Rainwater Harvesting Rain Barrels

Simple Rainwater Harvesting Systems

A simple water harvesting system, like a rain barrel, usually consists of a catchment, storage and distribution system. A catchment area is just any area from which water can be collected. The best catchment areas have hard, smooth surfaces like the roofs of homes, sheds, or other buildings.  These catchment areas are also referred to as the roof footprint.  Knowing your roof footprint will help you determine how much potential rainwater you could harvest as well as where to harvest from.  The amount of water that can be harvested also depends on the amount of rainfall received. Gravity moves the water from the catchment, or roof, to the storage container through gutters and downspouts, or through a roof valley. There are many different setups to modify and connect your gutter and or downspout to fill your barrel.   There are also many ways to direct the water coming off the valley of your roof to fill your barrel.  Below is a diagram showing how to calculate your footprint as well as an example calculation of how to determine the amount of potential rainwater you could harvest.  It is important to understand that realistically you will not be able to harvest all of the rain that falls onto your roof nor is it necessary in home applications.

Roof footprint

Rain Barrels Help:

  • Reduce demand on municipal water supply
  • Make efficient use of a valuable resource
  • Reduce flooding, erosion, and contamination of surface water
  • SAVE YOU MONEY by reducing your water bill!!
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