Rainwater harvesting or rainwater collection is one of many water conservation methods and is pretty self-explanatory. A home or business can set up a system that collects rain from a surface (typically a roof) to use later. This water is typically used for landscaping or irrigation, but you can even use it inside buildings with the proper setup. It’s an especially popular choice to save water in states or areas prone to water shortages, such as California, or in areas where rainfall is high only at certain times of the year. So, why bother with collecting rainwater? Read on to discover the many benefits of rainwater collection.
Need help getting a rainwater harvesting system set up? Schedule an appointment with the professionals at Quality Plumbing of Gainesville Inc. today!
Benefits Of Rainwater Harvesting
You may be thinking that Florida gets tons of rain, and water isn’t costly. However, water conservation is important no matter where you live. Rainwater collection also gives you control over how water is used and can even be stored for drier months when your lawn and landscaping become extra thirsty.
Besides being environmentally responsible, rainwater harvesting can even save you money. Beyond what you could save on utilities, some states and cities even offer tax incentives or rebates for installing a rainwater collection system. Additionally, these systems can be easy to install and provide flexibility that traditional water systems usually can’t provide.
Choosing A Rainwater Collection System
Collecting rainwater can be as straightforward or as complex as you want. Typical systems use the building’s roof and a gutter system to drive water through spouts that collect in tubs or cisterns. Even with the most basic system, you only need to invest in a collection vessel and perform standard gutter maintenance.
However, if you plan to use your water for anything other than irrigation and landscaping, you’ll want to have a water filtration system added to it. This system will allow you to use the collected rainwater to water animals, wash pets, and refill swimming pools. With the correct setup, you can even use rainwater in your home for cleaning and bathing.
Rain barrels are a popular option because they’re simple, straightforward, and require little investment while still reaping the rewards of water collection. However, the drawbacks of this method include the inability to collect more than 50–100 gallons of water at a time, and the possibility of water overflow, resulting in waste. To address this, some people install additional holding tanks that can take overflow and store overflow.
A “dry” system takes the rain barrel to the next level with larger tanks for storage. It’s considered “dry” because the pipes dry after the water is delivered into the tank. At this point, many people opt to have the system integrated into their home or business plumbing system for indoor use. A plumber can install new pipes and repipe old ones so that integration is seamless. This option is still relatively affordable but lacks the utility of more complicated systems.
Underground collection pipes will need to be connected to the gutter and spout system on your roof or other collection areas to help collect more water. This also allows for the collection tank to be placed underground and further away from the home. In some housing or business communities, this is the only option because above-ground tanks are prohibited. However, there needs to be enough height difference between piping and the tank for proper drainage.
Setting Up A Rainwater Collection System
No matter what system you opt for, working with an experienced plumber can ensure that all of your tanks and piping are correctly installed and water-tight. It’s also important to work with a plumbing company with experience with outdoor plumbing fixtures, as these need to meet specific standards to ensure their longevity. We also strongly recommend that you invest in a water purification system that will allow you to use your collected water for almost any purpose.