Stand Alone Rainwater Harvesting System
by RainSaucers Inc. on September 11th, 2017

A lot products say they achieve several environmental goals at the same time. But our new RainJug product is real deal. Not only does it catch rain (which conserves water) but it upcycles milk jugs which usually wind up in landfills. Better yet, the product is an educational tool because it educates children in a fun, DIY way that gets them interested in growing their own food- another environmental plus.

The RainJug did not make it on KickStarter but we decided to launch it anyway based on our overall enthusiasm for the product. You can buy it now on our site for $24.95 with Free Shipping. A second unit can be had for just $15 more.

by RainSaucers Inc. on August 11th, 2017

Please support our first KickStarter campaign

RainJug is a a DIY kit that recycles milk jugs into a rainwater harvesting system.

We designed the RainJug to be a perfect starting point for any adult or child interested in rainwater harvesting. It installs in minutes with no tools required- all you need is an empty jug! Better yet, it can be scaled and customized with a variety of DIY projects.

Go to the Campaign.

by RainSaucers Inc. on June 19th, 2017

Our first product, the 48" RainSaucer, was designed to work with one of the most common rain barrels- the converted 55 gallon drum which usually has a 2" NPS threaded hole. That's why we include a 2" NPS male adapter and a retention ring so that the 48" can be attached to the drum and not fly away. But that's not to say the 48" is invincible. Wind gusts over 30MPH can disable it and over time it can develop warps which although treatable, are an annoyance.

So what should you do when your 48" RainSaucer is regularly having wind or warp issues?

The cheapest and easiest solution we can recommend is to implement the 48" like a 59" on a bucket resting on the drum rather than into the drum itself. This means taking away the adapter and setting the 48" unit with filter installed right on to an open bucket with the retention ring coming from underneath the bucket. The key is to drill a small (1/4" should do it) hole at the bottom of the bucket so that the bucket drips right into the previously used opening on the drum. To make sure the bucket doesn't fly away, one can put something heavy in the bucket (like stones or gravel) or simply tie the bucket to the drum using the bucket's handle. As long as the bucket fully covers the 2" hole, mosquitoes should not be a problem.

For years, customers have been asking us if the 48" could be implemented like a 59", straight onto an open top barrel. And while we still don't want to encourage it (because the filter will not be as tight) it is certainly possible. As alluded to above, this will dramatically increase wind resistance from 30MPH to upwards of 50MPH where the 59" currently is rated.

by RainSaucers Inc. on May 24th, 2017

It's hard not to be cynical about celebrities and their non-profits. Is it just for show? Or do they really care about these issues and are trying to use their influence for good. We've followed Matt Damon's charity Water.org closely over the years and we have to admit, progress is real. When we first invented the RainSaucer in 2009, there were 1 billion people on the planet without access to clean drinking. That has shrunk to just 663 Million people now- a decrease of 337 million, 6 million of which have Water.org to thank.

You also have to give Matt Damon props for his savvy use of social media- like his toilet strike in 2013 to raise awareness of sanitation issues. He is currently tied up with Belgian beer maker Stella Artois (see video) to sell beer glasses for $13 with half the proceeds going to clean water projects through Water.org.

Overall, the Stella campaign is a good thing. But there is one part that I question- the numbers. Stella says that for each chalice sold they will donate $6.25 to Water.org which will in turn provide one person with clean water for 5 years. That means it costs just $1.25 per person per year. Multiply that by the 663 Million people without clean water and it means that the world's water crisis can be solved for just $828 Million per year. That doesn't sound like a lot when you consider the annual budget for US AID is $22.7 Billion and that Gates Foundation is sitting on $40 Billion. So either those numbers are quite a bit off or we are well within reach of solving the global water crisis, once and for all.



by RainSaucers Inc. on April 17th, 2017

For the record, if you are interested in stand alone rainwater catchment but our current products don't match your sizing, storage, or integration requirements, please feel free to contact us for a consultation. Over the years, we've built up an extensive portfolio of solutions- many of which have not made it into our product lineup for business reasons. In some cases, we might be able to design a custom system that aims for parameters like:
  • Extra large catchment (>100 square feet)
  • Ultra low-cost (for developing countries)
  • Greater Portability
  • Extreme Durability
  • Non-standard Adapters
Whatever the situation, we are confident in our ability to apply our existing products or develop something custom if the need and budget arises. 

by RainSaucers Inc. on March 22nd, 2017

We know that Fedex and UPS are better at packages than USPS because they usually get a signature or at least knock on the door. But we have to use USPS since they are the only ones that will take our odd shaped packages at a reasonable price. Yet on rare occasions, a RainSaucers order gets delivered (USPS tracking data confirms it), but the recipient can't find the package.  Each time this causes stress to both the customer and (believe it or not) us too. This article aims to relieve that stress by recording our knowledge of how these things get resolved.


