Rainwater harvesting is a low-cost and efficient way to reduce your dependence on your local water system. Your city or municipality sells potable the potable water that comes out of your taps. This water comes from an area lake, reservoir, or aquifer. The problem is that in most areas, this water is being used more quickly than it can be replaced. Even cities like Portland, Oregon, which traditionally get enough rain to sustain its residents on its public water supply, have experienced drought. A few years of drought can severely tax the public’s water supply.
A rainwater catchment system is the ideal solution to this dilemma. The simplest rainwater catchment system involves positioning a rain barrel under a downspout to catch the rainwater runoff from the roof. This rainwater can then be used to water the yard or garden, wash the car, or for other outdoor tasks that require water. Some residents go a step further and install a series of rain barrels with pumps and separate piping that draws the water indoors for use in flushing toilets, washing clothing, or even showering. Consult your local hardware store to determine if you need a permit for your proposed system.
A rainwater harvesting system can not only save money by catching and use runoff water for purposes that do not require potable water, but it also can be instrumental in helping to save the environment. Even a simple rain barrel rainwater catchment system can reduce the homeowner’s use of city water by thousands of gallons each year, reducing the strain on the city’s water supply.
You can obtain the rain barrel, eaves and downspout, and even pumps and piping, from your local hardware store. The installation of most catchment systems is a basic job that most homeowners can complete themselves. Once your rainwater harvesting system is in place, you can begin reducing your use of city water immediately, while saving money at the same time.