“Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. Rainwater can be collected from rivers or roofs, and in many places the water collected is redirected to a deep pit (well, shaft, or borehole), a reservoir with percolation, or collected from dew or fog with nets or other tools. Its uses include water for gardens, livestock, irrigation, domestic use with proper treatment, and indoor heating for houses etc. The harvested water can also be used as drinking water, longer-term storage and for other purposes such as groundwater recharge.
Rainwater harvesting is one of the simplest and oldest methods of self-supply of water for households usually financed by the user.” (Wikipedia)
“Water storage tanks should be covered to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce evaporation losses, contamination and algal growth. Rainwater harvesting systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system hygienic.” (S.A.R.G. Water Solutions)
A typical rainwater catchment system has three parts
- The collection area (the roof: metal, shingle [not green roof])
- The transportation system (rain chain or gutter system)
- Storage facility (barrel or tub)
This site gives good tips on maintaining a rainwater catch system. One thing they mention frequently is using mesh filters to catch insects and leaves and other debris. It is important to inspect the catch system frequently and to clean the holding tank, gutters, and filters to avoid contamination.
Attached is a link to the Rainwater Catchment Pinterest board:
- Integration of storage facility into building
- Above or below ground systems
- Variety of materials and sizes
- The transportation system can be art!
- Diminishing flooding, erosion and the flow to stormwater drain by reducing peak storm water runoff
- Reducing water bills and demand on your community’s drinking water supply by using rainwater for flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering the garden and washing cars
- Improving plant growth by using rainwater for irrigation because stored rainwater is free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals, and other natural and man-made contaminants
- Making use of a valuable resource that is FREE
The cost resides in the storage tank itself. Storage tanks that hold ~1000 gallons can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and a storage tank that holds ~5000 gallons can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Rainwater collecting is a good investment and delivers a good return on investment.