! We’re hoping that will improve this year, but we want to be prepared in case it doesn’t.