What You Should Know About Rainwater Management Solutions

Raindrops falling from roof
Rain collection systems allow you to reuse ‘free’ water for your garden, cleaning and even drinking water (when properly filtered).

Rainwater management has long been considered a benefit to the environment. Known as a green infrastructure, rainfall management can be used to reduce water bills, redirect water for use in gardening, and in some areas even be used for drinking.

If you’re considering installing a rainwater collection system, there are many considerations you’ll need to make first.

These five points can help you decide whether rainfall collection is right for you, and which type of system you may wish to invest in.

Store bought rain barrel collecting rain
Rain barrels can be homemade or store-bought, like this one.

Types of Rainwater Collection Systems

There are three basic types of rainwater collection systems that you’ll want to consider for setting up at your home.

Rain barrels are the simplest method of collecting rainwater. They connect to a gutter downspout, so they can catch the flow off your roof and home. They generally have a cover at the top to keep out debris, and a spigot at the base to retrieve the water.

Dry systems are basically a larger version of a rain barrel with a storage tank placed close to your home for water to flow from the gutters. The systems can vary in material and size, with 5,000 gallons being average.

Wet systems are the most complex, with a series of pipes located underground and a larger storage tank. The pipes collect water continuously until they spill over into the tank. This system is the most invasive in terms of installation, and therefore tends to be costly.

Placement of System

Rain collection systems can be installed above or below ground. Above-ground systems are generally easier and less expensive to install, but are highly visible and take up valuable space.

In-ground systems are more difficult to install, but are more aesthetically pleasing. Both systems are comparable in terms of use, although in-ground systems must be placed carefully to avoid contamination.

This means installing them at least 10 feet away from any watertight sewer line and at least 50 feet away from any non-watertight sewer line. If this can’t be done, then an above-ground tank should be used.


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