To USPS's credit, they have never actually lost one of our packages. But in cases where the package has gone missing post-delivery, the reasons have been:
1. The package was delivered by mistake to a neighbor. The neighbor usually brings the package over on the weekend when they know the customer is home.
2. Tracking marks the package as delivered but the post office has it on hold. When the mail carrier is unable to find a place to leave the package they will leave a note instead telling the customer to pick up at the local post office. If that note goes missing, the customer has no way of knowing where the package is located. For this reason, we always recommend our customers contact their local post office right away. The same goes for International shipments- the local post office is responsible for getting you your packages and will know how to proceed.
3. The package was delivered but the person receiving did not know what it was. 48" and 59" RainSaucers are rolled up and shipped as a tube (see photo below). So they are occasionally mistaken for being a carpet or other mat. The customer ultimately gets the package when she asks around the house or office if any rolled packages have been received.

Based on this history, the first action item when a package says delivered and you can't find it is to check in with every one around you whether they be family, coworkers, or neighbors. This process can take a day or two. If it still doesn't turn up, you should call your local post office (the one that delivers your mail) to see if the package is on hold. If it is not on hold, the post office will ask your mail carrier as to their recollection. The mail carrier is not likely to forget a long tubular package like ours and should be able to remember where they left it before marking "delivered" in the USPS database.

by RainSaucers Inc. on February 20th, 2017

If you follow our blog, you know that last month we wrote an open letter to Flint, MI residents proposing RainSaucers as a solution to their water crisis. The proposal was not for charity but we did offer free shipping and some pretty clear direction as to how rainwater could vastly improve their situation. The response on Facebook was mainly positive- lots of likes and shares, etc. but unfortunately, no takers. We also forwarded our proposal to various agencies involved and the response was mainly the same-  thanks, but no thanks.

Rejection- it's something we're used to as social entrepreneurs. Clean technology solutions require education and convincing over time. But the part that surprised us was the negative feedback we also received. For example:
- one Flint resident thought that were just trying to take advantage of the situation to make a profit. We advised her that we are still a part-time "social venture" that barely covers our costs as it is.
- several Flint residents thought that rainwater collection was federally illegal (categorically untrue). This sparked outrage from other Flint residents who couldn't bear the thought of being burned by both local water agencies and federal ones too.
- another Flint resident who was already knowledgeable about rainwater harvesting (he had a system already in place) called our system inefficient in comparison to roof based collection. We explained that while a roof collects more water, that water is not fit for human consumption. He still was not convinced and would not concede we had any benefit for Flint even though we had a study behind us.

Yet we are still not going to give up on Flint. One resident community organizer there seemed interested in a pilot project with us and we are hopeful we can eventually get something going. It would be nice to take advantage of the Spring rainy season but if not this year we'll try again the next.

by RainSaucers Inc. on January 6th, 2017





 








Dear Residents of Flint,

I am writing to offer my help. My company makes rainwater catchment funnels called RainSaucers, right here in the USA. The purpose of RainSaucers is to allow anyone, anywhere to easily set up their own local source of clean water by catching rainwater straight from the sky. Over the 6 years we've been in business, we've sold our product all over the world- mainly to people without access to a clean  water or those who fear that access may be compromised. For example, we recently supplied a remote island town in New Foundland, Canada (see photo above) under a pilot project aimed at reducing the problem of residents having to haul water to their homes.

I mention our Canada project because in many ways your situation is similar. My understanding is that to get clean water,  you are now bringing in bottled water which takes up time and gas money. Yet this only serves your drinking and cooking needs and doesn't provide you with enough water for bathing. What you need is a source of clean water that comes in larger volumes right to your home, for as little cost as possible.  You need rainwater harvesting (RWH).

