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Did you know that rainwater harvesting can help you save $’s on your water bill? It also helps reduce the demand on the local water supply! Grandma’s cistern may have fallen out of use, or at least out of fashion, for a while. But it is back today in your green home’s water system.

A rainwater collection system can be as plain or as sophisticated as you wish. It can be a simple weekend project to attach a rain barrel, or two, to an existing gutter system. This allows you to catch and store water for your garden or planters. At the other end of the spectrum are whole house systems that supply your family’s complete water requirement.

What makes up a rainwater system? Most will have the following components in some configuration –
A collection surface – often a roof. I have seen tarps on boats used for this. The U.S. Naval Air Station in Bermuda (converted to a civilian airport in 1995) had a 10-acre catch basin (think of a giant water slide) and 5,000,000 gallons of storage.
A collection system
– Usually gutters and piping to bring the water to the storage tanks and handle the overflow when the tanks are full.
A pre-filter system – often referred to as a “roof washer” to divert the initial runoff away from the storage tanksStorage tanks
– either above ground or below.
A pump – unless you are lucky enough to have a rainwater collection system uphill from your home
A purification system – lots of choices here depending on the intended use for your water For an in-depth discussion of this topic, down load a copy of the  Rainwater Harvesting Manual.Case Study
For a look at the collection system that will supply the water for our construction site, check out our
“barn-sized” system that includes recycled tanks (reused actually) for storage.  Return from Rainwater Harvesting to the Simply Green Home Building Home Page© 2009