Rain Harvesting

by R.I. Lampus
Rain Collection Barrel

Stepping into week 4 of the blog series and the newest installment centered on rain harvesting.

Rain harvesting is the practice of collecting the water produced by rain storms, instead of letting it run back into the ground.

Flooded Yard
Rain harvesting helps with flooding or overwhelming the sewer systems by catching the rainwater before it gets to the ground. More importantly, rain harvesting is a way to cut back on the overuse of water in other areas of life. By collecting rainwater for household uses, one can cut back on the expense of using local water resources and the bills connected to those resources. This makes a rain collection system a very ‘green’ option for stormwater management. Although rain collecting is less preventative as other options discussed, it is still equally as important.

Rain harvesting can range from very simple systems, which require little to no maintenance, all the way to very complex systems, which can filter the water for even more uses. A simple system only needs a gutter or downspout to direct the rainwater from the roof into a barrel or container. With a system like this, you can reuse the water for outdoor uses like gardening, washing your car, or filling up your pools or fountains. Collecting rainwater in this way will cut back on needing to run the hose at your home. It does not create water safe for consumption.

A more complex system that includes a filter, piping, pumps, and safe storage containers can definitely create cleaner, more usable water for drinking and indoor use. These types of rain harvesting systems are far more expensive and require more attention to detail.

An obvious disadvantage of rain collecting is the dependence upon the inconsistency of the weather. No precipitation equals no rain to collect. The overall idea of rain harvesting is to supplement the overall use of water in your home, not replace it. Make sure you do your research and invest in the process at the beginning to set yourself up for success. The only thing left to do is hope for rain!

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Series:

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