The term rainwater harvesting sounds like something people have to do in the middle of nowhere to get water, but it is one of the best ways to get water, even in a residential area. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about rainwater harvesting, like it doesn't collect enough water or the water is not as pure as city water. These ideas couldn't be further from the truth, and there are several reasons you should think about rainwater harvesting at your residential home.
What Would I Use Rainwater For?
The biggest misconception about rainwater harvesting is that it is somehow unsafe for most uses, but it is one of the safest ways to get water to your home. A full rainwater harvesting system can be used for every water need in the house, from drinking to flushing the toilets. While you will likely get cleaner water from a rainwater system than the city, not everyone will trust it immediately. If you would rather continue to rely on city and well water for drinking, your rainwater can still be used to water plants, wash indoor and outdoor surfaces, clean the car, flush toilets, and shower.
FAQs About Residential Rainwater Harvesting
Understandably, you have many questions about rainwater harvesting, especially in a residential area. Here are a few of the most common questions and answers about rainwater harvesting for household use.
Is Rainwater Safe?
From the beginning, rainwater is one of the safest forms of water because it doesn't come in contact with ground contaminants like well water and doesn't have additives like city water. However, rainwater isn't always 100% pure because of air pollution and roof contaminants. To solve this problem, our harvesting system has a multi-step purification process that delivers the purest, softest water possible.
Can Rainwater Go Bad?
There is no way around there being bacteria in your rainwater. It can come in contact with all sorts of stuff before it enters the tank, but there are also good bacteria already living in your tank. The good bacteria is called biofilm, and it is a naturally occurring layer of bacteria that sits on the bottom of a properly designed rainwater harvesting tank. Biofilm acts as a natural filter for the water, continuously cleaning out unwanted particles.
Will It Rain Enough to Supply My House?
The amount of rain collected in a single storm may surprise you, but nothing is left to chance. Before installing your system, we will pull up the average rainfall in your area for the last 100 years to predict how much water you can expect from your tanks.
Do I Need a New Roof?
Rainwater harvesting works with almost any type of roofing material, so you won't need one unless it is time for a new roof anyway.
How Does It Connect to the House?
Rainwater systems connect to your house through your existing plumbing and switch over to well or city water if your tanks run low.
Is It Legal?
There has always been a little confusion over rainwater harvesting because many people have been told it is illegal. However, it has never been outright banned in the U.S., and only a few states have put restrictions on it. Furthermore, as we move toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future, even those handful of states that have restricted it are starting to ease back on their restrictions.
Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater harvesting isn't just a cool way to show off to your neighbors; this method has many everyday benefits.
Water Purity and Softness
Rainwater is naturally soft because it doesn't come in contact with the natural minerals in the ground that make water hard, which means softer hair and skin and longer-lasting appliances. Rainwater is also less contaminated than groundwater, and when it passes through our multi-step filtration system, it ends up being some of the purest, best-tasting water available without the need for extra purification methods.
One of the most significant benefits of rainwater harvesting is having potable water in an emergency. If a disaster contaminates the well water or prevents city water from reaching your home, you will have peace of mind that your family still has clean water for drinking and cooking. Many families are already thriving off the grid with rainwater harvesting systems.
As water becomes a scarce resource, many municipalities are raising water prices and telling homeowners when they can use their water. In most cases, you won't be able to get rid of your water bill entirely, but you will be able to save money on it while using your water when and how you want.
Better for the Environment
Projects that use rainwater harvesting get LEED points, but you don't need a green energy program to show you how much better it is for the environment. Instead of your water being pumped to and from energy using water treatment plants, it is all-natural and comes from tanks only a few feet from your house.
More Recharging Options
If your well runs dry, your best option is to dig another well, if that is an option at all. City water is more reliable than a well, but you are pretty much out of luck if there is ever a service disruption. Rainwater harvesting systems get recharged every time it rains, but that is not their only option. Our rainwater harvesting systems come with a port so you can add water from an outside source if your tanks ever run low. In addition, our tanks can switch over to city or well water if they run low and switch back when they are recharged.
Rainwater Harvesting as a Backup
Some people may be happy with their current water situation, but it doesn't hurt to plan for the future. There is no telling when a disaster will hit and cut you off from your clean water supply. So if you want to be prepared for every scenario, it only makes sense to have a backup source of water that will supply your house indefinitely.
Other Reasons to Have Rainwater Harvesting
Residential areas are having issues with stormwater runoff, causing cities to crack down on runoff regulations. A rainwater harvesting system is a more convenient and functional way to meet those regulations compared to a retention pond or permeable pavers.
Your Plants Will Love You
If you are an avid gardener inside or out, your plants will respond better to rainwater because it is not filled with additives like city and well water.
Reduce Flood and Erosion Risk
There is only so much water the ground can take before there is nowhere else for the water to go. A rainwater harvesting system collects at least some of that water and offers some reprieve to your property.
Increase Property Value
The world is moving toward sustainable options, and many new developments are being planned with rainwater harvesting systems. Retrofitting one into an existing home will increase your property value and make it more desirable.
It's Just Cool
We may be a bit biased, but the ability to collect rain from the sky and turn it into drinkable, usable water is pretty cool and your friends and family will be impressed.
More Reasons Than Not
There are more reasons than not to get a rainwater harvesting system installed on your property today. Even if you don't think it will be able to keep up with your household's demands, it's better than nothing in the case of an emergency. Once you see the difference rainwater makes everywhere in your home, you'll want to switch over to rainwater completely, and you may be surprised to find how well our tanks will keep up. If you are ready to make a positive difference for your house and the environment, or if there are any questions we didn't answer, please contact us asap so we can help.