Rainwater harvesting: how to conserve a precious resource for use at home

Domestic rainwater harvesting is really a growing trend – although it’s a lengthy established water conservation measure. By collecting and re-using rainwater on your lawn or in your home too, you are able to lower your reliance upon municipal or mains water, help conserve energy in addition to water, and revel in other benefits, too.

The typical American family uses over 300 gallons water each day in your own home, based on the US Ecological Protection Agency (Environmental protection agency). Within the United kingdom, meanwhile, the typical household uses around 330 liters each day – that’s 140 liters per person each day, states the Atmosphere Agency.

’If we don’t increase supply of water, reduce demand and cut lower on wastage, many areas will face significant water deficits by 2050,’ stated Emma Howard Boyd, chair from the Atmosphere Agency within the Condition from the Atmosphere: water sources research and analysis printed in 2018 and updated in 2020.

The ultimate weather brought on by global warming plus population growth makes water shortages a pressing concern, so harvesting rainwater is definitely an eco-conscious move. However it can furthermore lessen the run-from stormwater which benefits the atmosphere, too. Garden plants may also appreciate non-treated water.

Learn more about rainwater harvesting and choose if your system suits your house.


Rainwater harvesting is the procedure through which rainwater is collected and stored for re-use afterwards. Water could just be employed for irrigating the backyard. But it is also possible for doing things inside for processes for example flushing the bathroom . and doing the laundry, or – within the most sophisticated systems – used all over the house including for consuming.

There are lots of benefits of rainwater harvesting. It’s a means of reducing reliance upon municipal or mains water beyond you skill by fitting faucets, showers, toilets and appliances which use less water.

In addition to answering global warming by conserving water, additionally, it has the advantage of lowering the stormwater run-off that may erode banks of streams, spread pollutants and may cause local flooding.

Although whichever rainwater harvesting system you select may have connected costs, the rain comes free, leading to less annual expenditure for the home in addition to a more eco-friendly home.

With regards to maintaining your garden fit, rainwater suits most plants, and means it’s not necessary to make use of consuming quality water where it isn’t needed.


You should think about water you utilize both outdoors and in your home when you are intending to start rainwater harvesting.

‘Nationally, outside water use makes up about 30 percent of household use yet could be much greater in drier areas as well as in more water-intensive landscapes,’ states the Environmental protection agency. ‘For example, the arid west has a few of the greatest per person residential water use due to landscape irrigation.’

If you want the thought of irrigating your garden and cleansing the vehicle without needing municipal water, you can begin rainwater harvesting from suppliers. Gutters and downspouts emptying right into a rain barrel or several will receive a supply began. As these barrels generally store from around fifty to one hundred gallons (or perhaps in the United kingdom have 200 to 300 liter capacities), this may not meet all of your needs. Potential overflow and for that reason waste might be another downside. On the positive note, they occupy little space so might be appropriate for backyards on most sizes, making rainwater harvesting open to many.

Indirect and direct sunlight will behave as a catalyst for algae development in the cistern, so contact with sunlight ought to be limited where possible,’ states the Environmental protection agency in the report Rainwater harvesting: conservation, credit, codes, and price literature review and situation studies.

Like the thought of collecting more water? You are able to size up to and including bigger tank in what’s known as a ‘dry’ system. The storage tank continues to be located near the house, just like a rain barrel, however the storage capacity is a lot bigger also it can deal with the level of precipitation brought on by storms.

Modern-day is really a ‘wet’ system. In one of these simple downspouts from gutters throughout the house are linked to piping by which water travels to some large tank. A method such as this enables the entire collection surface for use. Another positive point would be that the tank could be located from the house. It may be positioned above ground, but in addition, there’s the possibility to cover it subterranean. Tanks sited underground also keep your stored water in a relatively constant temperature, inhibiting the development of bacteria.


In the home, fixtures for example toilets and garments washers don’t require potable water, that’s water that’s appropriate for consuming. Of these needs harvested rainwater is definitely an alternative, and taking advantage of it rather conserves consuming water for situations when its me is essential.

But it is also achievable to make use of harvested rainwater to satisfy potable water needs, provided it’s both filtered and disinfected. This therefore requires a more elaborate whole-house harvesting set-up.

Along with the storage tank and pipes, an entire-house system includes pumps, filters, connectors along with a control system. Within the United kingdom, mains water back-up is featured within the system, whilst in the US they ‘are frequently based on municipal or private well water supplies like a back-up water source’, based on the Environmental protection agency.