Rainwater Harvesting

 In Green Landscaping

Raindrops fall by the thousands throughout the spring and even summer months, only to roll down the pitch of the roof, stream across the gutter, cascade through the downspout, and form puddles at the ground and finally travel to the nearest lowest point (typically a catch basin).

Does this waste of water frustrate you? Is there a way of capturing this resource? What if you could collect all the water and recycle it on your property? Does the thought of knowing that you would be able to refill your pond, water your garden or lawn without running down the local water table or racking up your water bill interest you?

Well, there are two solutions. The easy solution that any one of us can utilize on a regular basis is called a rain barrel or cistern, either of which is a convenient system of rainwater collection. The water collected in a rain barrel is also healthier for your plants because it does not contain the chlorine that treated tap water does.

The second solution is a rainwater harvesting system (RWH). A rainwater harvesting system is a revolutionary design that combines a recirculating decorative water feature with a subsurface rainwater harvest storage system. This system filters the excess water from your eavetroughs, French drain or other water source and stores it for future use. The water is stored underground to prevent stagnation which attracts mosquitoes, as well as preventing the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

The benefits of harvesting rainwater are numerous, but some of the more prominent advantages include:

– Reduces water bills, including city storm sewer charges
– Alleviates demand on municipal systems
– Avoids strict watering schedules
– Improves landscape growth
– Reduces flooding and erosion
– Efficient use of a valuable resource – water

Accessing the stored underground water is as easy as connecting a hose to a faucet. A small pump is connected to the stored water making it convenient for you to water the landscape. This practice seems quite simplistic, however designing and installing a RWH system requires much planning and design considerations to ensure the proper operation of the system.