Water is a precious resource that far too many of us take for granted. However, even those water supplies that we think will never run out, like city and well water, have their limits and disadvantages. There is only one way to be truly sure about your water supply, and that is with a rainwater harvesting system. Many may think of a rainwater harvesting system as a backup plan, but there is an argument to be made that it should be your first and only source of water. You will think so too when you find out that your traditional water supply is not as trustworthy as you think.
What is Rainwater Harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting may conjure up images of a wooden barrel sitting outside the house, but it is anything but that. Rainwater harvesting is a sophisticated means of collecting rainwater, filtering it, and delivering it back to the house for multi-purpose use.
Rainwater harvesting is composed of multiple components which make up an entire water collection and purification system. It all starts on the roof, where the rain lands and rolls down to the gutters to be collected. When the water exits, the downspout it goes through prestorage filtration, which takes out large impurities and oxygenates the water, and then ends up in an underground storage tank. When ready for use, the water is passed through a three-stage filtration system to ensure it is safe for use before being pumped into the house. Read a more in depth overview of what rainwater harvesting is.
The Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting Over Traditional Methods
Traditional methods of bringing water to your house have worked in the past because they have had to even if they weren't the best option. Now that there is a better option available, it is vital to revisit the idea of well and city water and why they may not be the best idea for you.
Well water is well-known for being of questionable quality, from iron to odor, and even having sediment floating in the water. City water isn't much better, with many people complaining about their water having a taste and questioning what chemicals the city is pumping into their water. Another concern that has been front and center in the media lately is aging lead water pipes leaking lead into city water. A rainwater harvesting system doesn't have any of these drawbacks because it is natural water that goes through a multi-step purification process.
Wells have always been a gamble as you never know when it will run out. Even digging a well can be a problem since there is no guarantee that you will find water when you dig. Water reliability has seemed like a well-only problem in the past, but after historic droughts this past summer, we have seen that even city water supplies can be strained by high demand and low supply. Large capacity tanks, a lack of competition, and years of rainfall data ensure that you will always have enough water for your home.
Getting Water to the House
Wells are notorious for having water pressure issues. If multiple people in the home are using water simultaneously, the water can slow to a trickle out of faucets. There are multiple causes for this, including a lack of water in the well and where the well is positioned in relation to the home. One solution is to buy a stronger and more expensive pump, but even then, there is no guarantee that the well water pressure will get better. There is little pressure needed to get water from storage tanks into the house with a rain harvesting system.
Changes in Well Water
Just because a well's water starts out potable doesn't mean that it will stay that way. Well water can change in purity without notice, which means that you need to check it often, and you may need to buy multiple kinds of water purification measures over time. The multi-step purification process in a rainwater harvesting system means that you can always rest assured that your water is safe to use. Read more to see how rainwater can be an excellent alternative to well water.
Lack of Control Over Your Resources
The city technically owns city water, and they let you rent it from them. This means that if they want to, the city can arbitrarily shut off your water if you don't pay the bill or, technically, just because they feel like it. Natural disasters and other disruptions can also interrupt your water flow for an unspecified amount of time. Having a personal water source on your property means that you won't have to answer to anyone for your water. Learn how rainwater can be a great off-grid option.
Long and Short-Term Costs
It costs money every month to rent water from the city, and some cities charge quite a lot for that privilege. They can also raise the rates whenever they feel like and there isn't much you can do about it. Wells cost money to dig, and there is no guarantee that you will even get clean water. Then there are the costs of upkeep, chemicals, and maintenance of a well, which becomes an ongoing financial consideration. A rainwater harvesting system is an initial, one-time cost, much like digging a well, but it is much more reliable and requires much less upkeep, meaning that it will likely be more cost-effective than city or well water over time.
Improve Your Water Today
Every day you wait is a day that you could be drinking and bathing in the freshest, most natural water you have ever experienced. You don't have to live in the middle of nowhere to install a rainwater harvesting system on your property, but if you do, it is all the more reason to get one installed ASAP. Our systems are also fantastic for lake houses and cabins! If you are ready to ditch problematic well and city water and embrace water independence, contact us today with any questions or to schedule a consultation and get started. You will love knowing where your water comes from and living off the grid free of a water bill from an unpredictable city.