There are a variety of ways to collect rainwater, but a popular method for DIY homeowners is to take the water runoff from the roof and funnel it into a rain barrel or other container. This is a simple project to undertake, it does not have to be expensive and it can even increase the curb appeal of your home when decorative barrels are used around the property.
Some people also collect water runoff from walkways or patios. However, keep in mind that the lower the water is, the more contaminants it will contain. The amount of water that can be collected off of a single family home actually surprises people. In fact, it’s more than what you’d expect.
How to Collect Rainwater: The Short Version:
Rainwater flows down a roof, into a gutter and through a downspout. Then, it is stored in a rain barrel or similar type of container. This project can be as simple as buying a basic kit that includes everything needed to collect, store and release the water when you want to use it.
Rain Barrel Location: You Have Options
The container can be located directly below the downspout for easy drainage, but it does not have to be. There are diverter kits that can be attached to a downspout and direct the water to the appropriate location if the rain barrel needs to be set up somewhere else.
These kits don’t necessarily require a lot of work to install nor are they expensive. In addition, you can locate your barrel out of sight or out of the way. On the other hand, you can set them up in a central location so everyone can admire it.
Can You Build Your Own Rain Barrel?
Totally! I’ve even seen rubber trash cans elevated on tables that have been converted into simple, inexpensive rain harvesting systems. You will need to insert your own spigot, but that is a simple project with the right tools.
Just make sure that the trash can has a lid that you can secure to keep mosquitoes and other stuff out. (This is actually important for any rain harvesting container, but the majority of store-bought kits include it). Also, don’t use a material that will rust or rot, but you probably already knew that.
Collecting More Water than You Need?
Some homeowners use more than one rain barrel, either in multiple locations on the property or by connecting several containers together (when one fills up, the excess water drains into the next tank, and so on).
Alternatively, you could divert the water runoff into a rain garden, which is a sunken area of land with plants that thrive in this type of landscaping. This way, you can prevent erosion problems, flooding in heavy storms and other drainage issues… Here’s more information on building one.
Looking to Save Money on a Rain Barrel?
Of course, it’s a great idea to get more for less when you can. Check out rain barrels on sale.