How to Catch Rainwater

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Rainwater is a free source of clean water. Rainwater can be collected for watering the garden, watering houseplants or even for drinking and cooking. Rainwater collecting is not a complicated task. As long as you have some space outside your house, a rainwater-collecting system can be built.

Things You'll Need

  • Strong pair of scissors or box cutter
  • Rubber hose
  • Plastic tarp
  • Duct tape
  • Rope
  • 4 poles at least 5-feet high
  • Large container or bucket
  • Cut a 3-foot section off of a gardening hose using a strong pair of scissors or a box cutter. This section should have the wider metal end of the hose that can attaches to a nozzle. The metal end of the hose will attach to the middle of the water-collecting tarp, and the rubber end will sit in a container for collecting water.

  • Cut in the middle of the tarp a hole that will just be large enough to slide the rubber end of the hose through the hole. Gently and slowly squeeze the metal end partway through the hole, sothe hose will be tightly stuck in the hole. The metal end of the hose should be no more than a 1/4 inch above the hole on the top of the tarp. The bottom of the tarp should have the rest of the hose sticking out. Reinforce the hose by taping duct tape around the bottom of the tarp where the hose passes through. This will prevent the hose from coming out of its position and from water trickling out around the seam where the metal end touches the tarp.

  • Hammer the poles into the ground, so they can support the four corners of the tarp, holding it above the ground. Tie each corner of the tarp to each pole, holding the tarp above the ground. The edges of the tarp should be at least 4 feet from the ground. Make sure to give the edges a little slack, so the middle of the tarp hangs closer to the ground. You don't need to give it a lot of slack. As long as the tarp hangs down a few inches in the middle, it will be enough to catch the rain water.

  • Place the container or bucket under the middle of the tarp. Place the hose in the bucket.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the hose, bucket and tarp are very clean if you intend to drink or cook with the rain water.

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