With the rainwater collection system's inlet piping complete, we've been waiting for a good rain to test it out. That rain came this weekend.
I am happy to report that the cistern is now about three-fourths full.
And the piping seemed to work pretty much exactly as it was supposed to. Rain flowed down from the roof, into the gutters to the downspouts, through the underground lines, back up the inlet piping, into/across the first flush device, and then into the tank.
(Yeah, we still have the old rainbarrel set up next to the new downspout. It's nearly full and has been serving all of our watering and cleaning needs throughout this never-ending project.)
(And yeah, the yard is still a torn-up mess.)
(And yeah, the gravel area is, too.)
We did detect some leakage in the pipes, but it was all above-ground, and it's nothing that can't be fixed. The nozzle on the first flush was too big, allowing a steady stream of water to escape instead of a gentle trickle.
The first flush kit came with several drippers in different sizes, so it was no big deal to swap it out for a smaller one. The larger cap (just upstream of the black nozzle) also had a pretty serious leak, but a few inches of Teflon tape will take care of it.
The cleanouts that we put at the base of each downspout (plus two more underground) need some Teflon tape, too. Cleanouts aren't usually under pressure, so they're not made to be totally watertight.
Although it would have been nice to fill the cistern in one rain event, I'm actually pretty glad it didn't fill completely. The one part of the piping related to getting water in that isn't finished is the overflow drain. Currently there's just a 90-degree turn coming out of the tank...and then nothing.
An overflow situation this weekend would have made a big, muddy mess. Now that we're six or seven feet closer to full, the overflow piping just made it to the top of the to-do list.