How to Collect Rain Water


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    Collect run-off water in rain barrels, or even large polyethylene, wood or fiberglass tanks.

    • Rain barrels are containers that can be bought at your local hardware or home improvement store, or you can make one yourself.
    • Rain barrels are made from plastic and are positioned below down spouts to collect water that runs off of the roof. They have a spout at the bottom to release water. You can connect a garden hose to the valve and use the water in other areas of your yard.
    • They usually run on gravity. This means you’ll have to use a pump if you need to water an area that is at a higher elevation than your rain barrel.
    • New styles of rain barrels have covers to keep mosquitoes, animals and children out. Rain barrels should also be secured to keep them from tipping over.
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    Install a rainwater collection system.

    • Rainwater collection systems (also called rainwater catchment systems) consist of large tanks stored underground that can collect rainwater from the roof and gutters and then filter and pump the water out for whole-house use. You can use your rainwater for cooking, showering, laundry, watering your lawn or washing your car.
    • Rainwater systems are expensive and must be professionally installed. You must have a pump or pressure tank to move the water.
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    Create a rainwater garden.

    • Simple rainwater gardens harvest the rain from your roof or gutters to create a water garden or to water the immediate garden area. The water is not available for use in other areas.
    • You can also use this process to mask an underground storage tank and pump. This allows you to use the water from the water garden in other areas, even inside the house. These can be simple or elaborate, depending on your budget, and usually require professional installation.
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    Use rain chains instead of traditional downspouts.

    • Rain chains are a decorative alternative to conventional downspouts. Usually made from copper, the rain chain guides the rain from your roof, down the chain–or through cups–and into your garden, watering can, rain barrel or other rainwater collection system.
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    Adapt household and yard products to catch rainwater.

    • Simple items such as watering cans, children’s swimming pools and pots can be used to collect rainwater for use in watering your plants and garden. Be sure that large items used to collect water are carefully monitored if you have children or pets. Water collected in open containers should also be used quickly or covered to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.