How to Collect Rainwater

Rainwater collection.

Water is one of the most precious resources on the planet and preserving it is important to ecosystems around the world. Depending on where you live, collecting and using rainwater is a great way to conserve water and put a little money back in your pocket. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get started collecting water without breaking your budget. From traditional rainwater barrels to installing a roof garden, here are four different ways to collect rainwater.

1. Barrels

A rainwater collection barrel.

Rain barrels are one of the most common ways to collect rainwater. Not only are they affordable to purchase, but they are also easy to set up. All you have to do is install the barrel under a downspout to start collecting water. The barrels are equipped with a spigot and do not take up a lot of space. You can also find ones that are made out of recycled plastic, which is even more eco-friendly. The downside to barrels is that you have to connect barrels together if you want to store more than 100 gallons at a time.

2. Tarps

A tarp is one of the easiest ways to collect and use rainwater. To get started, you will need a barrel to store the water, and a tarp with some PVC pipe for collection. Find an elevated location on your property so that the water will naturally flow in one direction. Lay out the tarp and build up the sides so that the water cannot escape. You can accomplish this with rocks or dirt mounds. Then place the PVC pipe in the corner where the ground slopes. The water will gather in the tarp and then drain out the pipe and into the barrel.

3. Garden

Building a rainwater garden is a great way to conserve water and produce something tangible in the process. In its simplest form, a rainwater garden collects runoff that helps grow flowers and vegetables. All you have to do is add piping to your downspout that extends it to the garden. Not only will the collection system water the plants, but it also filters out harmful materials that are typically present in rainwater.

4. Water Roof

A rainwater collection system.

Installing a garden roof is another way to collect and use rainwater. Begin by stalling a heavy-duty liner on top of the roof. Then add some soil on top of the liner to create garden beds. Stick with plants that are hardy and do not require a lot of maintenance to flourish. Finally, modify your existing gutter system to dispose of the extra runoff. Aside from water collection, another advantage to this system is that it provides additional insulation on top of your home.

Things To Keep In Mind

Always check local ordinances before setting up a rainwater system. There may be laws in effect that prevent you from using certain collection methods or require a permit to get started. You should also avoid collecting water in open containers, as these can be sources for mosquitoes and other insects to breed.