“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Two things I really believe in – saving money and saving the planet, and it’s even better when I can do something that accomplishes both at the same time.
Rainwater harvesting is just such a thing.
It may sound sort of odd, but mark my words…in the not-too-distant future, rainwater harvesting will be as common as twelve-year-old girls carrying cell phones.
The concept is brilliant in its simplicity.
Take the free water that falls from the sky, store it, and use it for tasks that would ordinarily waste drinking water – like watering the garden, flushing the toilet , washing the car, etc.
Many countries already rely heavily on rainwater; America is just slightly behind the curve. Bermuda, for example…every building on the small island collects the rainwater from its roof and stores it for later use.
There are many ways you can begin harvesting rainwater and most of them are easy and inexpensive.
For example, use rain barrels to collect the water that would ordinarily run off of your roof. You’d be surprised how fast a fifty-gallon barrel will fill with free, usable water. For a few bucks, you can outfit the barrel with a spigot and have an abundant supply of water for your lawn and garden, and you won’t have to worry about water bans or restrictions.
New building construction offers some fantastic ways to gather rainwater, and the cost of installation is usually offset by reduced usage very quickly.
Roof drains and downspouts can be piped into underground tanks, where a pump can then draw it up as needed. The new building can have all non-potable uses (washing machines, toilets and outdoor hose bibs) piped separately from drinking/bathing supplies to take advantage of the free resource.
So you’re saving money by not using municipal water, you’re helping to preserve the underground aquifers and you’re keeping your property green. The rainwater can even be treated to make it drinkable.
…but wait – there’s more! If that rain water were not collected, but allowed to run over your lawn, into the street and eventually to a stormwater treatment facility, it would pick up all sorts of pollutants on its journey – fertilizers and pesticides from the grass, motor oil, anti-freeze and such from the roads, and who knows what else.
Depending on where you live, the stormwater may be piped to a treatment plant or it may run in natural channels to allow nature to remove the pollutants. Either way, the treatment of stormwater is costly. If you reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from your home or office, you reduce the need for treatment.
Water is rapidly becoming one of our most precious resources and it is not as abundant as you may think. In the year 2000, the United States used approximately 326 Billion gallons of fresh water per day.
There are dozens of websites that provide an abundance of information about rainwater harvesting, some will even teach you how to start your own collection system.
Click here – or here – or here for a few sites…or just google “rainwater harvesting” and see what you get.
This is a win-win situation…you save money while you help the ecology, with very little effort.
I don’t see a downside.
Now for a shameless plug…my second novel, Water Hazard, will be released in mid-October, it’s a fictional story about illegal ground water pumping that leads to kidnapping and murder. Along with a fast-paced action story, it contains loads of facts about the delicate condition of our underground water supply.
For more information go to www.blindoggbooks.com.