There are not many things that can compare with the sensation of just sitting and watching how it rains. However, there are few people that might consider putting all of that water to a good use. Considering the fact that there are plenty of water shortages in many corners of the world, collecting rainwater is actually a green solution used to collect and use all that wasted rainwater and also to reduce our high dependence on the hydro and municipal water supply.
The best part about harvesting rainwater is that it is completely free, natural and it is also relatively cheap to collect. By collecting rainwater you can also deal with any erosion, drainage or flooding problems that may occur around your lawn or home. Another benefit of this action is that you will also reduce the risk of overflow or blockages of the neighbourhood sewer system. You will also have a back-up source of water in case of emergency and you can store it by using a simple rain barrel system like most households do. Or you can build more complex built-in or underground systems if you can afford it.
Collecting rainwater, also known as rainwater harvesting, is a simple process that consists of collecting rainfall from your roof or from some other surfaces and afterwards store it for use. It can be collected in rain barrels that are usually positioned under the gutter downspouts of the roof or you can set up a more complex system that will include filters, storage tanks and a pump. By using rainfall you will help preserve a natural resource and you will also not waste any of the most valuable drinking water. It may not be advisable to drink the water that comes straight from the roof due to the pollutants there, however there are several treatment systems available that can make it safe to drink.
Rain barrels are usually placed underneath downspouts and gutters from the roof and they also require a secure lid along with some sort of spigot or spout. You can find these barrels in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and they are usually made of metal, plastic, ceramic, wood or rubber. You should also consider some UV protection from direct sun exposure can seriously affect the quality of your stored water. Also, in order to prevent any bird dropping or any other nasty contaminating factors you should use a first flush diverter. This is basically a separate collection system that will divert a pre-determined amount of water when the rain starts; this will ensure that all of that debris will stay out of the rain barrel. Another easier option that you might consider is to use a debris screen that will block out all the mess.
Collecting rainwater can turn out to be quite beneficial, and once it's collected you can use it both indoors and outdoors and you will definitely reduce your dependence on the municipal water supply. One of the most important and common use for rainwater is watering plants and for landscaping. It is actually a proven fact that pure rainwater is much more superior compared to tap water for this particular task. Tap water usually contains several chemicals and chlorine that are not good for plants.
Using the collected rainwater for gardening and landscaping can also have a big impact on the municipal water use, considering the fact that a garden hose usually uses around 1100 litres of water/hour. Not to mention that domestic water consumption usually increases by up to 50% during summer months when most people use water to irrigate their gardens and lawns.
Collecting rainwater can also be beneficial for several other outdoor uses such as washing the driveway, washing your car or even washing your pet. It can also be used in the antifreeze mixture of your car (most experts recommend to use a 50/50 mix of water and coolant in order to fight engine corrosion, rust and boiling). Rainwater can also have several indoor uses such as laundry or flushing toilets. It is with no doubt a remarkable option when it comes to cutting down your water bill and it is also beneficial for the environment. Some people are actually using the rainwater for providing it to their pets or other livestock.