So, as preppers, we are not usually made of money, and it takes time to accommodate our prepping needs. I mentioned quite some time ago about purchasing rain barrels. I have a source from a local company who makes a food safe de-greaser cleaner. He sells the 55 gallon drums, used once, for $10 each. Justified that the cost of shipping them back cost more than selling them at a certain price point. With the cleaner being of a food grade safe nature, this means the barrels are great for my needs. The owner is also a very intelligent and good-willed individual, and a conversationalist. On top of this, he remembers you.
That being said, I have only done a little with rain collection thus far. I do not think we even had a metal roof when I bought the rain barrels. We have 1 barrel set aside for the chickens water, and one will be going to the goats for the auto water dish we bought for them. That is a nice water dish, uses similar mechanics to that of a toilet, and the floats stop movement into the water dish until it is drunk from again.
We were finally able to order the diverters for our downspouts. Most is off the metal roof, and one is from a shingle roof. They are in separate containers. The shingle roof water will be used for plants and gardening. The metal roof water will be utilized as back-up for plants and garden, but more so as an emergency prep. If there is a rain storm coming, using this water to allow new water to come in would be good. This will almost allow somewhat of a FIFO rule (First in, First Out) allowing you to kind of rotate your stock of water.
Another convenience of the water barrels comes with an ability to calculate what you have, what your needs are, and estimate what kind of rain you get a year. Let us say, for a family of 4, we have 8 barrels (I had 10, but used 2 for making compost bins.) 1 barrel is off the shingle roof, so we will say 7 barrels. 7 full barrels in 385 gallons. 385 gallons/4 people comes to 96.25 gallons per person saved. divide that by 5 gallons per day, that gives us 19.25 days of water. That being said, I would want more water barrels down the road. 5 gallons a day may be a little on the higher end of conservative estimated, and this is also relatively potable water, so we could probably stretch that to a month of water per person, but I would rather underestimate than overestimate.
We can also, relatively easily, add to this system. I can grab more rain barrels, and double my system for $70 because I already have a source set aside. Another option is that I am able to purchase 375 gallon IBC totes for $50. I am not sure about the potability in these, depending on what they were used for, but for things like bathing and washing things, 1 of these would double our days without reliance on any system to about 38 days. It rains more than once every 38 days, so it would seem like that would be a nice on going system.
I am happy I was finally able to by the diverters to build my rain catchment system. As with many things, we get what we can get or afford, and build from their. My wife and I already plan on getting 1 of those IBC totes. For us, it makes sense. This unfortunate problem is that I do not know if we could fit 1 in our basement. If so, we could turn water from outside into water inside for during the winter. Freezing is bad for rain barrels, so it would be nice to have water stored indoors. This is another plan for another day, but, at least for now, we are developing our independence from the grid, and from whatever lies ahead. Be safe, stay prepared and keep on looking to develop what you have and figure out what you may need. We may be at a breaking point, so make sure you can survive.