Saturday, March 9, 2013


Last summer we purchased a 4'x2' stock tank to make into a water feature. I had the perfect place for it in the potager. I decided to wait until the spring to plant it as we were going to be traveling throughout the summer.

A couple of weeks ago, when there was a threat of rain, D took the tank out of the garden and placed it under the fall pipe from our gutters. Because we have enclosed gardens it was necessary to pipe the water out of the garden and the pipe comes out about 20' from the wall. The water drains down into the  wet weather creek below our property.  If you missed my posting about the result of the drizzle we received that day you can read about it here. When we looked inside the tank we were amazed. Full from less than 1/10". Let's get another tank and join them together".

This time we got a 5'X2' which just fits into our truck. D placed the larger tank under the fall pipe joining the two tanks together through their drain holes. Now we can collect 500 gallons!
OK, we need somewhere in the potager to store some of this water. We have the perfect place for a couple of rain barrels. These are the nicest ones we have seen: made here in Austin and on stands and for sale at the Natural Gardener. They were expensive at $299. They hold 55 gallons each.

Next D purchased a 1/3hp submersible pump for $60, suitable for pumping up to 25' in height, and we bought a new tank for my water garden, which I hope to plant in the coming weeks. Now we wait for the rain. Friday there was a promise of some drizzle. It didn't seem much but there was a steady stream out of the pipe and we collected over 500 gallons. I say this because I was busy bucketing it out so that it didn't overflow. I must have bucketed 50gallons. Later in the day I told D we must get all that water out because tomorrow it is really going to rain and I want every drop!

With the pump in place we began pumping over the wall into the new rain barrels.

Then into my empty water feature tank and a garbage can and every bucket we had!

For your information in Texas there is no sales tax on water collection systems including tanks. We discovered this when we were buying the rain barrels. After some phone calls and searching we came up with the necessary paperwork to take along to the store. If you decide to do this make sure you take the paperwork along. Callahans knew nothing about it and I doubt any other stores which sell tanks do. The form you need is 01-339 page 2. On the reason for the exemption write in for rainwater harvesting.
One reader posted on my previous blog with a link to the U tube video she made about her solar  water collection system. It is a very informative video and well worth watching if you are thinking of setting up a system.
OK rain, do your stuff!


  1. Isn't it mind boggling, how little rain it takes to fill those tanks and barrels? We have three 55gal barrels...2 linked together. There are 3 more downspouts that could use barrels. Someday soon, I hope....

    You asked about my header. I used Photoshop Elements to do the Patchwork Garden one. Made a blank document as close to the background color as possible, sized it to the width to fit blog (1197 pixels) and the height I wanted it (400 pixels), saved it and then moved photos onto it. (Elements collage thing isn't so good.) Then I made another document with the title. That way I can change it out. Just layer things.
    The Patchwork Pixels blog header was done in Photoscape...a free photo edit thing that I really like..has some nice collages. Sized the same way, & just put title text on top. But, it might have to be completely redone to change it out.
    You already know, I think, how to change it out on the Blogger layout. BTW...I've learned, size does matter here....pixel width and height.
    Whew...long explanation . Hope it helps. Let me know if you need more. Remember...I'm no expert.

    1. Thanks Linda. I don't have photoshop. I did have a collage in there one time but it was the wrong size and I don't know how to get rid of the widget. If I put in the blogger one it is huge and there seems to be no way to reduce the size of it. I will have a fiddle and see what I can do. I would like to have a picture there-at least of a rock rose!

  2. This is an extremely helpful post, Jenny, both in practicalities and in inspiring all of us to collect as much rainfall as we can. Thanks too for letting us know we don't need to pay sales tax on rainwater collection systems -- who knew?!

  3. I need help with this too! Thanks. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a TX 01-339 form, I found a blank form here

  4. I need help with this too! Thanks. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a TX 01-339 form, I found a blank form here