Rainwater Catchment Tanks at Tatanka Najin School


As part of our growing school garden, we needed a better watering system since we were just carrying buckets of water from the custodian’s closet. We noticed how much water poured from the downspouts at our school and decided we should start collecting it and use it to water our garden.

We also wanted to set up a pumping system so we could use drip irrigation rather than watering cans or buckets, and lacking outlets near the garden, we decided a solar panel kit powering a small 12V pump would be a good idea.


This May, we placed 2 IBC totes on top of 2 pallets each and spliced together fire hose scraps so the downspouts would empty into the totes. The first night after we installed them, a light shower provided 80-100 L of water, and a heavier storm the next day collected 900 L.

We’ve begun wiring the solar panel charge controller so that we can charge an old truck battery to power our irrigation pump.

Reflection & Celebration

We estimate that in an average summer our totes will collect over 25000 L of rain water.

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