Rainwater Harvesting, what’s that? It’s something so easy, a homeowner can do it. As most of you already know, the concept has been around for years, BUT…how do you make it a concept you can retrofit into your home?
What was at one time an engineering marvel is now a quick, easy 30 minute installation. If you want to start capturing rainwater from your roof today, all you would need is a diverter, barrel or cistern, 30 minutes of your time and a few common tools you are sure to already own. Although, not all Rainwater Harvesting Systemsare created equal, this would give the novice an opportunity to “get their barrels wet”.
You can start with a simple barrel system as I have described, or you can purchase a complete Rainwater Harvesting System which is more intricate, packaged and ready to ship. In this case all you would need is that same 30 minutes of your time and a few common tools. You have to ask yourself, what do I attempt to accomplish by harvesting the rainwater from my roof?
Do you want to reuse water in every room in your home? Maybe not, but do you have a garden? Do you want to save money? Do you want to make a difference? Maybe you are one of the many people who are realizing the impact water has on our society. As water sources grow scarce, more and more people turn to water recycling. Rainwater Harvesting is the easiest way to start recycling water in your home.
Barrel systems are smaller, typically between 55 and 65 gallons. This is perfect if you are new to this concept or just don’t have the money or the need to harvest any more than this amount of water. If you are like most of us, your demand for water will be far beyond the capacity of a rain barrel. If you would like to capture a larger amount of water for your garden or for non-potable use in your home, a complete rainwater harvesting systemwould be the easiest option. These systems come with cisterns (tanks) as small as 350 gallons as well as all of the necessary components needed to have your new system up and running in 30 minutes.
It is important to mention that there are things to look out for when purchasing a rainwater harvesting system. Is the barrel/cistern made of food grade plastic? Does the rainwater harvesting system contain cheap components that will break in the near future? It is important to ask questions if you do not already know the difference. Why is this so cheap? Why is this so expensive? Do not be afraid to ask, how else would you know?
Once you have decided on a barrel or cistern and your rainwater harvesting system is set up, you can now research some of the fun and convenient accessories you can purchase for your new system. From rainchains to solar pumps, there are many optional additions for your new system. Solar pumps are great. If your barrel or cistern system is in direct sunlight, you can enjoy the convenience of a pump without having to use any electricity. Whether you are looking to save money, live “off the grid” or just want to do your part being a member of the green movement, solar pumps are by far my favorite accessory to any rainwater harvesting system. Whenever I think about the solar pump, I start day dreaming about living off of the grid. It’s really the one thing stopping you from harvesting rainwater…power. A solar pump is THE solution.
Just think of the effect it would have on our society and ecosystem if everyone were to recycle water. Rainwater harvesting is growing in popularity more and more each year. Will you be the next person to start harvesting rainwater? Maybe you already do. If you do, tell a friend about it. You are doing a great thing. I encourage anyone who is not familiar with harvesting rainwater, but curious to do so, to ask questions and do whatever it takes to break down the barrier preventing you from starting today.