Rainwater catchment is most appropriate in areas that lack a stable onsite water resource throughout the dry season, do not have municipal water infrastructure or do not have an annual recharge rate that exceeds the diversionary rate for groundwater wells. For sites that meet any of the preceding criteria we recommend rainwater catchment be installed on homes, outbuildings, and greenhouses.
From an ecological point of view, in areas that have an abundant and regenerative water resource, the money spent on a catchment system can be put to better use. For example, a 1,000-gallon catchment system will cost $2,000 in materials. One thousand gallons is only enough water for the average family's toilet flushing or for the irrigation of a 500-square foot garden for three weeks. In other words, the money spent on a catchment system could be better spent on insulating the house, expanding edible gardens or updating appliances.
The capturing (from impervious surfaces such as roofs), storing (in containers such as barrels, tanks or ponds) and distribution of rainwater.
The directing (roof downspouts, hardscapes, roads) and infiltrating (earthworks, plant communities) of stormwater for the purpose of recharging groundwater supplies. All of our catchment systems are integrated with rainwater 'harvesting' systems. At 600-gallons per 1-inch of rain per 1,000-square feet all storage systems will be quickly overwhelmed during the wet-season; however, there is a massive capacity of storage available in the ground.
Before you invest in a catchment system it is important to understand the economic and ecological factors involved. We can help you decide if a catchment system is right for you and if so what type of system.
Need help planning your system? We recommend passive and integrated rainwater catchment systems. A first-flush mechanism ensures clean water is being stored, back-flow prevention protects your structure and a system overflow connects the valuable resource to areas of groundwater recharge.
We offer hands-on experiences in the design, implementation and use of rainwater systems.
This short clip demonstrates why installing a First-Flush Mechanism is so important in the capturing and storing of clean water.