From perc test to rainwater harvesting

Had our septic system inspection done for building the new house, the system failed.  So we had to get a perc test done to see if we could get a new septic system.  We do qualify for a sand mound septic system, at this time we are in the design stage.  Things were looking pretty bad for awhile. We were told we’d possibly have to get holding tanks or a small stream discharge system, both very expensive in the end.  The small stream discharge system also needs state DEP approval which can take a year or more.  It also requires more inspections, paper work needs to be submitted regularly, chemical treatment of discharge, and regular testing of what’s being discharged.

So I got an IBC to hold the water for the perc test.

IBC for perc test.
Digging holes for perc test.
Filled ready to go.

Took about 15 hours to fill from the well.

Now to the rainwater harvesting part.

After the perc test was finished, moved the IBC up to the pole barn. This is where the first version of the system is going to be set up.  Version one is mainly for testing and is also used to clean equipment. Ordered from Amazon (couldn’t find anything local) –

Leaf Eater Advanced Rain Head- 3 in. Round

Rain Harvesting First Flush Downspout Water Diverter 3″ Kit

Action Pump 63MM-25 63mm Coarse Bung Buttress to NPT

Everything else, I got at Lowe’s.

System ready to go with just under 100 gallons to start.
Next day we had some rain.

This rain filled the IBC with excess going out overflow pipe.

Full container.

System worked very well. Since the tank was full, I decided to wash the mower.

First bath.
Water level after washing tractor.

Future versions will include bigger tanks, bigger collection area, and more uses.


Finishing up insulation on the walls in the shop.

Last pieces cut and ready to go in.
South end of shop.
North end of shop.

Finished plywood by entry door.  Insulated and put wood casing trim around entry door.

Entry to shop.
Closer view.

Haven’t decided yet what I’ll be doing with the rest of the walls as far as wall covering. Or about insulating the ceiling or roof area.  This bay will get a second layer of foam insulation and covered with 3/4″ plywood. this is for the in floor radiant heating system.  On the outside of this wall I’m planning for a rain water catchment system.  It will have a faucet out by driveway to wash off equipment and a deep sink in this bay for hand washing.  This system will also be used to water garden and hopefully green house.

In floor radiant heat.

February 2017

Finished hanging lights and running wire to light.

Finishing up wiring.
Last one.

All lights now working.  Used Hyperikon T-8, 15 watt, 6,000K frosted LED tubes.  These tubes are awesome, it’s like daylight inside the shop now.  They have a rated lifetime of 45,000 hours.  All 48 tubes worked fine not one bad one.  (Other brands I looked at, reviews stated about getting bad tubes delivered and hassles with returns of defective tubes.)  Best part only about $0.11 / hour to run all the lights and should last like 20 years.  Electricity with all fees is $0.16 / kWh (kilowatt hour) in our area.  Fluorescent tubes would cost about $0.24 / hour.  Lifetime savings for using LED tubes come to $5,820.00 if each tube last 45,000 hours.

South side of shop.
North side of shop.

I got and installed a garage door opener.

Lift Master 8500.
Lift Master 8500 with lock and sensors.
Lift Master 8500 control unit.

The Lift Master 8500 is a jack shaft door opener.  Unit mounts on wall which I like better than having one hanging from ceiling.  Got this from Amazon.  Was fairly easy to install and setup, it is also very quiet.

Used the Harbor Freight 2 ton shop crane to lift my old air compressor out of trailer.  using this one till I decide which air compressor i’m getting for shop.  Then this one will go back to the shed for use there.  Shop crane worked great, little slow to raise up.

2 ton shop crane moving air compressor.

Got some more insulation and plywood up.

Nice warm February day.

23 February 2017.

Extended floor drain.  this will extend past retaining wall when built.

Floor drain.

Installed garage door opener light.

That’s all for now.

November 2016

This month we finished cleaning up the old barn and tear down of old summer kitchen.

Coming for the summer kitchen
After tractor pulled building over.

That same day saw a fire up on the mountain.  must have been a controlled burn, never heard anything about it.

Mountain fire November 8th
Backside of summer kitchen.
Summer kitchen gone.
Everything that’s going in dumpsters is gone. This is what is left of the old barn.

Stone foundation still needs to go before house can be built. Have to figure out where to put all the stone. Equipment delivery, Wood Max wood chipper.  More on this later, days are to short and cold right now. This spring I’ll use this to clean up the brush pile. Maybe sooner depending on weather.

Newest piece of equipment arrived. Wood Max wood chipper.