Collecting Rainwater

Collecting rainwater, otherwise known as rainwater harvesting is an ancient practice still used throughout the world today. The main reason people collect rainwater at their home is to use for garden irrigation systems or simply to water their plants.

Collecting rainwater can be as simple as setting out a bucket to catch the rainfall. Or you can use a much more complex system. Either way, the basic components that you need for rainwater harvesting are all the same.

The Standard Process for Collecting Rainwater

  1. Catchment Area

This is the area that initially catches or captures the rainfall. Typically, it is the roof of the house or building that is the basis of the rainwater harvesting.

  1. Conveyance System

The conveyance system in which the water travels from the catchment system to the next part of the collection process, the storage system. On a house or building, the conveyance system is what the rainwater uses as it travels off the roof downward. It would be the gutters, downspouts, and so on.

  1. Storage Area

This is where the rainwater is kept and collected until it is distributed to its final destination. It can be anything from a barrel to an actual water tank. As mentioned, it all really depends on how technical or advanced you want to get. Of course, if you have a top of the line expensive system for harvesting rainwater, you are not going to catch it in an old barrel you picked up at the junkyard or thrift shop. Be sure that it is big enough to hold the amount of rainwater you intend on collecting.

Although, keep this in mind. If you have to move the storage containers, you have to make sure they are still light enough to lift. If you are a beginner, be aware that the containers will be filled with a lot more water more than you originally anticipate.

  1. Distribution System

This is the end result. How are you going to distribute the water to its intended source? If you collect rainwater, which is the economical friendly thing to do, you most likely have plants or a garden. Perhaps a very large garden. You might own a farm. No matter what you are watering, you have to distribute the water.

If you are up to the task or the area isn’t exceptionally large, you can use a watering can. Either siphon it from the storage container or dip it in and go about your business. If you have a larger area to garden, you probably have an irrigation set up and ready to go.

Tips and Advice

There are a couple of things that you need to know about collecting rainwater. It is best to know this before you start the whole rainwater harvesting process.

  • A single square foot on a roof will collect .06 inch of water per every inch of rainwater that falls. If you do the math, this means if you have 1,000 square foot roof, which is the roof size of an average home. Expect to collect 600 gallons of water.
  • It is illegal in some states to harvest rainwater. Strange, isn’t it? Believe it or not, before you begin the process and buying or collecting materials to collect rainwater. Be sure to check the local and state laws in your area to be sure you are permitted to do this.

• Saving and collecting rainwater to water your personal plants and garden will not only save money on your water bill, it helps the environment. The thousands upon thousands of gallons of water you will save by doing this is phenomenal and as green as you can get!