How to Harvest Rain on an Apartment Balcony

You can use an umbrella to harvest rainwater.
You can use an umbrella to harvest rainwater. (Image: Images)

Harvesting rainwater allows you to prepare for a potential drought or other emergency, save money on bottled water and prevent waste and environmental damage. Living in an apartment can make harvesting rainwater challenging, but if you live in an apartment with a balcony, there are several simple ways to harvest rainwater.

Things You'll Need

  • Umbrella
  • Rainwater barrel
  • Duct tape
  • Rainwater purifier

Hang an umbrella upside down from your balcony if your entire balcony is covered. Choose an umbrella with a hook at the handle that can be affixed to the railing or grate on your balcony. You will need to empty the umbrella frequently, so choose a non-permanent adhesive solution to attach the hook to your balcony. Duct tape wrapped around the base and hook of the umbrella is a simple solution.

Set up a rain barrel on your balcony underneath a portion of your balcony that is not covered by a roof or awning. These barrels can be purchased at most home supply stores. Choose a small barrel and empty it frequently. Large barrels take up unnecessary space on an apartment balcony and

Use a rainwater purifier if you plan to drink your rainwater. Although rainwater often tastes fresher and cleaner than tap water, it may contain harmful runoff and chemical pollutants. Inexpensive rainwater purification systems are readily available online and at some home supply stores.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider asking your landlord about redirecting the apartment's gutters to a rainwater barrel. This is a highly efficient and environmentally friendly way to harvest rainwater.
  • Get your landlord's permission before setting up a rainwater barrel. Some apartments have rules about the fixtures they will allow installed on a balcony.

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