Tom’s easy-peasy rainwater reclamation system

Click on the image to link to the TV interview with Terry & Tom.

Garden Walk Buffalo Gardener, Tom Palamuso, faithfully presents his Granger Place garden each year. But as much as his garden is something to see, his home-made, rain-barrel based, 150 gallon, rainwater collection system is something to behold as well.

Lake Palamuso on Granger Place.

This year, YNN Channel 14’s Garden Journeys host, Terry Ettinger interviewed Tom about his system. It is step beyond a simple rain barrel connected to downspout in that it holds three times the water, and is connected to a conventional outdoor hose spigot.

Here’s the skinny: rainwater falls on his garage roof and collects in gutters feeding three, recycled, 50-gallon drums connected with hoses. The third drum is attached at the bottom by a hose that is snaked through his garage to an outdoor spigot. That’s it. It’s that simple. The hardest part was designing a table in his garage that could support the weight of 150 gallons of water (approximately 417 pounds.)

Another consideration was a specific downspout overflow device that was purchased to allow water to continue down the conventional downspout in the event the barrels filled up. The barrels can get full after one good rainstorm.

The Palamuso-Siracuse garden is a highlight on Garden Walk Buffalo, a water color painting of it was featured on a past Garden Walk poster, and was featured in Garden Gate magazine here.

The benefits Tom is seeing? Being on city water with a meter, he’s spending less on his summer water bills. The plants benefit from having chemical-free water, as opposed to city water. Tom has a pond and the rainwater, with no chemicals and a better ph-level for ponds, allows him to fill it up without worry of having to add chemicals to counteract chemicals found in city water. And anther benefit is, he got on the Time-Warner news and was broadcast all over NY State (except for NYC & Long Island) for this broadcast on August 4.

I learned a lot by seeing Tom’s system up close and personal and am designing a system for myself (in my head only for now). After I figure it all out and install it (if I get that far), I’ll share.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Tom’s easy-peasy rainwater reclamation system

  1. An excellent idea and it looks fairly easy to install.


  2. I love garden art and the way you have shown it, it is my biggest passion.


  3. Anonymous

    It is always good to see another way to save that magic liquid..rainwater.Donna


  4. Urban Gardener,Welcome and thanks for visiting.how it grows,fairly easy — probably took Tom a couple afternoons. His fish are happy he spent the time.Flowers,Thank you. I, myself, am not all that great a gardener (I can just tell the difference between lantana and Santana), but I like garden design & art too.mothernature's garden,I have plans to save some of the elixir in life, but involves some manual labor, simple construction and money. So naturally, I'm putting it off.


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