rainwater

Not all rainy days are a wash! Take advantage of those raindrops by creating your own rainwater collection system. A 1,000-square-foot roof can yield as much as 600 gallons of water during a rainfall accumulation of 1 inch. So whether it’s pouring or just a little drizzle, every bit will count in your new collection. Bonus: It’s not only good for the environment but it’ll save you money, too!

To start off, you can go one of two ways: Create your own mix and match system from items around the house or buy an all-in-one rain barrel kit. Most rain barrels hold around 55 gallons of water. Although many are made of plastic, some are created from stainless steel, galvanized metal or fiberglass. If you’re creating your own, look around the house for a large container. You can stop there and just fish water out with a watering can or take it a step further by picking up a spigot at the hardware store. Make sure to install the spigot close to the bottom (seal it tightly) but leave enough room to fit the watering can underneath. Use the water for plants, garden, lawn or cleaning outside spaces or furniture.

For Apartments

Whether you have a rooftop, terrace or just a fire escape, you can collect water. Pick a jug just the right size for your space and place it in a secure, sturdy spot that has a clear open sky above it. Add a lid or mesh top to keep the water from evaporating, to keep out bugs, and to easily remove debris. If you choose a lid, remove it before it rains and place back on afterwards.

For Houses

Houses have a better advantage for collecting rainwater. Many have gutters and spouts that run off into one spot. Simply place the point of water runoff into a large barrel. Make sure to cover your barrel to avoid evaporation and place mesh in the top of your gutter to collect debris.

Voila! It’s so easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. Also be sure to check with your city or municipality, many have inexpensive rain barrels or offer tax discounts to homeowners who install them.

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