Rainwater Harvesting Tips

April 20th 2021

Here on Vancouver Island, we are no strangers to rain. Living with frequent precipitation has its positives and negatives, but at Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment, we like to focus on the positives and we know how to make the rain work for us rather than against us. Located in Shawnigan Lake and servicing all of Vancouver Island and surrounding islands, the water treatment experts at Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment are experienced in rainwater harvesting and are happy to share some tips with you on harvesting rainwater on your property.

What is rainwater harvesting?

Simply put, rainwater harvesting involves conserving rainwater by collecting, storing, and using it rather than allowing it to run off. This sustainable practice allows you to put this natural resource to work for you, providing you with a practical solution for taking care of your household water needs as well as peace of mind that you are working to conserve water and doing your part to preserve the environment.

Tips on Harvesting Rainwater

• Check your gutters. Your home is likely equipped with gutters that direct water away from your home. Before you can capture this water, you need to make sure it’s flowing correctly. Make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and other debris. Scoop out anything blocking your gutters, so rainwater can flow freely. Keep gutters clear in order to keep water running freely.

• Equipment.
◦ Rain barrel. You must have something to collect the rainwater. Choosing the right barrel to hold your rainwater is important. It must be free of toxic materials, water tight, securely covered, and accessible for cleaning. There are barrels made especially for collecting rainwater. At Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment, we sell and install rainwater equipment.
◦ Spigot. You’ll need to attach a spigot to the bottom of the barrel to release the water as needed.
◦ Hose.
◦ Hose adapter.
◦ Mesh.
◦ Jigsaw.
◦ Wrench.

• Construction.
◦ Placement. A good place to put your rain barrel is directly beneath the gutters of your home on a raised, flat, sturdy surface. You’ll need to access the spigot near the bottom of the barrel, so raising it off the ground is important. Make sure your barrel is secure, sturdy enough to hold a large amount of rainwater, and in no danger of tipping or being easily knocked over.
◦ Screen. A mesh screen should be placed on top of the barrel in order to filter contaminants, such as leaves, bugs, and other debris. Filters specific to this task are available for purchase.
◦ Hose. In order to use the water straight from the barrel, it’s helpful to add a hose attachment to the spigot.
◦ Water treatment. Using the rainwater straight from the barrel for things like gardening and washing vehicles is perfectly acceptable, but if you would like to increase your possible usages, consider water treatment options to make your rainwater potable. Note: In many areas of B.C. rainwater is not allowed for potable use, so homeowners should ensure the area they live in will allow rainwater to be used for potable purposes.

• Maintenance. Gutters, rain heads, diverters, and barrels need to be cleaned regularly in order to ensure you are harvesting quality water. You should also check your screens and filters regularly to make certain they aren’t plugged. If the system is for household use, don’t forget to change your UV bulb per the manufacturer’s instructions – and if you have questions about your water treatment system, please reach out to us for help.

There are a variety of methods used to successfully capture rainwater and we haven’t covered them all, so before you begin, feel free to reach out to us at Holman Plumbing & Water Treatment for advice on what will work best for you. Also, check out our Water Filtration & Treatment page.

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