How to Install a Rainwater Harvester


People require a minimum of 13 gallons of water per day for basic needs, notes, so harvesting rainwater to protect yourself against a water shortage makes good sense by helping the environment and saving your hard-earned cash. It's also a smart way to ensure that you and your family are using safe water, because rainwater is free of the minerals present in ground water and of the chemicals that build up in municipal water supplies. Rainwater-harvesting gardeners can keep their plants fresh and thriving in times of drought, when water restrictions prohibit watering the yard.

Rainwater is also free, adding financial benefits to the reasons to harvest it. Considering that -- according to -- a half inch of rain on a 1,000 square-foot roof equals 300 gallons of water, collecting rainwater can considerably cut your water bill.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Flat landscaping rocks
  • Level
  • Storage tank with lid
  • Debris screen
  • Distribution device/diverter
  • Screwdriver
  • Metal gutter screws
  • Tape measure
  • Marker
  • Metal snips
  • Hose

Preparing the Area

  • Choose a spot for your rainwater harvester. The best place is next to the downspout where most of the water from your roof is diverted.

  • Level the ground, using a shovel and a garden rake, in the area where you'll place your storage tank.

  • Place flat landscaping rocks on the ground where the storage tank will sit, making sure they are level. The barrel will sit on the rocks, making it higher than the bottom hose or spigot, so gravity will pull the water down and out.

Preparing the Downspout

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  • Photo Credit flood image by dinostock from tools image by Joann Cooper from Regenrohr2 image by Benny Weber from
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