The average home of 25’ X 40’ sheds over 600 gallons of water per hour during a typical rainfall. Can you imagine how much rainwater could have been harvested during the recent super-storms?
Consider why you would want to harvest rainwater: Do you want to have an easy and accessible way to water your garden, wash your car and tools from the tool shed, and splash down the deck after a lot of muddy feet have left their mark? Or do you want to truly use the water as a household resource? Both are entirely possible.
Based on your objective, consider both the simplistic and more complex methods.
Buy a Cool Barrel: Harvesting rainwater is downright easy. Of course, you can always get that rustic, old brown barrel, and those are great. But there are also many modern, eye-catching, and downright attractive lawn or deck accessories like the one pictured here. Shop around, and have some fun picking out the one (or two, or three!) that suits your style. The water from your gutters can literally run right into your barrel. Could it be any easier?
Check out this splash of color and sustainability for your deck!
Create a Cool and BIGGER Barrel: This takes basic water collection up a notch. With just a bit more effort and initial start-up cost, you can graduate to a system that is a bit more complex and will produce water that is purified, thus available for more solutions. Investigate the various pumps and purification systems that can assist in the process of a larger collection.
Who knew your rooftop could be so productive?
Underground Cistern: Now it gets a bit more complex. You can also consider a below-ground-level cistern at each of the downward spout locations as your first step. A corrugated pipe from your nearest Home Depot or hardware store will then help the water to flow from the spout to the cistern. (Position this hose carefully, as you don’t want the overflow running right into your foundation.) From there, you’ll want to buy a pump that will carry the water from the cistern to your hose, and there you have it! You’re now up and running so that the car, garden, and hydration for your animals will be easy to keep clean and fresh.
Entire Home System: And, last but not least, you can go for the big-time results and truly sustain your entire home on a high-end system. There are many, and they are gaining more popularity, as more and more people crave the idea of relying less on others and more on creating full sustainability for themselves and their families.
After considering just a few of these methods on how to collect this available, free, and worthy resource, you will simply wonder why you have not been doing it all along. It’s a win-win. Truly, there is absolutely nothing to lose, except a bit of guilt that your water company will make a little less money this year!
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer for various professional organizations. She often writes for Repuation.com about the many ways a company can protect its business reputation, along with other small business and environmental topics. Photo credits: shino 誌野, TimothyJ.