Harvesting Rain Water PDF Print E-mail

Why harvest rain water?

Rainwater is often treated like barrelsauerwastewater in our communities. Our rooftops and

yards are designed to shed rainwater runoff to the street, down the storm drain,

and into receiving streams, rather than absorbing and infiltrating it. Then, we use

drinking water to water our lawns and gardens. Rainwater harvesting is a way to

capture rainwater for such uses and conserve treated drinking water.

In the past, many homes in cities had a cistern to capture and utilize rainfall

for household purposes. Concerns over safe drinking water led us away from

rainwater harvesting practices. While treated drinking water remains an important

modern benefit, harvesting rainwater for non-drinking water uses is gaining


The simple way to start harvesting rainwater is to install a rain barrel. There are

more elaborate rainwater harvesting storage systems available to capture rooftop

water, such as modern cisterns and bladder tanks. It is even possible for these

large scale systems to meet all non-drinking water uses, such as toilet flushing,

and laundry.

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