Sue B

IBCs revisted

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I've read every thread that has IBC in it from the search facility.  We want the collect rainwater for watering the garden only - nothing for house use at all which is lucky as that appears to be the consensus in the various threads anyway. 

 

Our ground is partly made up with the soil type as quite sandy.  However, the water table in the winter is very high so burying things will require the use of concrete to keep it buried and stop it popping out of the ground.  During the summer months, the water table drops significantly and the plants require a lot of water to keep them going (the sandy soil) - hence the need for collecting a lot of water. 

 

We want the water stored in two different areas for ease of use - we have the kitchen garden with a horse shelter next to it - we are intending to put 4 IBCs in there.  The front paddock is where our garden area will be and we want 4 IBCs in there.  I have purchased the 8 IBCs and are onto the next stage of planning.

 

We were intending to put the IBCs above ground but after reading all the threads it seems to be more successful to bury them - both to keep them algae free and to make use of the gravity that being lower allows.

 

I can see that @Bitpipe has a lovely "boudoir" (to coin a phrase from @AnonymousBosch) for his IBCs and @PeterW has buried his IBCs in concrete.

 

If we make a lovely boudoir, it will fill with water around the IBCs and we will then need to find a way to pump the water out - the ability to get to the connectors and the IBCs is appealing though.

 

If we encase the IBCs with concrete, there is no access to fix any issues and they can never be swapped out if they spring a leak.

 

Am I worrying unnecessarily and which is the cheapest and / or easiest option?  Help please?

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You can get black IBC,s to stop algae forming!

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Or paint translucent ones. The ones I've seen like that were painted silver presumably to keep them cool in bright weather, again I assume, to prevent growth.

 

Or just box them in, I suppose.

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The you tube videos I’ve been watching all seem to wrap their IBCs in black thick polythene to stop the algae.  When we were going to put them a floor level, we were going to box them in so that they were in the dark.

 

That doesn’t solve the gravity issue to fill them though which burying them would do.

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13 hours ago, Sue B said:

If we encase the IBCs with concrete, there is no access to fix any issues and they can never be swapped out if they spring a leak.

Why not pour some gravel into the IBCs, a third of the way up (or so).

That should stop them floating away when the water table moves.

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Perhaps worth considering the likelihood of a high water table event coinciding with an empty tank event, too.  It seems probable that the only times the tank(s) may be empty is in dry weather, when the local water table will almost certainly be low.  If the weather's wet then there won't be any need to use water from the tanks for watering plants, plus the tanks will fill up fairly quickly, .

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12 minutes ago, JSHarris said:

Perhaps worth considering the likelihood of a high water table event coinciding with an empty tank event, too.  It seems probable that the only times the tank(s) may be empty is in dry weather, when the local water table will almost certainly be low.  If the weather's wet then there won't be any need to use water from the tanks for watering plants, plus the tanks will fill up fairly quickly, .

+1

 

That is the logic we use to only empty the septic tank or treatment plant in a period of dry weather.

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That is a good point Jeremy.  After the rain we’ve just had they would all be full to the brim and of course the water table is as high as it can get.  I suppose we should really have taken notice that we come down Marsh Lane to get to our plot - it is named for a reason 😊  

 

So do you think we could just dig a hole, firm up the bottom with a layer of gravel, and pop the IBCs in and cover with decking? 

 

I know now that we need to protect the sides from crushing  from soil.  Any suggestions without resorting to concrete?

Edited by Sue B

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

That is the logic we use to only empty the septic tank or treatment plant in a period of dry weather.

 

We have just had to empty our septic tank - the drain down to the ditch has blocked so the tank was overflowing.  Very frustrating to have to pay to empty rainwater that filled up the tank.

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1 hour ago, Sue B said:

Very frustrating to have to pay to empty rainwater that filled up the tank.

At least you are not paying Cornish water rates to get rid of rainwater.

Rained every day for 31 days here.  Not a record by any means, have known it to rain for 66 days.

1 hour ago, Sue B said:

So do you think we could just dig a hole, firm up the bottom with a layer of gravel, and pop the IBCs in and cover with decking? 

Probably still worth putting a bit of mass into it, just in case.

Or making sure, that if it does rise, no serious/expensive damage is done.

Edited by SteamyTea
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Buried IBCs will need to be in some sort of shored up hole, as they probably won't tolerate the pressure of the surrounding earth without collapsing, I suspect.  If worried about them floating up, then some concrete sleepers over the top should work OK, and form a solid lid on the hole, one that can be lifted in sections for access, if need be.

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if you have the space then above ground black ones and make a fence aorund them or plant things to hide them --could be a litle hideaway area in the garden if set out in a horseshoe shape 

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22 hours ago, Sue B said:

…it seems to be more successful to bury them - … and to make use of the gravity that being lower allows.

 

Can you explain that? If the gutters you're collecting the water from are less than an IBC height above ground level [¹] I can understand that. Otherwise, I'd think having the IBCs higher would generally make better use of gravity.

 

[¹] Perhaps because your gutters are very low, as they are on my A-frame house, or because the IBCs are going to be uphill from the house.

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The IBCs are quite a distance from the house so if we bury the them, we can run the pipe from the gutter, underground and still have a slight drop - no pump needed to fill them.  If the IBCs are above ground, we would need to collect the water at the house in a suitable looking water butt and then pump to the IBCs on a regular basis as the water butt won’t be big enough to hold enough water for our needs.

 

To actually use the water, we would

of course then have to use a pump as it’s below ground level.

Edited by Sue B

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So long as the tops of the IBCs are below where your sealed pipes start at the house I don't see why a pump would be needed. E.g., if you have a first-flush diverter on the side of the house, where the gutter downpipes meet, the output (overflow) from that can go to the IBCs via a lower level than the top of the IBCs. The pipe will remain full of water but that doesn't matter - I'm sure I've seen rainwater harvesting systems intended for household consumption, let alone just gardening, where the pipes from the house go below ground to feed above ground storage tanks quite a few metres away from the house.

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