Due to the limited space I had available, I figured that small was the way to go, so I rushed down to Bunnings and bought two 100 litre water butts to start the irrigation system that would be fed from the overflow of my existing 2300L tank. As soon as I got home it poured down, and I quickly gave the butts a rinse to get rid of the plastic bits from when the manufacturer drilled the hole for the tap.
I put one on at ground level and I put one on an old pot that I once filled with cement for an umbrella stand for better pressure. I then filled them with the garden hose connected to the tank and filled them up. So far so good, I thought, but then it started to pour down with rain and I got drenched. This is what they look like later on in the afternoon, fully hooked up to my new system.
Then along the front of the deck, past the worm farm, behind the conifer and it just reached the front of the garden bed. Excellent I thought, and began to start work on the tank end. I am so glad I had the forethought to install an isolating valve before the brass tap, which made things very easy to install, with no water loss. This is how I connected it;
I cut the main 19mm line at the bottom, inserted a 19mm T piece and then hooked up the solenoid to the wires and to the mains tap. The wires were already there from the old system so there was plenty of length to connect to the electric valve. The solenoid prevents rainwater from flowing into the mains town water which is not allowed by law, and I added another lever tap just to make sure I can isolate it further if I ever need to. I did a quick test to check for leaks between the lever tap and the solenoid valve and all was good.
It was a bit fiddly putting the pipe together between the main lever tap which was 20mm to the steel elbow joint of 25mm but luckily I had all the bits from the old system. Then I moved on to connecting the two 100 L water butts into the system. No use having them there full of water if you can’t integrate them in, I thought. So this is what I did;
I filled in the small trench and got to work setting up the hebal eco-brick base for the 200L butt. I levelled off the bricks then laid two on top, check the level again and made sure there was enough room so that the base of the butt fit evenly on the stand. I had to trim a little bit of the conifer back so that it was not sticking into the plastic butt. Then came the funny part. The 200L butt did not have a female thread pre-cut into the water butt for the tap to screw into like the 100L type, and required you to put the tap fitting into the hole on the outside and then screw another part on the inside. The only way I could figure out how to do this (because I couldn’t reach the bottom), was to turn the butt upside down, put it on my head with one arm inside and ask Ben to put the tap in the whole and I screwed the inside part tight. It reminded me of the Mr Bean episode of the Christmas turkey on his head! Ben and I laughed when we finished it. The tap barb was 15mm again, so another piece of garden hose and I connected it to the 13mm pipe I had installed into the main line earlier. This is how the connection looked.
Easy access to the tap, and now all connected and looking very smart. Here is the 200 L butt in all its glory on the nice eco-block stand.