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Rainwater Harvesting

December 20, 2011
Amanda Curry
Read Time
2 minutes

Rainwater harvesting was practiced in the earliest days of civilization. Families used barrel containers to collect rainwater for future use including: livestock, gardening, landscaping, and other typical uses.

The practice of collecting rainwater nearly vanished during the days of inexpensive and readily available municipal water supplies. We became so accustomed to the convenience of having a steady stream of water pumped from the ground that we all but forgot rain barrels.

However, modern day concerns about water usage and cost are leading many to reconsider the idea of harvesting a natural supply of rainwater.

Rainwater Harvesting Offers Many Benefits:

  1. Rainwater is FREE.
  2. Plants love and thrive on rainwater as it is free of fluoride and chlorine, which are used in municipal water.
  3. Reduces storm drainage load and flooding.
  4. Improves ground water quality and water quality of our rivers, lakes and oceans. 70% of water pollution originates from rainwater spill-offs.
  5. Increases the value of your home.
  6. Water independence because you no longer have to depend on municipal water systems.
  7. Lower water cost.
  8. Less demand for water.
  9. Soft water vs. hard water. Daily cleaning chores are more effective using the SOFT rainwater. Soaps do not react well with the magnesium, fluoride, chlorine, and other minerals found in municipal water supplies.
  10. Far less expensive than well drilling.

Rainwater Harvesting Instructions:

  1. Consider the amount of rain that runs off your roof during a rainfall. There could be HUNDREDS of gallons of water running away in ONE rainfall!
  2. Your rainwater collection system should be placed near the gutter downspout of your existing rain gutter system.
  3. Dig a base area for your rainwater harvesting barrels about 4 inches deep and fill it with pea size gravel.
  4. Lay concrete blocks over the pea gravel and level OR build an attractive base structure to hold the rain barrel.
  5. Purchase rainwater harvesting barrels at garden supply stores. Position them on the base.
  6. Install a rainwater harvesting filter (such as the LeafFilter Gutter Protection system) over your rain gutter system to prevent leaves and debris from contaminating your supply of rainwater. A rain gutter system will divert rain water away from your home and keep all debris out of your gutters.
  7. Install an overflow hose to prevent flooding to the foundation.

There are a variety of systems for rainwater harvesting ranging from very simple home systems to complex industrial systems. The rate at which rainwater can be collected from either system is dependent on the plan area of the system.

Rainwater harvesting ensures an independent water supply despite climate changes. Rainwater harvesting reduces urban sewer pollution by reducing peak storm water run-off. In municipalities with combined sewer system there is the risk of raw sewage discharge when treatment capacity cannot handle the outflow.

Rainwater harvesting systems are easy to install and to operate. Rainwater barrels are typically made from plastic, metal, or wood. Barrels can be as basic as a recycled 55 gallon plastic food grade drum to a designer created beauty. All will function fine.

LeafFilter is the ideal rainwater harvesting system filter as it protects your gutters and gutter downspout to allow you to reap the benefits of rainwater harvesting. Contact us today to find out how you can prevent your gutters and gutter downspout from debris clogs and never worry about their condition again.