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Anyone aware of constraints on collecting rain/storm water

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This may or may not sound ridiculous, but there are a lot of places in the States where it is actually illegal to intercept rain or storm water and attempt to store it in private cisterns or tanks. Just wondering if anyone had any experience or knowledge of the prevailing attitudes among the various North Shore jurisdictions? Not living there yet, so I've no practical experience with the existing conditions there, but from what little I've read and seen from afar it seems that storm water management continues to pose considerable challenges in the area. Thinking of building there and wanted to include features that would help rather than hinder storm water management, but totally unfamiliar with how local gov't views such things. FWIW, not really interested in locating right in town.

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There are no restrictions that I am aware of here. I REALLY wanted to do this when we built on the coast. In the end, it wasn't very practical. The rain simply doesn't fall on a regular basis all year round. So, to store the water that falls in a few months (say middle of June to middle of October) requires a HUGE storage facility. One inch of rain falling on one thousand square feet of roof produces 1,000 litres of water. 1,000 litres of water occupies 1 cubic meter.

33.19 inches of rain per year and most of it falls in four months ... averaged for the last 8 years and taken from https://www.ajijicweather.com/index.htm 

1,000 square feet of roof

That's 33,190 litres of water to be stored and requires 33.19 cubic metres of space. Say 3.5 metres wide x 3 metres deep x 3 metres long. That's BIG.

 

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In Chiapas it is against the rules to drain roof and rain run off into the sewer. Here I had gutter installed and the plumber does not want to connect it to the sewer either  so I think there mist be some rule but I see that it is not followed in many cases..In both cases the water should be draining off in the street...

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Yeah, so not introducing what is considered environmentally sourced water into public sewers is a pretty universal thing since the sewage is carried to a treatment plant that is typically undersized already, so adding storm water to the mix just exacerbates the problem and contributes to overflows and releases of untreated contaminated water into the surrounding environment. Air conditioner condensate is also usually included with rain/storm water in that requirement.

What I'm specifically concerned with is whether or not there are any restrictions or regulations that would prevent me from harvesting the rain water that would fall on my own property?  My desired intent is to capture, treat and filter it for my own use, as opposed to having to buy in water or connect to the public system. My resultant grey water would be recycled, treated, and filtered again before being used for irrigating gardens, and the toilets that I use are an electrically operated incinerating type that eliminate all of what is commonly referred to as black water, so cumulatively I would have no need of the public sewer and water systems.

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Be aware that many areas, even close to Ajijic, do not have a sewer system and are on septic systems. And I totally agree that rain water should never go into a sewer line.

To rely only on rainwater as a water source is really brave. But, there are pipas (water trucks) that can tide you over if needed.

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8 minutes ago, Ferret said:

Be aware that many areas, even close to Ajijic, do not have a sewer system and are on septic systems. And I totally agree that rain water should never go into a sewer line.

To rely only on rainwater as a water source is really brave. But, there are pipas (water trucks) that can tide you over if needed.

We agree completely with Ferret.  Also, after 21 years in MX full time, 2 different States, we have yet to encounter RAIN water police! 

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50 minutes ago, Ferret said:

There are no restrictions that I am aware of here. I REALLY wanted to do this when we built on the coast. In the end, it wasn't very practical. The rain simply doesn't fall on a regular basis all year round. So, to store the water that falls in a few months (say middle of June to middle of October) requires a HUGE storage facility. One inch of rain falling on one thousand square feet of roof produces 1,000 litres of water. 1,000 litres of water occupies 1 cubic meter.

33.19 inches of rain per year and most of it falls in four months ... averaged for the last 8 years and taken from https://www.ajijicweather.com/index.htm 

1,000 square feet of roof

That's 33,190 litres of water to be stored and requires 33.19 cubic metres of space. Say 3.5 metres wide x 3 metres deep x 3 metres long. That's BIG.

 

So, I've done this before, but admittedly with higher annual precipitation that was more evenly dispersed throughout the year.

