A Beginner’s Guide To Rainwater Harvesting

Water is a very valuable resource. Just ask yourself, can you ever imagine a day living without water? Food, you may be able to get by in a few days. But water, it’s a different story. The dependence on the water of almost every household is beyond nutrition and hydration since water can also aid in daily household chores and functions. 

With that said, it’s only natural to make the most out of water resources available today. Rainwater is one of those, for instance. Rather than letting it go to waste, you can still make good use of it through rainwater harvesting.

What Is Rainwater Harvesting

As its name implies, rainwater harvesting refers to the process or technology used to conserve rainwater. This is done through collecting, storing, filtering, and purifying rainwater. Typically, the main collection points include rooftops and gutters. And to store it, there’s a heap of tank options to choose from in the market. 

If you’re interested in learning more about rainwater harvesting, then this article can be for you. To help you get started, here are some of the basic things about rainwater harvesting you need to know. 

  • The Need For Compliance With Local Laws

Before you consider putting in a sophisticated rainwater collection system in your home or within your property, you have to start first by getting to know your local laws. It’d be good to note that there may be environmental laws and mandates governing rainwater collection in your state.

While it is true that most states are in favor of rainwater harvesting and don’t have any regulations in place, there are a few states that may have. Whatever the case may be, always check your local laws to ensure that you’re compliant and not violating any regulations.

  • The Intended Possible Uses Of Rainwater

Each household will have its respective intended uses for collecting rainwater. That said, it’s important to assess what yours is, so you can determine what type of rainwater system you’re going to need.

For example, if you only intend on using the harvested rainwater for outdoor functions, you don’t need a purification and filtration system. On the other hand, if you have abundant rain in your area and you want to make the most out of it and also use it for drinking purposes, then that’s when the filters are needed.

With that said, some of the common uses of collected rainwater include watering the garden, washing the car, cleaning the house, filling any water feature you may have, and laundry.

  • The Basic Components Of The Rainwater System

There are sophisticated and more elaborate rainwater systems, while there are also basic ones. Whatever you intend on having, some of the basic components include:

  • Tanks and recharge structures: which are used for storing the collected rainwater, ready for use;
  • Catchment: used to collect rainwater that is still for further processing;
  • Filter: needed only if you wish to use the collected rainwater for drinking;
  • Conveyance system: helps transport the harvested rainwater from the catchment to the recharge zone;
  • Flush: used to flush away the first spell of rain.
  • The Simplest Form Of Rainwater Collection

If you want to start small and simple, you can. Everything you need, you can find in your local hardware store. This can work if your purpose for collecting rainwater doesn’t include drinking it. 

To start, you’ll need to have a barrel or any form of a container where the rainwater will be collected. There are many things you can use. The only important consideration is to be sure the barrel is free from toxic materials. It should also be securely covered to avoid contamination. 

On the bottom of your barrel, you can attach a little faucet with a connection for a hose. This will make it easier for you to use the water, especially for watering the garden.

  • The Important Maintenance Tips

Once you already have a rainwater harvesting system, you also need to be responsible enough for maintaining it. This is essential for the continued successful operation of your rainwater harvesting system.

To give you a good head start, these are some of the most important tips for proper maintenance:

  • Keep your home’s gutters clean and free of any leaves and dirt which may cause discoloration and contamination of the harvested rainwater. 
  • Keep a log of your maintenance activities. So, you’ll know when the next maintenance schedule is.
  • Place cisterns in a shaded area to prevent the growth of algae. Be sure also to clean its screen to prevent debris from entering.


Rainwater harvesting can be a great way to maximize water resources. It may seem complex at first, but depending on your purpose and intended function, you may not need a complicated system to get started. You can always start small. And should you want to take your pursuit one step further, then perhaps, you can move on to a more sophisticated system, complete with filters and all.

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