Rainwater Harvesting

Why Harvest Rainwater?

"Rainwater is a renewable, sustainable and a high quality water source for your home"

What is rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is a technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses. Normally when it rains the rainwater pours off your roof, down through your gutters and runs off into your yard or street. With rainwater harvesting your rainwater is collected in a water storage tank or cistern and stored for later use.

The practice of collecting and storing rain water has been around for thousand of years and is currently growing in popularity throughout our communities due to interest in reducing the consumption of potable water and the inherent qualities of rainwater. It is appropriate for large scale landscapes such as parks, schools, commercial sites, parking lots, and apartment complexes, as well as small scale residential landscapes.

The benefits of harvesting rain water

Rainwater is a renewable, sustainable and a high quality water source for your home. Some of the benefits of collecting and storing rainwater include*:

• Diminishing flooding, erosion and the flow to stormwater drain by reducing peak storm water runoff
• Reducing water bills and demand on your community’s drinking water supply by using rainwater for flushing toilets, washing clothes, watering the garden and washing cars
• Improving plant growth by using rainwater for irrigation because stored rainwater is free from pollutants as well as salts, minerals, and other natural and man-made contaminants
• Making use of a valuable resource that is FREE

*As rainwater may be contaminated due to pollutants, it is often not considered suitable for drinking without treatment.

Basic configuration of a Rainwater Harvesting System

The basic principal of Rainwater harvesting systems is to channel rainwater from a catchment surface (roof or other raised solid surface), through a distrubution system (gutters, downspouts and pipes) and then into storage tank. Diagram of Rainwater Harvesting System

The storage tank can be above ground or underground and can be made from a variety of materials including plastic and metal. Water storage tanks should be covered to prevent mosquito breeding and to reduce evaporation losses, contamination and algal growth. Rainwater harvesting systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep the system hygienic.