Collecting rainwater has become a popular way to conserve water in recent years. That’s good news – because it’s made it possible to find many different systems for storing it.
One of the most popular and least expensive methods is using a rain barrel. Rain barrels are large containers that can collect rainwater from the gutters of your home. They can be made from materials such as large trash cans or buckets.
You can also purchase commercial kits that you can put together easily designed specifically for storing rainwater. Once you have a system in place, your bucket will begin to fill each time it rains.
With a rain barrel it’s important to make sure you take some safety precautions. For example, the top needs to have a child and pet proof top that doesn’t allow small ones to fall in.
You also need to have a filter at the top that prevents debris from going into the barrel along with the rainwater. If you find that this system works well for you, you can even add multiple barrels so that you don’t have any overflow during a rainy season.
Rain barrels typically have a tap at the bottom for you to remove the water. Some of them allow you to attach a standard garden hose so that you can use the water directly in your yard.
Always make sure that any material you use for your rain barrel is food grade. This means it won’t leach harmful chemicals into the water and the water will be safe to use.
A rain barrel typically holds around 50 gallons of water for use. You can have several barrels to hold more water. But if you’re interested in storing much more, you’ll need a different type of collection system. One choice is called the Rainwater Pillow.
The Rainwater Pillow is a system that holds up to 1,000 or more gallons of water using a fabric container. The amount it holds will depend on the size that you purchase. For the typical homeowner, the original 1,000 gallon size is sufficient.
This system is much more expensive, costing thousands of dollars, but if you use a lot of water in your household for gardening or even farming this could be a valuable investment for you.
You can also invest in an underground system that catches rainwater and allows you to pump it out for use. You can purchase a system that will provide water for your lawn and garden, but can also be used for toilets.
This system is quite a bit more expensive than other options because of its size, underground placement, and materials. However, it can pay for itself in the long run by replacing your dependence on other water supplies.
In order to have this type of system, you’ll want to look in your local area for a company that specializes in it. The cost will depend on your area and your specific needs.
First Flush Systems for the Cleanest Water
One concern people have when using a rainwater barrel system from the rooftop is that it can become polluted by materials on your rooftop as the rainwater heads to the gutters.
This is a real concern as debris can contaminate the water in your barrel. A great solution for this is to use a first flush system. The first rain you’ve had is usually the most polluted as it washes away debris.
With a first flush system, the first five or even 10 gallons of water are stored and set aside from the rest of your rain barrel storage. This is the water most likely to end up with sediments or chemicals.
You can simply use that water for your lawn and use the rest of the water for your purposes such as a vegetable garden or household cleaning.