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Everything You Need to Know About Rainwater Harvesting

If you are an avid gardener, you know all about preserving rainwater for your garden because the water is better than the city’s water. It’s great for the environment and it’s extremely easy to harvest and recycle for free (provided you have some kind of rain barrel).

Rainwater Harvesting

Also, there will be no worries about water shortages that we’re currently experiencing in the world, so it’s worth preserving the water. Today we’ll show you five of the best rain barrels and containers that you can get to harvest the water. We’ll also dig deeper into rainwater harvesting and why you should do it.

What is rainwater harvesting?

Rainwater harvesting is simply collecting water from rain into a designated container. You then use the water either for your garden, or even for your household appliances such as toilets, laundry and more.

Benefits of collecting rainwater

Rainwater is actually clean

Believe it or not, rainwater is much purer and cleaner than tap water. While it still does have minerals in there, you can use this recycled clean water knowing it will provide plants nutrients. You can also use this clean water to do your laundry. There’s no chlorine or added chemicals that would be in rainwater.

Free source of water

Collecting water costs nothing. Unless you live in a climate where it never rains, it’s very likely there’ll be rainy days where you are. Therefore, there’s an unlimited free supply of free rainwater that is free to harvest. The only cost you’ll ever have is buying a barrel to harvest the rainwater.

Control of water supply

A lot of rain barrels do come with a cover. If it doesn’t, when it’s filled enough, you can put a cover on top of the barrel or container to control the flow. Unless your container leaks, you’ll have full control of the water supply when harvesting water.

It is socially acceptable

Harvesting your own water has become more socially acceptable over the years. People typically think of gardening when it comes to harvesting, but you can use it for many other things that we’ll explain later.

Environmentally Responsible

You’re helping the environment when the water doesn’t go to waste. Recycled water means you are not using water that is already scarce in this world.

It promotes self sufficiency

When you harvest your water, it means you can use it for a variety of things. You are not reliant on water supply by the city and such.

Helps conserve water

There is actually a huge water shortage in the world. So, when you harvest your own water, you are helping the environment by harvesting your own water that others are not reliant on. It’s a great feeling all around.

Better for landscape plants and gardens

Your plants will love rainwater because it’s not chlorinated and it’s from nature itself. Take a look at rainforests and see how lush the areas are. It’s because the environment likes its own water, not treated water. Think about that the next time you water your garden or lawn.

Can reduce storm water runoff from homes

Rainwater collecting is a tiny, best-scale approach for reducing the rushing of storm water and the related difficulties. By collecting and storing rainwater, you may gradually release it back into the land.

Solve any drainage problems on your property

When there’s rain barrels placed in the right spots on your property, you’ll be able to stop the drainage issues that you’re having. You’ll probably definitely need more than one but having rain barrels will solve the problem.

Top 5 Rainwater Harvesting Containers

Top 5 Rainwater Harvesting Containers

GROW1 Collapsible Reservoir Water Tank

GROW1 Collapsible Reservoir Water TankView in gallery
Capacity: Up to 200 gallons

We’re starting off with GROW 1 because of its variety of size (thanks to it being collapsible) so that means it’s perfect for any size home due to its collapsible size/capacity. This tank is actually very easy to move even if it has some rainwater in it. When there’s no rain in the forecast, it’s easy to collapse it and put it in storage until you want to use it again. We will note that the inlet is a bit small so if you are going to use it for heavy use, you’ll have to adjust it a bit. The spigot is right at the bottom so even though the barrel is not insulated, if you have water in there, it probably won’t freeze over the winter due to its collapsible capabilities.

Pros:

  • Collapsible
  • Portable
  • Any size home can have this rain barrel

Cons:

  • Inlet is small
  • Not insulated

Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGarden Rain Barrel

Enviro World EWC-10 FreeGarden Rain BarrelView in gallery
Capacity: 55 gallons

The Enviro World rain barrel is a sleek and modern design kind that looks good in any backyard setting. It also has a flat back so it can lean or be against a structure which is always a plus. The spigot is on the bottom so it may be prone to leaks and cracks. But there is an extension hose that comes with this rain barrel. The water gets in through the powder coated steel screen and you can make this rain barrel childproof so children can’t get into it.

Pros:

  • Sleek and modern
  • Powder coated steel screen for water
  • Comes with a hose

Cons:

  • Spigot is on the bottom
  • Some users say it tends to leak

FCMP Outdoor RC45 Rain Barrel

FCMP Outdoor RC45 Rain BarrelView in gallery
Capacity: 45 gallons

The FCMP rain barrel literally does look like a traditional wood barrel that would look nice in your backyard. It has a fixed lid so that children and pets can’t get into it. The water goes through the vents that’s on the top and there is a 3.5 hose with a shut off valve included so that you can easily put the water in other containers or spray over the garden if it’s nearby. This barrel also has a flat back so that it can be leaned against the wall.

