Ok just quick post on water.I will do a better as soon as I wade through all the info man there is a lot 90% doesnt really relate to what we are looking for.To start with I would recommend gutter collection as recommended by 3%.Pick a down spout that has pretty level area under it.
Next figure out what container you will use to catch rain runoff,5 gal buckets,55 gal drums,35 gal,etc.
Ok get a notebook and tape measure.Set catch container of your choice next to downspout.measure up to top of bucket.
This is where first elbow will go,in most systems you can probally get by with one,if you need to cobble several together its not hard they slip one into the other,any joints-connections should be screwed together with stainless steel screws,you can use any sheet meta screws but they will rust.
if you have drill use hex driver and self tapping screws. If not drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than screw. For those DIY types I know you can envision what I'm saying,for those who can't pic's or drawings later.
Downspout can be cut with sawzall,hacksaw, snips,etc.Its thin aluminum or sheetsteel.
Basically you want your catch bucket under downspout,period.You can get trick and plumb several together or dump one at time.PVC type plastic plumbing is easy to work with cut it off ,use purple primer,smear glue all the way around,press together giving a slight twist quarter turn or less,you will feel it start to bond.
put some time of screen or lid letting only downspout through to elimanate leaves,bird droppings etc.
Once you have catch container set up now's where it gets interesting.
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