Is Rainwater Harvesting a Wise Investment?
Is rainwater harvesting right for you? We dive into the many “returns on investment” that you can expect with rainwater harvesting.
Rainwater Harvesting for Your Home
Among homeowners in the United States, rainwater harvesting is growing in popularity. While this source and technology of high-quality water has been around for a few decades and is very common in Australia and Europe, the United States is quickly becoming a key player in the rainwater harvesting ecosystem.
Depending on your familiarity with rainwater harvesting, you may know that it is a full-supply water source for homes, meaning it used for drinking, cooking, washing, bathing – everything!
Like many things with your home, you may be trying to determine if rainwater harvesting is a good investment. In this article, we dive deeper into the value of rainwater harvesting to help determine if it may be a good fit for you.
Water Supply – Where Does Your Home’s Water Come From?
If you’re like most people, thinking about the water in your home is probably not a daily occurrence. In fact, many homeowners simply don’t think about their water.
Most home’s water is supplied through a municipal water utility, while the remaining minority is primarily comprised of private wells.
Let’s talk a little about these water sources and what you should know.
Municipal (City) Water
This is the most common water source for homes in the United States. Municipalities do an amazing job supplying millions of homes with water. They collect, filter, disinfect, and distribute water that meets the standards set by the EPA on a mass scale.
Unfortunately, homeowners do not have personal control of this water source, this is a public utility.
Additionally, when dealing with mass distribution, it would be nearly impossible for water utilities to deliver homeowners with high-quality water at their faucets. Therefore, we recommend home-located water purification or an entirely different water source – rainwater harvesting.
Many homeowners like the idea of well water as it’s their own personal water supply. Unfortunately, well water also often comes with water quality problems and can unpredictable and even unreliable.
Rainwater Harvesting is a Multi-Variable Investment
While some investments, such as financial investing, has one singular focus, investing in rainwater harvesting offers a variety of valuable “returns”.
Let’s talk through the different items in which you are investing in by using harvested rainwater.
When simply using a financial comparison between getting set up with your local water municipality and getting a rainwater harvesting system, generally the rainwater harvesting system will be a higher upfront cost. But this is also not an apples-to-apples comparison, as rainwater harvesting is your own personal water supply that you OWN.
There are many situations where rainwater harvesting is clearly a better financial decision. Here are a couple of situations that commonly see:
If the water utility will need to run hundreds of feet of water line to reach your home, there is a good chance that rainwater harvesting might be more economical.
And whenever the possibility of drilling a well is presented, rainwater harvesting should certainly be considered. In these cases, rainwater harvesting may not only be more economical, but also is more reliable than a well, and provides a much higher quality of water.
When compared to city water or well water, rainwater harvesting is a clear winner in regards to water quality.
Harvested rainwater is free of chemicals and disinfectants that are used in city water treatment. And is also free of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants. Not to mention, harvested rainwater is naturally soft!
Well water must often be treated with chlorine-injection or other intense water filtration methods, harvested rainwater requires no chemicals is very easily purified to the highest quality.
When looking at rainwater harvesting, the high-quality water is beneficial to more than your health, your home also benefits greatly from high-quality water.
Hard water builds up and scales inside of plumbing, water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, and more. When using the high-quality water provided by rainwater harvesting, the naturally soft water will not damage the aforementioned items.
Building “green” is an important practice that is becoming more common and affordable, rainwater harvesting can be a great addition to your green home ecosystem.
When you invest in a rainwater harvesting system, you are investing in a personal water supply over which you have complete control. Many people go straight to thinking about electricity off-grid, but obviously, water is an incredibly important resource that should be considered.
Start with Education
When considering any investment, it is best to know what you are investing in rather than simply jumping in. We are all about providing tons of education to the public! If the idea of rainwater harvesting is foreign to you, check out some of our other articles that explore rainwater harvesting in more detail.