We hear plenty of discussion about conserving fuel, but what about another precious resource, water? Your new home (or your existing one) could help the environment by harvesting rainwater.
Typically, water pouring off the roofs of houses is rushed away from the foundation and dumped into a storm sewer system. By collecting this water, you can create a ready supply for watering plants, washing cars and — with the proper equipment — using as gray water for flushing toilets.
Proponents point to rainwater’s added benefit as ph neutral, soft water that plants thrive on. Rainwater is also free of the chemicals added to municipal water. Catching the water from rain could also lower your water bills. And, easing runoff into waterways can help decrease pollution.
The Texas Water Development Board’s findings show that about a half gallon of water can be collected per square foot of roof per inch of rainfall.
Systems to collect water can be as simple as connecting a gutter downspout to a tank that’s buried or above ground. More complicated systems incorporate multiple linked tanks, pumps that bring water to a hose or spigot, dry wells where overflow water can be discharged and fine filters to keep contaminants out of the stored water.
Interested in learning more about saving this valuable resource?
The Texas Manual on Rain Water Harvesting is a good place to start your research.