7 Benefits of Rainwater Catchment Systems

by Megan Kioulafofski
rainwater catchment system

Are you preoccupied by saving water and protecting the environment?

A rainwater catchment system might be exactly what you are looking for!

And if you are wondering why we decided to discuss rain collecting barrel ideas and the importance of saving water, it’s because water is one of the most precious commodities in the world. 

Next to air, water is an essential element for preserving life on Earth. And although it covers 71% of the world’s surface, not all water is also suitable for human consumption. Unfortunately, the leftover percentage which is drinkable, is slowly but surely running out. 

Curious to hear some interesting facts regarding water?

    • There are 326 million cubic miles of water on the planet
    • Out of those, only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh
    • And just 0.5 % of the earth’s freshwater is also available.

The rest of it is either locked up in glaciers, atmosphere or soil, or it’s highly polluted. Some of it is found way too far under the earth’s surface to be extracted at an affordable cost.

So when left with just 0.5% of available fresh water, that initial 71% doesn’t look so promising anymore, does it?

The majority of us are so used to having water at our disposal, that it’s easy to forget how precious this resource actually is.

Especially in first world countries, we certainly take water for granted. We spend a long time in the shower, we leave the water running when brushing our teeth, and water the gardens all through the summer months. 

However, in recent years, droughts have been more common than flooding. And this has sparked many people’s interest in looking at environmental friendly practices of collecting rainwater with the help of water catchment systems.

Given that it falls freely from the sky, rainwater is often overlooked as a source we can save, use, and reuse. But catching and saving rainwater has been done for centuries and there are many benefits to this practice. Even more when you learn just how to save it. 

Let’s look at both!

Why Use A Rainwater Catchment System To Collect Rainwater?

Using a water catcher is so easy to do. But why should you? 

Here are some of the top reasons to use a water catchment system for collecting rain water at home:

    • The whole house can benefit from the rainwater collected in barrels. You can use it in the garden, through your hot water heating system, or in the kitchen for cleaning hands and surfaces. You can even use it to flush the toilet. 
    • Many people wrongly assume that captured water is safe to drink regardless. But it’s not exactly the case. Rainwater can easily get contaminated by pollutants and chemicals. So if you are also wondering whether it is okay to drink rainwater from the sky, yes, but only with the right filters!
    • By collecting rainwater you may help prevent flooding and erosion in your neighbourhood caused by water runoff. If your subdivision doesn’t have retention ponds (they should!), these can help you manage stormwater successfully. And since common efforts can produce bigger results, you could even get the whole neighbourhood involved in your water conservation efforts.
    • If you’re having hard water issues, rainwater will help. It’s an excellent source of soft water!

I’m sure many of you are wondering now how long can you keep rainwater for.

A long time actually! But it all depends what you plan on using the saved water on.

Water for the household, or for watering the flowers can be stored indefinitely. For human ingestion you should not keep it for more than two years tops.

water catchment system for rainwater harvesting

How Does a Rainwater Catchment System Work?

There are several ways to collect rainwater and various rainwater collection systems. From basic homemade barrels to complex manufactured commercial products, each one comes with its own utility and benefits.

Here are some of the most efficient rainwater collectors:

A water harvesting system is a great option in many situations. That’s because these systems usually include huge water tanks that can hold up to 10,000 gallons of water. They have filtration and pumping systems installed, and they can be used for anything (garden, bathroom water, drinking water, etc).

For those of you wondering about “How do you build a water catchment system?”, one of the best solutions is to make one from white oak. The wood cells of this type of oak contain tyloses, a plastic-like substance which makes white oak one of the most durable woods out there. Did you know that this type of wood is also waterproof? With so many wonderful properties, no wonder white oak wood is commonly used in ship construction, barrels and buttons. 

Barrels are the most common option for capturing rainwater for families. You don’t need much, just a couple of clean 50-gallon barrels under the drainpipes of the roof. You can even add debris filters so you can get rid of any gunk.

Rainwater tarps are a good option for collecting rainwater too. They act as a water-collection surface, and you can tarp trap on a small hill and dig a shallow trench to put your tarp. This will collect the rain for you nicely!

Thinking of using a rainwater catchment system after reading our post? Great choice!

No matter if you decide on the most basic homemade barrel or the most sophisticated system on the market, saving water is a great decision we should all take.

For more environmentally friendly ideas and how to live zero waste inspiration, keep following our sustainable living blog!

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