Pros:

  • Nice wood barrel design
  • Comes with hose
  • Flat back so it can lean against a structure or wall

Cons:

  • Some users say that the hose doesn’t properly seal so therefore it leaks

Suncast 50 Gallon Rain Barrel with Hose

Suncast 50 Gallon Rain Barrel with HoseView in gallery
Capacity: 50 gallons

Simple and compact, the Suncast rain barrel does its job by collecting rainwater. It’s fairly low to the ground, so it shouldn’t mess with how it looks in your backyard. It’s a nice sturdy construction that won’t break and it also includes hoses if you want to use it to drain out rainwater. Because of the low to the ground construction, it might have issues with water pressure.

Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • Has hose included
  • Sturdy construction

Cons:

  • Because it’s lower to the ground, that means it can’t have a lot of water pressure, leading to cracks etc.

Goplus Portable Rain Barrel Water Collector

Goplus Portable Rain Barrel Water CollectorView in gallery
Capacity: 53 gallons

Finally, we have the Goplus portable and collapsible container that is suitable for any house or apartment. Also, this is one of the most affordable ones on our list which is about $50. While this one is 53 gallons, you can also choose 60 or 100 gallon if you feel that this one is too small. These barrels are also connectable, so if you were to buy more, you can collect hundreds of gallons of water. Because of its color, it’ll easily blend in with your backyard/garden. It is foldable so that you can put it away if you are not currently collecting rainwater. It is made out of PVC frame and anti-corrosion mesh cloth, so this barrel should last for a long time. One of the downsides to this, is that the spigot is located at the bottom, making it susceptible to cuts and tears.

Pros:

  • Collapsible
  • Portable
  • Green
  • Mesh Cover

Cons:

  • Spigot on bottom, making it vulnerable to tears and rips

FAQ

How much rain can I potentially collect?

For every 1000 square feet, you can potentially collect 550 gallons of rainwater. You’ll need multiple rain barrels, or this may be throughout the year, but it’s possible to collect that much.

What if I live in a climate that doesn’t rain much?

A larger rainwater unit is best suited for your needs, so that you can collect any and all water when it does rain. You’ll probably want to look into a system that lets you collect hundreds of gallons so that you can have enough water for whatever needs you want the water for.

Does it matter what type of garden I have?

Yes and no. If you live in an area where it does rain on a regular basis, you probably won’t need to use the reserved water and you’ll be able to use your water for other non-garden things. But if you live in an area where droughts are common, you’ll probably be using a lot more water than you want to.

Please bear in mind that lawns, no matter where you live, love to guzzle water, especially if it’s warm out. That’s because lawns are usually dehydrated and require a decent amount of water to maintain that lush look. For regular water users, it’s one of the main reasons why the water bill is very high. But for users who use harvested water, you’ll likely use the same amount so keep in mind when using it for your lawn.

Are you going to be emptying the tank frequently?

If you have a smaller rain barrel or tank, you’ll likely be emptying frequently. For that reason, you’ll want to make sure that the tank comes with a good spigot. You’ll want to make sure it’s a brass spigot, as the most common complaint with spigots is they break, crack and allow leaks. You can also try putting your rain barrel on some sort of base to increase the water pressure, but it’ll look like an eyesore and a huge inconvenience for users.

What to use rainwater for

You can use the rainwater for the following:

  • Garden
  • Water lawns
  • Washing your car
  • Doing laundry
  • For toilets, when there’s no electricity
  • Bath or shower
  • Reduces water bill

Different methods of collecting rainwater

Rain Barrels

This is the most common way of collecting rainwater. It usually involves putting a rain barrel under a gutter downspout to collect the water. It’s also one of the easiest ways to harvest water.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Barrels are easy to find
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space

Cons:

  • Capacity maxes out at 300 gallons
  • Can overflow if you’re not keeping an eye on it

Dry System

Very similar to the rain barrel set up but much larger. The collection pipes “dry” after its rain and it empties the water directly on the top of the tank.

Pros:

  • Large amount of water can be stored
  • Perfect if living in areas with less rain
  • Maintenance is easy

Cons:

  • No choice except to put the system next to your house

Wet System

This method is more complicated than the first two. You will need watertight underground pipes, vertical pipes on the outside, and a large tank. Also, you’ll need to place the tank where the inlet is near the lowest gutter downspout. Usually, a professional helps install the wet system as it’s very difficult to set up.

Pros:

  • Collect rain water from entire surface
  • Tank doesn’t need to be near the house
  • Can collect from multiple gutters and downspouts

Cons:

  • Difficult and expensive to set up

Bottom Line

Rainwater is a sustainable source of water that will be around, forever. As long as there is rain, there will be sustainable water that you can use. From rain barrels to wet systems, those are the ways that you can collect water. Imagine how much money you’ll save if you use it for pretty much everything in your house, you’ll save thousands per year.

Using sustainable sources is already popular and we may have to turn to it when there is no more water. We hope that you have enjoyed learning about rainwater harvesting and that maybe you’ll want to try it yourself. If you have any comments or additional questions about rainwater harvesting, or additional ways to collect water, feel free to let us know in the comments!