The best way to get a handle on it all is to simply begin by eliminating and conserving use. From there it gets a whole lot simpler. I've worked with all sorts of water quality issues over the years (off-grid, third world, aquaculture, industrial contamination, etc.) and have a fairly high competency in dealing with making raw water potable. From a conservation perspective, we practice usage that is not what most people are accustomed to here in the water wasting United States of America.

We do not, for example, use potable water to flush toilets, wash cars, or irrigate crops and gardens. We in fact use incinerating toilets that require no water, recycle grey water to irrigate gardens and crops, and have better things to do with our time and water than waste it washing vehicular conveyances, so what we actually require to live comfortably is substantially less per person than the average bear(s). A cistern capable of storing about 12,000 gallons is way more than sufficient to allow us all of the water that we need (assuming we start with a full or near full tank). While admittedly large, that cistern would be roughly 18' in diameter, and about 7' tall overall, filled to a little over 6' high, or about the equivalent size of two 18' round above ground swimming pools stacked on top of each other. 

With fairly modest collection capacity that level of storage will actually provide significantly more water than we typically use, and even if our replenishment is limited to operating at or near full for three consecutive months followed by 9 months of an inch or less, we'll still have much more than we need, so even without a well, we should be relatively drought proof. I just don't want to run afould of any governmental meddling. In a lot of areas in the U.S. the government has laid claim to the water that falls on our roof and land, and they've actually made it illegal to harvest rain water. I know that that sounds rather absurd, but then again, look at who we have running the country...

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1 hour ago, vista lake said:

My architect when I renew my pool, I contract to the ready mix company that is located in ixtlahuacan of the quinces, they have different types of constets, it depends on what you occupy, and on material they give you the price. If you need more info or contact of that company send me a PM. Saludos

 

6 minutes ago, ibarra said:

We agree completely with Ferret.  Also, after 21 years in MX full time, 2 different States, we have yet to encounter RAIN water police! 

That's great to hear. Sounds Orwellian, I know, but gov't intrusions seem to know no bounds these days, so nothing any longer surprises me. It often upsets and enrages me, but lived too long and seen to much for them to shock me any more.

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21 minutes ago, el blanco barba said:

So, I've done this before, but admittedly with higher annual precipitation that was more evenly dispersed throughout the year.

The best way to get a handle on it all is to simply begin by eliminating and conserving use. From there it gets a whole lot simpler. I've worked with all sorts of water quality issues over the years (off-grid, third world, aquaculture, industrial contamination, etc.) and have a fairly high competency in dealing with making raw water potable. From a conservation perspective, we practice usage that is not what most people are accustomed to here in the water wasting United States of America.

We do not, for example, use potable water to flush toilets, wash cars, or irrigate crops and gardens. We in fact use incinerating toilets that require no water, recycle grey water to irrigate gardens and crops, and have better things to do with our time and water than waste it washing vehicular conveyances, so what we actually require to live comfortably is substantially less per person than the average bear(s). A cistern capable of storing about 12,000 gallons is way more than sufficient to allow us all of the water that we need (assuming we start with a full or near full tank). While admittedly large, that cistern would be roughly 18' in diameter, and about 7' tall overall, filled to a little over 6' high, or about the equivalent size of two 18' round above ground swimming pools stacked on top of each other. 

With fairly modest collection capacity that level of storage will actually provide significantly more water than we typically use, and even if our replenishment is limited to operating at or near full for three consecutive months followed by 9 months of an inch or less, we'll still have much more than we need, so even without a well, we should be relatively drought proof. I just don't want to run afould of any governmental meddling. In a lot of areas in the U.S. the government has laid claim to the water that falls on our roof and land, and they've actually made it illegal to harvest rain water. I know that that sounds rather absurd, but then again, look at who we have running the country...

Excellent! Lovely to hear about someone who is a water conservationist. Aljibes (cisterns) are built here on site out of brick or block and parged concrete. Just make sure to include an overflow which is something that is not even included in most swimming pool construction here.

