Sometimes we take rainwater for granted especially if water supply is abundant. But in places where there is limited source of water and drought is a common occurrence, collecting rainwater is essential. But if you think rainwater harvesting is as easy as 1-2-3, then better think again. Rain water harvesting is not as easy as it sounds.
In the field of agriculture, most especially in gardening, rainwater plays a vital role in the success and failure of crops. While it is true that there are many ways to store water for garden use, rainwater collection is still one of the methods that most gardeners use most especially in places where water is scarce.
Today, the effects of climate change in gardening is at an alarming rate. The natural cycle of the seasons we’re usually accustomed to is somewhat at a disarray because of the adverse effects of climate change. In some places of the globe, rain is a rarity. And in other places, the rain also keeps falling from the sky as if it will never stop. Both of these abnormality in the weather can damage any garden and the crops that are planted in them.
In collecting rainwater, one must also keep in mind that after you have finished collecting or harvesting your rainwater in a container, make it sure that you keep your collected rainwater covered at all times. By covering your collected rainwater and keeping it dark, you can avoid any algae or other light feeding organisms to bloom in your collected rain water. Bugs, mosquitoes, and slugs will also be kept at bay if you keep your collected rainwater covered.
If you want to use rainwater not only in your garden but also in your homes, make sure that you invest in filtration and pumping systems. Rainwater can only be used for consumption once it is properly treated and 100 percent bacteria free.
There are many methods to harvest or collect rainwater. And it is up to you to use whatever method you want. Below are some methods of collecting rainwater and ways of doing it.
Methods of Collecting Rain Water
Barrel Method is the cheapest and easiest way of collecting rainwater. Place any container that you have under the downspout of your gutter. Once it rains, the rainwater runoff will be diverted into your barrel. For garden use, a barrel with spigot is the best to use in rainwater collection. The spigot from the base of the barrel will be used to draw water when you irrigate your garden. Just remember to cover your barrel once it is filled with rainwater. If you live in a place where freezing condition is experienced during the winter, it is advisable to remove the spigot from the barrel to prevent it from freezing and cracking. While the barrel method is the easiest and cheapest way of collecting rainwater, it also has one major downside to it. That is the limited capacity of rainwater that can be collected.
Dry System Method
The Dry System Method of collecting rainwater is just like the barrel method. The only difference is that in the Dry System Method, the collection of rainwater is scaled up in size. Instead of using small barrels to collect rainwater, a much larger container will now be used to store the rainwater that will be collected. To do the Dry System Method of rainwater collection, place your larger tank next to your property that offers a larger storage capacity than your barrel system. Then, your guttering will be diverted to the top of the tank. This method of rainwater collection is called “Dry” because after each rain event, the pipe dries up after it empties the collected rainwater into the top of the tank.
Wet System Method
In wet system Method, the pipes that are used in the collection of rainwater is constantly full of water and are installed underground. From the downspouts on the property, several water collecting pipes are fitted into the downspouts that runs underground into the storage tank. The collected rainwater will then rise through the pipes and into the tank. The pipes that are used for the Wet System Method should also be watertight to prevent water leakage to the soil. Compared to the barrel and the dry system rainwater collection methods, the wet system rainwater collection method is more expensive to install because of the installation of the underground piping. Just like the dry system method, the location of the tanks should have strong bases to sit on. This is because the water tanks when filled with rainwater will be very heavy depending on the size of the tanks.
Green Roof Method
What’s great about the Green Roof Method of collecting rainwater is that it does not need to be stored in a barrel or a tank. The rainwater that will be collected can be immediately used by the plants. All you need to do is to install a green roof on your property. To protect your roof, a liner is needed and there should also be a drainage system for the excess rainwater runoff. What’s great about the green roof method is that it will provide additional insulation to your property once it is done as well as a great way to protect your homes’ roofing from damage.
A simple yet elegant way to collect rainwater and ensure that the collected rainwater gets to your plants in the garden instead of flowing out into the street, the Earthworks Method is a proven and tested way that has been used to collect rainwater by gardeners for a long time. In earthworks method, the garden soil is shaped to catch the rainfall and direct it to the ground. The only material you need in creating your earthwork is a shovel and great patience. The first thing you need to do is create channels for the rainwater to flow from the roofs, sidewalks, driveways, steep hillsides, and other surfaces where rainwater collects and direct it to your garden. This can be done by digging trenches and directing the water flow towards the garden. If you want to build the best earthwork, you need to be a good observant. Look for places where water flows and collects naturally. Some good examples are the building lines, sidewalks, and the low points near streets. These places can be a good starting point for you to start your earthwork construction.