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Rain Harvesting Facts

  • According to the U.S. EPA, 50 to 70 % of total household water is used for landscape irrigation and other outdoor activities(US EPA, 2009)
  • Replacing city and well water with captured rainwater for landscaping efficiently uses this valuable resource, reduces personal water bills, and decreases the overall demand on public water supplies.
  • Representatives of the federal government involved with the water supply planning process have determined the present amounts of available surface and groundwater supplies will not be able to meet future water demand.
  • Rainfall inevitably creates storm water runoff in your watershed. Implementing a rainwater harvesting system is one way to decrease the amount of storm water runoff, along with the problems associated with it. In areas covered by impervious surfaces, water that once had the chance to infiltrate is now running off into our local streams and rivers. Urbanization of native lands is a large contributor to this problem.
  • By catching and storing this runoff, even throughout the winter, water can be slowly released back where it was meant to infiltrate. As your holding tanks fill in the winter, leave the tank valve open to direct water onto your property. The point is to recharge the ground water that would otherwise run down the street, into the river and off to the ocean never to be seen again as fresh water.
  • Rainwater harvesting promotes self sufficiency and appreciation for water as a resource. It also promotes water conservation while providing an alternate water source.
  • Local erosion and flooding from impervious cover associated with buildings is lessened as a portion of the local rainfall is diverted into holding tanks, leaving less storm water to manage.
  • Rain water is one of the purest sources of water available. Its quality almost always exceeds that of ground or surface water because it does not come in contact with soil or rocks where it can dissolve minerals and salts. Also, captured rainwater will not come into contact with many other pollutants that are often discharged into local surface waters or contaminated ground water supplies.
  • Rain water often has a nitrogen content which provides a slight fertilizing effect on plants.
  • Rain water is considered soft water, and therefore significantly lowers the amount of detergents and soaps needed for cleaning. Soap scum and hardness deposits do not occur. Water softeners are not necessary with rain water as it often is with well water.
  • Rain water harvesting is already required in new construction in many cities around the country.
  • Rain barrels can be refilled quickly with a small amount of rain. A passing thunderstorm can release hundreds of gallons of water from your roof in a matter of minutes. It is possible for a rain barrel to have water in it all year round.
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