How to Collect Rain Water

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Collecting rain water for later use is a great way to save on your water bill and to do something great for the environment. There are many great non-drinking uses for rain water, so follow the steps below to set up a system to collect rain water.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic Rain Barrel(s)
  • Gutters with Downspouts
  • Gutter Screens
  • Pump (optional)
  • Install gutters or hire someone to install gutters on your home if you don't already have them.The downspouts of the gutters need to be long enough to reach into your rain barrels.

  • Install gutter screens to block leaves and bugs from collecting in your rain barrels.

  • Position rain barrels at each of the downspouts.Purchasing rain barrels that have a downspout connector will make the rain barrel installation easier as you won't have to deal with sealing the space between the downspout and the lid of your rain barrel to keep debris out of your harvested rainwater.

  • Make sure that when you are installing your rain barrels that you place them on level ground so that they don't start to pull away from the downspout as the rainwater collects and tilts the barrel, which could damage your gutters. If the area of land where you need to place the rain barrels isn't level then try using cinder blocks or gravel to level the area. If the land where you are going to be placing the rain barrels are dirt then you may want to dig out an area and fill it with gravel to provide the increasing weight of your rain barrel support so that it doesn't begin to sink into the ground or slide away from the downspout.

  • Make sure that you pay attention to the gathering rainwater so that if a barrel begins to get close to full you can pump the water into a storage barrel somewhere else, or you may want to pump it into another rain barrel that is not as full.

  • Use your harvested rain water to water your garden during the dry season, flush your toilets during a power outage if you rely on a pump, or even to wash your car. You never know when that harvested rain water will come in handy and you can just feel good knowing that you are doing something great for the environment by conserving water.

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