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Any ideas on how the local gov't views the construction of storm water sediment holding ponds? Again, haven't visited there yet, but from what I can see, my other concerns in all of this would be erosion and sedimentation of the lake. Concentrated heavy rains and a lack of soil holding plant roots can wreak havoc on surrounding waterways.
I've built permaculture holding ponds in severely sloped terrain before where we were able to mitigate unchecked erosion and create fertile micro-climes that better resisted drought and flood, but the challenges of the Lake Chapala area will all be new to me.

Also, I have a long history of working with environmental conservation groups and look forward to doing whatever I can to help reclaim and protect the lake. We have the technology to minimize our environmental impact on such areas, but unfortunately, we typically lack ethical leadership with the vision or desire to steer in that direction. Too many temptations for politicos to stuff money in their pockets and feed "The Tragedy of The Commons" cycle.

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I have my rainwater lines from my roof, connected to an absorption well, rainwater collector, and I have 2 French drains in my backyard, and that water I use for my pasture and some trees, that's materi prima.I now when you need to build a new house in the goverment office they want this buil and the litle desing in the permits plan desing.
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I have often thought that building an above ground silo that is parged concrete on the inside would be very environmentally friendly water storage because, if you're building a one story house, the pressure from gravity alone would be good and it would be easy to see if there were any leaks. I am so over using any kind of electricity sucking submersible pumps.

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21 minutes ago, vista lake said:

I have my rainwater lines from my roof, connected to an absorption well, rainwater collector, and I have 2 French drains in my backyard, and that water I use for my pasture and some trees, that's materi prima.I now when you need to build a new house in the goverment office they want this buil and the litle desing in the permits plan desing.

Sounds very much what I'm already used to having to include on site plans for permit applications here. I used to specialize in building near environmentally sensitive areas, from back before it was considered cool or required, so I generally approach every project from a zero impact design objective. Obviously the earth would be better off if none of us were here, but such are the challenges of modern life as we know it.  ;)

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In  British Columbia, where we were originally from, government has exclusive rights to generate electricity from running streams. Then they allowed micro-hydro projects which feed into a grid, some of finest recreation locations are now home to these projects, and their cabins. If you have travelled Mexico, as you say, there are many prime locations for micro hydro generation. The government is encouraging this. There may the same opportunities to build in these protected areas.

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I am not aware of any restrictions on collecting rain water but I am sure the officials could come up with some if that meant money.

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2 hours ago, el blanco barba said:

Yeah, so not introducing what is considered environmentally sourced water into public sewers is a pretty universal thing since the sewage is carried to a treatment plant that is typically undersized already, so adding storm water to the mix just exacerbates the problem and contributes to overflows and releases of untreated contaminated water into the surrounding environment. Air conditioner condensate is also usually included with rain/storm water in that requirement.

What I'm specifically concerned with is whether or not there are any restrictions or regulations that would prevent me from harvesting the rain water that would fall on my own property?  My desired intent is to capture, treat and filter it for my own use, as opposed to having to buy in water or connect to the public system. My resultant grey water would be recycled, treated, and filtered again before being used for irrigating gardens, and the toilets that I use are an electrically operated incinerating type that eliminate all of what is commonly referred to as black water, so cumulatively I would have no need of the public sewer and water systems.

I don't think there are any restrictions. A neighbour collects it from the roofs of building into 2 aljibes. They hold about 130,000 liters. 

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17 minutes ago, Ferret said:

I have often thought that building an above ground silo that is parged concrete on the inside would be very environmentally friendly water storage because, if you're building a one story house, the pressure from gravity alone would be good and it would be easy to see if there were any leaks. I am so over using any kind of electricity sucking submersible pumps.

I mean, if you happened to be blessed with accommodating topography, gravity can be a wonderful thing, and there are a multitude of ways to avoid having to rely on an unreliable electrical grid to keep you watered. I've built all sorts of ponds, cisterns, tanks, and impoundments over the years, for a wide variety of uses. My concerns with the Lake area are more about not wanting to plan on doing anything that might put me at odds with the local gov't or possibly my surrounding neighbors.

