Sustainable Landscaping
healthy lawn care
rain gardens

 

 

If you really want to get serious about rain catchment, you might consider installing a larger tank that holds several hundred gallons and uses a small pump to distribute the water throughout the landscape. The advantage of a larger system is it will capture and store more water during the rainy season and then you will be able to use it during times when we receive either low amounts of rain or none at all.

Click here for Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction and Water Treatment. Penn State Cooperative Extension.

Click here for Cisterns To Collect Non-Potable Water For Domestic Use. University of Florida Extension.

Click here for NSF information on rainwater collection.

You can also do an internet search on "cisterns", "rainwater recovery" or "rainwater harvesting"

RI Example - URI Master Gardener

Capturing, storing, and using rain is not a new idea. In fact, it dates back centuries to the ancient Roman civilization and is still practiced in many areas around the world as a source of water for drinking and irrigation. With the development of municipal water treatment systems and well construction equipment, capturing the rain from roofs was abandoned as a means of obtaining water supply. However, today, many homeowners and businesses are turning to rainwater collection systems as a way to supplement water supplies, particularly for landscape watering needs.

Here in Rhode Island, the practice makes a lot of sense. Annually, we receive about 42 inches of rain. A one-inch rain on a 1,000-square-foot roof yields 600 gallons of water. That’s a lot of water. Capturing this rain and putting it to good use in our landscapes can help to conserve water and reduce stormwater runoff. These systems can either be above- or below ground.

Richard Tyre, a URI Master Gardener, has examples of both at his home. Two above-ground cisterns, shown below, have the capacity to store 300 and 500 gallons of water in plastic tanks. About 1/4 of the roof area drains rainwater into each of the cisterns. They have been designed to allow the first flush of each storm to by-pass the cistern, thus, keeping leaf and other debris out of the cistern. A small bailing pump is placed in each system to pump water to a vegetable garden, the greenhouse, or to fill buckets and water planters.

There is also a below-ground tank that can store 1,000 gallons of water. The photos below show the pipes from the gutter leading to the below-ground storage tank. Here again, a small bailing pump is used draw water from the tanks and apply it to landscape plantings.

For more information:

Click here for Rainwater Cisterns: Design, Construction and Water Treatment. Penn State Cooperative Extension.

Click here for Cisterns To Collect Non-Potable Water For Domestic Use. University of Florida Extension.

Click here for NSF information on rainwater collection.

You can also do an internet search on "cisterns", "rainwater recovery" or "rainwater harvesting"