The average roof collects over 600 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall so why not harvest that water and make use of it. If you live in an area that uses city water this is a much healthier source of water for your garden and much more efficient than paying high water bills in dry times. Rain water catchment systems don’t have to be complicated and depending on the size they don’t have to be expensive either. Here are just a few ideas for your very own diy rain water catchment system.
Using a plastic trashcan is very affordable and when done right it can look ok too. The downside may be the durability of this setup, I don’t imagine this system could last more than a few short years before the material started to deteriorate, but if the cost is right you could build again when you need too or upgrade to something more durable at a later time.
This is a really simple setup to build as all these really are, as you can see from the picture above you have a couple places to attach hoses for the overflow and of course one for using the water. You can buy these pieces separately from a hardware store but they make a kit for this specific purpose called a RainReserve Spigot Kit.
These kits can be used as above for 1 barrel or be used to hook multiple barrels together for more water storage as seen in picture below.
Maybe you like the concept of using a rubber trash can but you want something a little tougher, something that will last a little longer. Using food grade plastic barrels is a great way to go. These barrels are pretty strong and cheap and can usually be found locally through ads at places like craigslist.com.
I have seen pictures of some creative ways of using these to try and make them more visually appealing and about the only way I know of is to just hide them by boxing them in and siding it to match your house. This definitely would ad to the expense so if there is somewhere you can put them that makes them less visible this option may be for you.
Another idea for this setup is using IBC tanks, this option is another inexpensive and easy install that allows usually about 250 gallons of storage per tank. If you do this be aware of what your tank was previously used to store and clean it out as good as possible. These tanks can also usually be found on craiglist and i have seen them sell anywhwere from $50 to $150 so shop around.
A down side to using tanks like this one is the sunlight will cause algae growth on the inside of your tank. I have never known this to be harmful but if i ever planned on drinking this water in an emergency I would probably take steps to darken the tank, covering it with a wood siding would solve this problem and also make it look a little nicer also.
These are just a few do it yourself options for building your own rain water catchment systems that will help you take one more step towards being more self sufficient. Happy Homesteading!