Rainwater for darkroom supply

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Matthew Thompson, May 15, 2010.

  1. Matthew Thompson

    Matthew Thompson Member

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    Is anyone using rainwater to supply a darkroom?

    I've got a great outbuilding that would be fine for a darkroom, but water isn't part of the picture. It's a detached garage with half finished as office space.

    It would be easy to run gutters off the roof and collect in a 200Gal industrial potable tank (lots available via surplus suppliers), then plumb the supply from there. Filtering the water would be a must, but does anyone have direct experience collecting water for darkroom use? Has it worked out for you?
     
  2. abuelo

    abuelo Member

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    very good
     
  3. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    How would acid rain affect this? Would the degree of acidity be irrelevant for photographic purposes?
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i'd put it through a filter ... and use clean water for your final rinse ...
     
  5. DCV

    DCV Member

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    I would suggest you process a roll of unexposed film with it to see if any contaminants might give increase the film base fog or cause any other problems. I had a friend many years ago who got increased base fog because of excessive salt levels in the municipal water supply. Otherwise, have fun!
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    It should be fine, especially for washing. Are you going to try the gravity fed method or a pump of some sort?
     
  7. Matthew Thompson

    Matthew Thompson Member

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    I'd think with a 200Gal tank off the ground a few feet Gravity should do the trick. It's not like there's a bunch of pressure required.

    I'd filter the water for sure, as it would be coming over shingles, gutters and eventually into the tank. Probably a fine mesh sieve before the tank then a inline filter before the faucet. Temperature would be pretty easy to work around since the tank would be inside and that much water would be stable/heat sink.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    In the Southwestern states people collect rain water for cullinary purposes. Sediment filter and a uV filter for biological impurities(microbes and mold spores, etc.) and you're all set to go.
     
  9. largeformat pat

    largeformat pat Member

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    If you are using those clear tanks, you must paint them.After a while with warmer weather you get an algae bloom inside. Reduce the light to the water and also protect the plastic from UV.
    Pat.
     
  10. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    My concern would be whether you could use a fine enough filter without needing more pressure than gravity will provide. You may want to experiment with this. And I would leave room in the tank for sediment to precipitate out.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    diatomaceous earth filter will filter pretty much everything out
     
  12. Matthew Thompson

    Matthew Thompson Member

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    Pat: It will be inside and out of direct light, but this is a good idea none-the-less.
     
  13. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    As I write this I am drinking a glass of "cloud juice" cooled with "cloud juice cubes." My entire house runs off rainwater which we collect from our metal roof and store in above ground tanks. It is filtered twice on its way into the house and goes through a UV light sterilization process before it gets to us. In the darkroom I have another filter on both the hot and cold feed lines, which is probably redundant. This water presents no problem, however it is a relatively sophisticated system. When I make a glass of ice water at night and set on the bed side table at night and leave it there all night, Guess what I find floating on the bottom of the glass in the morning? Nothing. THere is only pure water in the glass. Bill Barber
     
  14. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Bacteria and sediment are your two main concerns. If you take care of those, it is fine.
     
  15. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I did this in Australia on my then wife's parent's dairy farm. Developed a heap of 4x5 film. It was in a house they no longer used, so the rain tank was not actually in use anymore. I used paper filters they had for filtering milk to filter out the various larve that was in the water. An electric tea kettle heated water up.

    Had to stop developing when a thunder storm moved in -- the blankets could not keep that amount of light out! Did not want to flash the negs!

    An on/off valve might be handy on the collection system so that you can hose off the roof after dust storms (if coastal NB ever gets any) or after long spells without rain to keep the collection tank relatively clean.

    Vaughn