For many centuries, cultures living in arid lands have known how to gather precious rainwater. There is a 2 million-gallon rainwater-runoff cistern beneath the old temple of Jerusalem, for instance, and a similar cistern under an old church in Oaxaca, Mexico. But even if you live in a relatively moist area, water is precious.
Whenever it rains, water falls on rooftops, is guided into gutters, and is quickly sent into sewers to be combined with human and industrial waste and “taken away” at great expense. But it’s great to know that rainwater can be diverted for home use before it is lost along with domestic waste.
Find out why it’s a great idea to harvest your rainwater, and how to do it, here:
Rainwater is soft and pure and requires no treatment; rainwater recovery works well even in drought-prone areas and can often reduce your water bills. In addition, water-supply and storm water drains become unnecessary. In fire-prone areas, you might even position big containers at a height that can gravity-feed a hose, thereby reducing your fire-insurance premiums.
You can harvest your rainwater by installing cistern tanks that collect it. This pure water can be used for landscape watering (and for houseplants, too). You might also install simple rainwater “buckets” to collect rainwater from gutters for watering.
If you have a collecting (or “catchment”) area of 1,000 square feet, with an average annual rainfall of 20 inches, you have the potential to collect 24,000 gallons of water a year!
Adapted from Green Remodeling, by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society Publishers, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by David Johnston and Kim Master. Reprinted by permission of New Society Publishers.
Adapted from Green Remodeling, by David Johnston and Kim Master (New Society Publishers, 2004).
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