Here's my proposed RWH installation for each household:
- Deployment of 2 x 59" RainSaucers, each on a 32 gallon BRUTE or Roughneck container (as we did in Canada). This will collect almost 22 gallons every time it rains 1 inch. Between March and November this should yield an average of 66 gallons per month (based on historical averages for Flint) .
- As to the allocation of the 66 gallons, a family of four is likely to use 1/2 of that for drinking/cooking (around a gallon a day) and the other 1/2 for bathing. For bathing, I recommend trying one of those  $10 camping bag showers (just bring inside to your normal shower after it heats up outside). I suspect you could get around 10-15 short Navy showers out of your setup each month.
- Rain, as you may know, is pure natural distilled water and 100% potable when it falls from the sky. So the only thing required for drinking, is a method to kill any organisms that may develop while the water is sitting outside. Many of my customers use a Berkey filter for their rainwater but cheaper ones are also available. If the state of Michigan has already provided you with a filter you may be able to use that, provided it also works on organisms. Boiling the water is an option as well as a little bleach or tincture of iodine (see our post on this).

- Now for the Pricing of the install itself...
* 2 x 32 gallon Roughneck containers should be around $30 at Home Depot
* Normally we would charge $180 for the 2 x 59" RainSaucers and the 2 x Faucet kits needed to turn a Roughneck container into rain barrel. But for individual residents of Flint, we will bring that price down to $150 including shipping. Just contact us and mention this letter.
* The only other possible budget item for the  installation is the cost of getting the rain barrels off the ground (to access the faucet). Two concrete blocks under each unit (see picture) should not cost more than  $10.

So all in, each household can probably pull this off with a Budget of $200. I understand the State of Michigan has already spent $200 Million on the 50,000 households affected. That equates to $4,000 per household for just a temporary, highly imperfect solution. Even if rainwater harvesting only reduces the problem by half, it would still be 10X more efficient than what the State of Michigan is currently doing.

Respectfully,

Tom Spargo
Inventor and Owner, RainSaucers Inc.

P.S. State of Michigan water officials- please don't be afraid of contacting us too. We'd love to work with you on behalf of the residents.



by RainSaucers Inc. on December 12th, 2016

Every year around this time we like to look back and reflect on some of the customers we've helped in the past year. Many of these have already been covered on our Facebook page. But given that some of our fans follow us here and through our newsletter, we always do a recap at year end. This time we've decided to boil it down to just 3 installations we are particularly proud of...

Two 59" units in Southern California

On the heels of California's historic drought, this LA area customer wanted to make sure to catch as much of El NiƱo as possible last Winter. He wrote to us that "Over two days my rain gauge showed 3.2 inches of rain and the 32 gallon trash cans were filled to overflowing."

84" RainSaucer in Rhinebeck, NY

This install was at the nonprofit Ramapo for Children as part of their permaculture program, which is run by young adults with social, emotional, and learning challenges who are participating in a residential transition-to-independence program in order to move on to college and/or employment. Pictured here is there custom 84" unit installation.

14 x 59" RainSaucers in New Foundland, Canada

This photo is from the rural community of Black Tickle in New Foundland, Canada which was suffering from a clean water crisis. RainSaucers were purchased to provide individual homes with their own source of fresh water. This photo came from a CBC New article which provided full detail on the project.

by RainSaucers Inc. on November 7th, 2016

Two of our products (the 48" and 84" RainSaucer) are designed to work only with 2" NPS standard holes.  If you're lucky, your 55 gallon drum or 270 gallon IBC Tote already has one built in. If not, you can always add one with a 2" Bulkhead Fitting.

If you have a removable lid, bulkhead installation is easy. Just drill a a 3" or 3 1/8" hole in the lid (or cap), insert the Body and Sealing washer (see photo) from one side and screw on the Friction washer and Nut from the other side and you are done.

If you don't have a removable lid, you have to find a creative way to keep one half of the fitting in place underneath while you screw in everything else on the other side. For completely closed gallon drums this near impossible so we usually recommend switching to a 2" UniSeal with a 2" Pipe and 2"Female Adapter installed (for the 48" only). For other types of closed tanks, we recommend using the manhole cover to reach your hand inside and hold half of the bulkhead fitting in place while the other half gets screwed on.





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