I'm a big fan of the Golden Rule and folks respecting my attempts at pursuing happiness without impinging on theirs. Also realize that making one's life their argument goes a lot further than anything else at changing people's minds and habits. Especially where environmental issues are concerned, people look right at the problems and then turn the other way when it comes down to them having to make a change or sacrifice, so providing an example of just how much sense that can make can be a powerful inspiration.

Who doesn't like not having bills, and what's not to love about having abundant pure sine-wave power 24/7? There's no place left in the U.S. where I'd risk drinking any of the tap water, so we adapted to hyper filtering and treating our own a long time ago. Our commercially available food is all contaminated with various herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, bacteriacides, and poisonous surficants, so we also long ago got used to feeding ourselves. I'm a veteran, so health care, of a sort, is available to me here, but for my friends and family, the future on that front is pretty dire. The U.S. is no place to grow old or be poor, and it's gotten so that their pharmaceutic-ally based reactive "care" system is destined to force you into poverty no matter how well you may have prepared, so whatever it takes, we figure to get while the gettin' is good. I'll hand pump water from a hand dug well if I have to, but we need to get out of here before Mexico wakes up and decides to build that wall that the chimp is always ranting about.  

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13 minutes ago, bmh said:

I am not aware of any restrictions on collecting rain water but I am sure the officials could come up with some if that meant money.

Ha ha, spoken like a true optimist, a label which I do not embrace. So I guess the next step is to do whatever you want to do in a stealthy manner...  ;)

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11 minutes ago, camillenparadise said:

I was taught that one inch of rain on 1000 sq. ft. of roof collected 650 gallons. My aljibe holds 27000 liters. 

So the average area precipitation is a bit over 94% of three feet, which equals 2,820 cubic feet per year on a given 1,000 sq. ft. area. A cubic foot of water equals 7.48 U.S. fluid gallons, so a little over 21,000 gallons each year, which if you could capture every drop, would provide over 55 gallons of water per day. If you eliminate the most wasteful uses, 55 gallons of water can keep a family of four quite comfortable, with enough left over for a couple of chickens ta boot.

There's 144 square inches in a square foot, and 1,728 cu. inches in a cubic foot, so an inch across 1,000 sq. ft. would equal 144,000 sq. inches. At a depth of one inch that would be 144,000 cubic inches, or 83-1/3 cu. ft. of water per inch of rainfall on that area. At 7.48 gallons per cu. ft. you get just under 625 gallons, so pretty close.

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30 minutes ago, camillenparadise said:

I was taught that one inch of rain on 1000 sq. ft. of roof collected 650 gallons. My aljibe holds 27000 liters. 

Yup. You're correct. And I checked other conversion sites to confirm your knowledge. My numbers are wrong but they are what I read at the time in the late 80's.They stuck in my head because it was so easy and logical even with the mix of units involved. My bad! Unfortunately, the cistern will have to be even bigger using the correct numbers. Sigh.

 

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17 minutes ago, Ferret said:

Yup. You're correct. And I checked other conversion sites to confirm your knowledge. My numbers are wrong but they are what I read at the time in the late 80's.They stuck in my head because it was so easy and logical even with the mix of units involved. My bad! Unfortunately, the cistern will have to be even bigger using the correct numbers. Sigh.

 

Eh... it's only money, right?

Besides, ya can't take it with you!  (still a favorite play)  :)

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el blanco ypu do not have to do it in a stealthy manner.. you just do it and if they tell you , you could not, you apoogize profusely , pay the fee and go on..

Spoken like a Mexican!   Logic does not always prevail and money talks.

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If a neighbor were to build a pond, he might get an uproar from those nearby. Away from standing water, in the Chapala area, mosquitoes are not a problem. However, they are a problem closer to the lake, and wherever there is a forgotten container of water outside. The uproar would certainly result in a visit from the health authorities.  By the way, a well requires a permit, and the federal government retains ownership of the water.

Using a large aljibe, or a series of them, with solar power and gravity feed from rooftop 'tinacos', is the most practical and accepted approach in Mexico.  Replenishment from roofs, or by local "pipas de agua" trucks makes it even more practical.

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