Rainwater Harvesting Tank Pump Irrigation – Part 3

I install a 1200 gallon (4550 litre) rainwater harvesting tank to collect water for our garden when our irrigation well runs low in the summer.  This is four part mini-series.

Jump to:

Part 1Pour a Rainwater Tank Foundation
Part 2Rainwater Tank Plumbing and Fittings
Part 3 – Rainwater Tank Pump and Irrigation
Part 4First Run of Tank Drip Irrigation System

Rainwater Harvesting Tank - Water Pump & Irrigation Piping
Watch this video on YouTube.

Install a Rainwater Harvesting Tank – PART 3: tank pump irrigation

(this is a transcript from the video)

Even after we had 5 feet of mud removed from our shallow irrigation well, it still runs dry in the middle of summer. It’s definitely better than it was, but to expand our garden we need more water.

This 1200 gallon rainwater collection tank sits off the corner of my storage shed
This 1200 gallon rainwater collection tank sits off the corner of my storage shed

Cedar & Corrugated Fence Surround

In this part of the series I’ll build a cedar and corrugated metal fence around the tank. So there’s the bare concrete curb filled with pea gravel.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

The fence surround is constructed from 4x4 posts that are attached to galvanized post saddles. (I embedded anchor bolts in the concrete for these saddles.) There are 5 posts in total.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

Between the posts I have a bottom rail made from a 2x6 then a mid rail and top rail made from a 2x4.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

When we poured the concrete curb I embedded some anchor bolts to hold these adjustable post saddles.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

I like these as they lift the post off the concrete by an inch.

Post Saddle

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

And they are slightly adjustable. I find that my anchor bolt placement can be off a bit so this really helps.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

After the design is done in Sketchup I can start cutting the parts. I have some cedar milled from trees that we fell on our property. These have been air drying for a few years. I had them milled full dimension and I really like the rough sawn look.
With a square curb I was able to design all the individual parts to be the same size. All the posts are the same length as well as all the rails are the same length. And this made cutting everything straightforward and pretty simple.
I cut all the 4 by 4 posts first.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

The post saddles are designed for a nominal 4 x 4 which is actually 3.5 inches square. So I need to trim down the bottoms of the posts.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

And I’ll break these wafer pieces off and finish with a chisel.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

Next I’ll cut the 2x6’s for the bottom rails. And then the 2x4’s for the mid and top rails.

Ripping Rails

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

To flush mount the galvanized corrugated panels I cut a rabbet in the top and bottom rails. And I can use my portable table saw for this.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

With all the parts cut I roll on a coat of stain. This is a one coat Sikkens semi-transparent stain.

Installation and plumbing a Rainwater Harvesting Collection Tank for drip irrigation during a drought

The colour is called butternut. I used this same stain on the Garden Pavilion a built a while back. It’s pretty fast to apply it with a roller. I add a few extra coats to the tops and bottoms of the posts. And the ends of the rails.

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